Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 4/30/13
While the Detroit Red Wings were successfully completing their mad dash towards their 22nd consecutive playoff appearance, something became lost in the hoopla. This will be Detroits last run for the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl. The overly ornate trophy that is awarded to the Western Conference playoff champion and no other Western Conference team has won old Clarence more than the Red Wings -- sort of. Actually, the trophy has been around since the 1967-68 season and has been awarded to the West Division regular season champion (1967-74), the Campbell Conference regular season champion (1974-81), the Campbell Conference playoff champion (1981-93) and the Western Conference playoff champion from 1993 to this present day. So, Edmonton has won old Clarence seven times, but since 1993, the Wings' six wins have far out distanced any of their conference rivals. Several teams are tied for the second most Campbell Bowls at two apiece. This current quest for old Clarence is important for two reasons. One: If you really believe that the Wings are headed to the Eastern Conference next season -- the Phoenix Coyotes situation has created a doubt in my mind -- this will be Detroits swan song in the Western Conference playoffs. And what better way to stick it to your soon-to-be former rivals than winning the conference that you have dominated since it was created back in 1993? Were outta here and were taking old Clarence for the seventh time! It will take years before any Western Conference team surpasses or even matches Detroits number of old Clarence victories. Two: This is a personal reason -- I miss the Red Wings annual playoff slogan. Granted, coming up with a new slogan each and every year is difficult. How many ways can you battle cry that you want the Stanley Cup? But, this year is unique. At the conclusion of this playoff run it is over. An outstanding era of Red Wing hockey will be for the NHL history books. Next season will usher in a new conference and several young faces. They will still be the Red Wings, but it will be different. Thats why I have a rallying cry for this final Western Conference playoff run: Capture Clarence, then the Cup! Its not the greatest, Ill admit, but it does say it all.
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