Conference winners.

Well as the Ducks try to close out the series tonight, I couldn't help but think of how awkward the conference championship trophy is. I mean it is a pretty worthy accomplishment, and something worth celebrating. On the other hand it's obviously not what the players are working for. They could care less about the conference cup, and really only care about the Stanley Cup.

So how can the NHL make it seem like their players are, you know, happy to actually win. I mean going to the finals is a big deal. So since other hockey columnists are busy supporting a bunch of ridiculous on-ice changes, let's havse some fun thinking of some stuff to do for the conference champion to get it to be something meaningful.

First stop calling it the conference championship. Hell stop calling it a conference. That lame corporate speak inspires no one. At least the NHL didn't change the name of the Stanley Cup to the NHL Championship Trophy, but come on.. inspire us. It used to be the Campbell Conference and Prince of Wales Conference... So how about the "Campbell confederation" and the "Prince of Wales Coalition" or something to that affect. Much more romantic and inspiring.

Next stop calling them championships. They aren't champions. They have earned the right to represent their confederation/coalition in the championship. So let's stop calling them conference champions, and take a page out of baseball and call them pennant winners. This holds even more true since the teams barely play each the other confederation/coalition. The Campbell Pennant is awarded to the Ducks. Last time I checked the Giants didn't win the National League Championship, "The Giants win the Pennant!!, the Giants win the Pennant!!".

Let's not award a trophy either. First of all trophies are for champions, they haven't been crowned champions yet. Let's actually award a pennant, not just to the confederation pennant winner, but we'll give the pennant to every team in the same confederation/coalition and make them hang it in their rafters for the following season. (okay confederation and coalition are strarting to sound stupid already.. but we need something other than conference.)

Let's make it a noteworthy accomplishment instead of a second fiddle to the Stanley Cup. It will always be a second fiddle, but hell if players are going to completely ignore the trophy, let's at least make them care about it, just a little.

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