Touching the Cup
Another tradition (or rather superstition) which is prevalent among today's NHL players is that no player should touch the Cup itself until his team has rightfully won the Cup. Adding to this superstition is some players' choice to neither touch nor hoist the conference trophies (Clarence S. Campbell Bowl and Prince of Wales Trophy) when these series have been won; the players feel that the Stanley Cup is the true championship trophy, and only it should be hoisted. However, in 1994, Stephane Matteau, then of the New York Rangers, admitted that he tapped the Wales Trophy with his stick's blade before the overtime period in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Matteau subsequently scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against the New Jersey Devils, and the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. Scott Stevens hoisted the trophy as well in 2000, after the New Jersey Devils came back from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games (Incidentally, Stevens did not touch the trophy in 1995, 2001 or 2003, the three other seasons when the Devils won the East). In 2002 the Carolina Hurricanes hoisted the Prince of Wales Trophy after they won their conference title, because their winning season was so unexpected; the Hurricanes lost their Finals series with the Detroit Red Wings four games to one. The superstition held true in 2004, as Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames grabbed the Campbell Bowl, but Dave Andreychuk of the Tampa Bay Lightning refused to touch the Prince of Wales Trophy; the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in seven games. In 2007, Daniel Alfredsson and Wade Redden of the Ottawa Senators touched and picked up the Prince of Wales Trophy, respectively, but Anaheim Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer never came close to the Campbell Bowl; the Ducks won the Stanley Cup in five games.