OPINION: Connor McDavid was Right to Not Accept the Conn Smythe Trophy, Here’s Why

Featured Image Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

Imagine: You’ve made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s been a tough season, but you’ve fought long and hard to bring your team to this moment. You ended your season as Western Conference Champions, and now it’s game one of the finals against the Florida Panthers, and you have the chance to bring the cup home to Canada for the first time since 1993. This scenario became a reality for Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers in their 2023-24 NHL postseason.

The 2024 Stanley Cup Finals started in favor of the Panthers winning three straight games; however, when game four came along, and the Panthers were about to win it all in Edmonton, the Oilers prevailed and went on to turn their three-game deficit to a tied 3-3 series, forcing a game 7. Unfortunately for the Oilers, the Florida Panthers came out on top and were named the 2024 Stanley Cup Champions.

One player continuously made headlines throughout the Oiler’s run in the playoffs. After ending his postseason run with 42 points made up of eight goals and 34 assists, Connor McDavid proved he is an all-star player. McDavid’s performance through the playoffs led him to receive the Conn Smythe trophy, which is awarded annually to the “most valuable player of his team in the playoffs” and is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Connor McDavid receives the 2024 Conn Smythe trophy
Via NHL on X

As the Florida Panthers celebrated their win on the ice, McDavid was announced as the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy. Everyone waited for him to come out and accept the trophy, but he never came. This move has caused a lot of debate throughout the hockey community and poses the question: Was Connor McDavid in the wrong?

If you ask me, the answer is no. I believe this move showcases his leadership, dedication to his teammates, and respect for his opponents.

Going into the playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers, along with the other Canadian teams, had the opportunity to make history. For the Oilers, this opportunity was just a win away when they made it to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. They had almost all of Canada behind them, full of belief for the team, chanting, “We want the cup.” When the final buzzer rang, it indicated a historic win for the Panthers and one of the biggest, gut-wrenching losses for the Oilers. I can only imagine how the players felt – feeling like they let down not only themselves but the whole country.

McDavid was asked about his win during the post-game interviews, but his voice showed evident disappointment when he answered. “Obviously, I guess, an honor with the names on the trophy… but, yeah.”

McDavid has always been a team-first player, so it makes sense why he wouldn’t want to come out and accept a trophy, celebrating a personal win. His decision to stay in the locker room with his teammates, mourning this huge loss, shows clear dedication to them.

As mentioned above, I believe McDavid’s decision not to accept the trophy showcases respect for his opponents. The Florida Panthers made history this season when they won their very first Stanley Cup since they were established in 1993. This was a big moment for the Panthers, showcasing years of hard work and perseverance. McDavid acknowledged the significance of the Florida Panthers’ achievement by not coming out to accept the trophy, allowing the spotlight to remain on their historic win.

Featured Image Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

As fans and spectators, we often focus on the significance of winning, but McDavid’s move reminded us of the deeper aspects of the game. Rather than showcasing his personal victories, McDavid preferred to stick with his team, a gesture that spoke volumes about his leadership, sportsmanship, and loyalty.

The 2024 Stanley Cup Finals will be remembered for many reasons, but this will undoubtedly stand out as one of its defining moments. It is a reminder that in the grand scheme of things, the true measure of an athlete extends beyond their game. It’s also about the legacy they leave behind and the values they stand by. Whether on or off the ice, Connor McDavid will continue to uphold his values and inspire people for years to come, not just through talent but with his integrity and loyalty to his team.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
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3 thoughts on “OPINION: Connor McDavid was Right to Not Accept the Conn Smythe Trophy, Here’s Why

  1. So personally for me Connor did nothing wrong no matter his reason for not going out for the trophy. If it were me I’d look at it like this. I came all the way to Florida for one thing and one thing only the Stanley Cup and you couldn’t get me back on the ice for anything else especially in front of a crowd of people who seemed to be lacking… I don’t know how to put it…class, empathy, a sense of good sportsmanship (my opinion). I mean Florida won the Stanley Cup and they boo Connor for winning a what in that moment must have felt to Connor like glorified participation trophy. As a Canadian if we were in the Florida fans position and did that in todays world which can be overly sensitive at times we would’ve been chastised by every sports writer on the internet, in newspaper, magazine, and on every sports network and podcast for the better part of a week. I know this because something similar has happened before. It was 18+ years ago I would say and believe it might have been a IIHF game in Canada or something if I remember correctly. The Canadian fans started booing when the announcer introduced the American team and all you seen on sports networks were sport commentators chastising the fans that were booing and saying “that wasn’t very Canadian of the Canadian fans” and I agreed then that it wasn’t. Just because you cheer your team doesn’t mean you have to boo the opposing team. But to boo a man who not only had an crazy season leading his team that was the worst in the league and only had 5% chance to make it into the postseason, to then beat the odds and making it all the way through to face Florida only to lose the first 3 games giving them only another 5% chance to win the Stanley Cup, and for them to force a game 7, and for Connor to break one of The Great Ones records while doing so was just hateful of the Florida fans that were booing. I hate to be blunt about it and I could understand if the trophy was awarded to some back up goalie or something but not when the guy being awarded lead the tournament in points, broke a Gretzky record, and forced game 7 from being down 3-0. I just believe in giving people their flowers and Florida fans didn’t have to like it but they shouldn’t have sat quiet or even acknowledge his accomplishments after all they see themselves as hockey fans right? I mean I could understand it if Edmonton had won and the Florida fans were in the moment salty, but that wasn’t the case they had just won the Stanley Cup and that’s what makes what they did so cringe worthy to me.

    1. Connor McDavid. Was told as all the players were. Like Elliot Friedman can’t be so obvious about . How Elliot Friedman is so bias to Florida winning. Because he has never played a game but he is looked to as a voice of hockey. Because he is the reporter, who ultimately knows like the players know. It’s all just a fraud. The Panthers don’t show true emotions in the win. As they were set to win by Gary Bettman. It’s all part of the business. Connor McDavid knew as so did all the players in both sides of the spectrum. Therefore the emotions are seen because it’s no longer a record you break or a cup you win. Hockey is fixed and if the players get over zealous. The referees will control the outcome.. just think they stop the game for commercials. That is so the referees can get a break. It’s all just a job. Why come and claim a trophy that in any real scenario. Would be claimed by a player on the winning team. Connor McDavid is a superstar but he is not a puppet.. I would love to see him quit. Write a book about how crooked all this stuff is. It’s a farse..
      Truth be known they had to coax the Edmonton Oilers to play in games 4,5,6 because otherwise they would lose money. Meanwhile the coach of the Panthers he never said much because at the end of the day you can be super confident when you know the outcome before the show starts. Everyone know the Panthers coach he was around when hockey was still real. When it was a sport and not a business only.. that guy has lost his mind in these types of decisions.
      Oh well lots of acting is going on it is sad.
      I’m no longer interested and haven’t been since hockey player’s went on strike. It is amazing how much skill these men have but it is very disappointing. They aren’t allowed to compete

  2. Watching the game on TV, and seeing Florida win the Cup, I was excited for the team. I’ve never really put the Conn Smythe into context but reflecting on the fact that a player from the losing team won the award, I consider it in poor taste for the NHL to put that player in a position to accept an award in a “hostile” barn and have his effort overshadowed by the presence of the ultimate prize.
    McDavid’s winning of the Conn Smythe (well-deserved) really cast a spotlight on this post series ceremony, and it’s silliness. The league expecting a player to put aside his mourning for the ultimate loss and accept a “Consolation” prize is the height of cruelty. There’s no reason for the Conn Smythe to be presented at same time as the Stanley Cup. There’s a whole big award show where it can be a centerpiece for all involved.
    It could be argued that Florida’s fans booed the Conn Smythe Ceremony because they felt it took away from the Stanley Cup presentation, but let’s be honest; they just displayed poor sportsmanship and a lack of grace in their revelry.

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