Jean-Sebastien Giguere Criticizes Connor McDavid for skipping trophy ceremony

Marvin Azrak
June 26, 2024  (8:25)

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim Ducks
Photo credit: Reddit

Connor McDavid made headlines by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy, despite the Edmonton Oilers' loss in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, he sparked controversy by not coming out for the trophy presentation.

After the Florida Panthers secured their victory in a thrilling 2-1 Game 7 victory, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced McDavid as the Conn Smythe winner, making him the first player since 2003 to win the award while on the losing side.
Connor McDavid is the 6th player—and just the second skater—to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in a losing effort.

McDavid is the first player to do so since Jean-Sébastien Giguère in 2003.
Back in 2003, Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere also won the Conn Smythe under similar circumstances but was present for the trophy presentation.
There have been five players in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in a losing effort:

— Jean-Sébastien Giguère (2003)
— Ron Hextall (1987)
— Reggie Leach (1976)
— Glenn Hall (1968)
— Roger Crozier (1966)
Giguere had commented about McDavid's absence, emphasizing the importance of respecting the sport's traditions.
It's a privilege to play in the NHL. Even if you're the best player in the world, you're not bigger than the sport. It should be an obligation to show up and accept the trophy; it's a question of respect. The handshake tradition and showing respect to the trophy are part of giving back to the game that gives us so much.

It should be an obligation to show up and accept the trophy, it's a respect question.

It is similar to the hand shake.

The game gives us so much, we should give back, and showing respect to the trophy is part of it. -J.S. Giguere

Aside from McDavid and Giguere, only Ron Hextall, Reggie Leach, Glenn Hall, and Roger Crozier have won the Conn Smythe while on the losing team. While it's understandable why McDavid might not have felt like celebrating, Giguere's perspective underscores the significance of honoring the game's customs.