Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher has his eyes on something bigger than the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl.
Fisher, who didn't play in the game because of an undisclosed injury, opted for conventional wisdom and superstition in not touching the bowl, awarded to the winner of the Western Conference after the Predators defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-3 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final at Bridgestone Arena on Monday to earn their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
History shows that is the wise move; in the past five seasons, the captain of the Western Conference winner has not touched the trophy, and four of those teams (2015 Chicago Blackhawks; 2014 Los Angeles Kings; 2013 Blackhawks; 2012 Kings) won the Stanley Cup. Last season, Joe Pavelski, captain of the San Jose Sharks didn't touch the bowl, and the Sharks lost the Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Including the Predators, the past 12 teams to win the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl have not touched it. The most recent to do so was the Calgary Flames in 2004; the Flames lost the Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Seven of the past 10 Stanley Cup winners have come from the Western Conference.
Last season, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby lifted the Prince of Wales Trophy, given to the winner of the Eastern Conference. He also did in 2009 and the Penguins went on to win the Cup, defeating the Red Wings. The previous season, he opted not to touch the trophy and the Penguins lost to the Red Wings.
When Fisher was with the Ottawa Senators in 2007, captain Daniel Alfredsson touched the trophy and the Senators went on to lose the Cup Final to the Ducks, in Fisher's only other Final appearance.
Fisher's move could bode well for the Predators, and for coach Peter Laviolette, who is making his third trip to the final. His previous two times were in 2006, when the Carolina Hurricanes didn't touch the trophy and defeated the Edmonton Oilers in the Final, and in 2010 when the Philadelphia Flyers did touch the trophy and lost to the Blackhawks.
The Predators, who await the winner of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, will play Game 1 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final on the road on Monday, May 29.