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When Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds drafted Wayne Gretzky to play in the Ontario Hockey Association. He originally wanted to wear the number "9" because of what Hockey Great.

Conn Smythe Trophy

The Conn Smythe Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the Stanley Cup playoffs most valuable player. It is not required that the winner have played for the cup-winning team to win the award. Voting takes place during the 2nd period of an elimination game in the cup finals. If the series is not decided that night, the votes are discarded and the same process will take place each game until the the cup has been won.

photo of NHL trophy

First Year Awarded:

The trophy was first awarded in 1964/65 to Jean Beliveau of the Montreal Canadiens by Maple Leaf Gardens to honour their former owner and general manager Conn Smythe.

In honour of:

The trophy is in honour of the late Conn Smythe, a Hockey Hall of Fame builder and owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Additional Notes:

4 players have managed to win the Conn Smythe trophy twice in their career (Bobby Orr, Bernie Parent, Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux) but only one player can claim the honour of having won it three times. Patrick Roy has managed this feat also becoming the only player to have won it with more than one team (2 with Montreal Canadiens, 1 with the Colorado Avalanche). Since 1964, the Conn Smythe trophy has been awarded to a Canadian born player every season with 3 exceptions (Brian Leetch - 1994, Nicklas Lidstrom - 2002 and Henrik Zetterberg - 2008). The trophies design is reflective of the Maple Leaf Gardens in which the Toronto Maple Leafs played from 1931 to 1999.