Why Sidney Crosby touched Prince of Wales Trophy despite jinx

PITTSBURGH – You don’t touch the trophy.

The San Jose Sharks didn’t, avoiding the Clarence Campbell Bowl like it was radioactive after winning the Western Conference title on Wednesday night.

But after the Pittsburgh Penguins outlasted the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final 24 hours later, there was captain Sidney Crosby, holding the Prince of Wales Trophy during a photo op with Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin.

Ummmm … jinx much?

But there was a reason behind Crosby’s flouting of hockey hexes – it’s tradition for the Penguins.

In 1991, captain Mario Lemieux not only touched the Wales Trophy but actually skated around in celebration with it. The Penguins would win their first Stanley Cup in team history in the following round against the Minnesota North Stars.

In 2009, Crosby decided to pick up the Wales Trophy. Partially because of Mario’s precedent, but also because the Penguins lost in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final to the Detroit Red Wings after he didn’t touch the conference hardware.

So with that established, Crosby touched it again. “You see teams that don't touch it, but it's gone well when we've touched it here. So we went with that,” he said.

Mystery solved.

Hey, it’s not like Crosby is superstitious or anything. It’s not like he has a contract with an $8.7 million cap hit because he was born on 8/7/87. Or wears the same hat throughout the season for interviews. Or did this freaky weirdo thing before meeting the media after Game 7:

Hey, he’s playing for the Stanley Cup again. Whatever works.