How many players on the losing team won the Conn Smythe trophy?

Yes, it is possible to win the Conn Smythe trophy AND being on the losing team in the Stanley Cup Final. How many times has that happened?
2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Jonathan Marchessault should consider himself a fortunate man. In 2022-23, the revered winger won the Conn Smythe trophy, and his team, the Vegas Golden Knights, won the Stanley Cup Final. They handled Sergei Bobrovsky and the Florida Panthers in five games, bringing the treasured trophy to Las Vegas for the first time ever.

Fast forward to this year, when Connor McDavid won the same prize as Marchessault. With 42 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs (fourth-most all-time in a single season), it warrants an awe-inspiring perspective of his greatness. That's why he was a near-unanimous winner during the voting process. However, his team lost in seven games, falling to those same Panthers.

Now this isn't a bad thing for a megastar. He adds another trophy to his growing collection, alongside his three Hart Memorial trophies. However, McDavid was so disappointed with the result that he didn't even show up for the award presentation. With Florida winning the deciding game of the Stanley Cup Final over the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, there was no choice but to head back to the locker room.

However, the obscurity of a playoff MVP on a losing team is extremely rare. It's not often seen in basketball (Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1969), baseball (Bobby Richardson of the New York Yankees in 1960), or American football. So why not explore the names within the hockey realm who won the Conn Smythe?

There are six players on losing teams all-time to win the Conn Smythe trophy

No, you won't find Jonathan Marchessault or any other Vegas Golden Knights on this list. But there have been six players who've won the playoff MVP award in the Stanley Cup playoffs and play on the losing team. Connor McDavid is the most recent, with the Edmonton Oilers losing in seven games in the Stanley Cup Final.

Before McDavid, the most recent recipient was Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003. In 21 games, Giguere posted a GAA of 1.62 and a save percentage of .945. He even tallied an assist during Anaheim's playoff run, where they fell to the New Jersey Devils in seven games. Overall, goaltenders have accounted for four of the six winners for this dubious distinction.

If there's one thing Vegas Golden Knights fans can take away from last night, it's that Jonathan Marchessault showed up for the Conn Smythe trophy presentation. Of course, he was on the winning end of the ordeal. However, it's safe to say he would've been there if Vegas hadn't won the Stanley Cup Final last season and such a situation popped up.

Year

Winner

Position

1966

Roger Crozier (Detroit Red Wings)

G

1968

Glenn Hall (St. Louis Blues)

G

1976

Reggie Leach (Philadelphia Flyers)

RW

1987

Ron Hextall

G

2003

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

G

2024

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

C

feed