In addition to earning home ice through all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, there are 350,000 other reasons the Capitals should be excited about the chance to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy.
The Caps are one point away from clinching their second Presidents' Trophy and can claim that distinction Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The reward? Home ice and a cool $350,000 to be shared among team personnel and players. How that’s divided is entirely up to each team.
Aside from the money, the debate rages over whether winning the Presidents’ Trophy is a blessing or a curse.
"For me, personally, it’d be just another goal that we put in front of the guys," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.
"It’d be some fulfillment because we said we wanted to do a couple things this year, and we’ve knocked off most of them. That’s one of the last ones for the regular season that we can knock off.
"When you’re in the NHL for a long time and you’re coaching, you realize how hard it is to win games in this league. To take nothing away from the regular season, but the regular season can be an absolute grind and making the playoffs, you can’t take that for granted. There’s a lot of good teams that are not going to make the playoffs, there’s a lot of teams that expected to make it and didn’t and some teams on the other end who thought they had a chance and are going to get in.
"It’s a hard league, and it’s hard to get in the playoffs year in and year out. When you have a season to this point that we have, it would mean that these guys have been a real committed group and professional for a long period of time and that’s nothing to frown upon. It’s a good achievement. It’s the best achievement really, you can get in the regular season."
Since first being awarded at the conclusion of the 1985-86 season, the Presidents’ Trophy champions have gone on to win the Stanley Cup eight times in 29 seasons, the most recent being the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks.
In addition, three other Presidents’ Trophy winners have lost in the Stanley Cup Final, while six, including the 2010 Capitals, have been eliminated in the first round.
In all, 15 different NHL teams have won the Presidents’ Trophy over the past 29 years. The Red Wings have won it six times, the Rangers three times and seven other teams have won it twice (Bruins, Flames, Blackhawks, Avalanche, Stars, Oilers, Canucks).
Below is the complete list of Presidents' Trophy winners and how far they went in the playoffs:
Stanley Cup Winners: 8
Lost Stanley Cup Final: 3
Lost Conference Finals: 7
Lost Second Round: 6
Lost First Round: 6
Presidents' Trophy champions
2014-15 New York Rangers Lost Conference Finals
2013-14 Boston Bruins Lost Second Round
2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks Won Stanley Cup
2011-12 Vancouver Canucks Lost First Round
2010-11Vancouver Canucks Lost Stanley Cup Final
2009-10 Washington Capitals Lost First Round
2008-09 San Jose Sharks Lost First Round
2007-08 Detroit Red Wings Won Stanley Cup
2006-07 Buffalo Sabres Lost Conference Final
2005-06 Detroit Red Wings Lost First Round
2003-04 Detroit Red Wings Lost Second Round
2002-03 Ottawa Senators Lost Conference Final
2001-02 Detroit Red Wings Won Stanley Cup
2000-01 Colorado Avalanche Won Stanley Cup
1999-00 St. Louis Blues Lost First Round
1998-99 Dallas Stars Won Stanley Cup
1997-98 Dallas Stars Lost Stanley Cup Final
1996-97 Colorado Avalanche Lost Conference Final
1995-96 Detroit Red Wings Lost Conference Final
1994-95 Detroit Red Wings Lost Stanley Cup Final
1993-94 New York Rangers Won Stanley Cup
1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins Lost Second round
1991-92New York Rangers Lost Second Round
1990-91Chicago Blackhawks Lost First Round
1989-90 Boston Bruins Lost Stanley Cup Final
1988-89 Calgary Flames Won Stanley Cup
1987-88 Calgary Flames Lost Second Round
1986-87 Edmonton Oilers Won Stanley Cup
1985-86 Edmonton Oilers Lost Second Round
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