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Panthers fans boo as Oilers’ Connor McDavid wins Conn Smythe

Their team may have just won the Stanley Cup, but Panthers fans were booing them a lot.

Florida fans booed loudly on Monday night when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Oilers’ Connor McDavid, rather than Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, as the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the postseason MVP, after the Panthers’ 2-1 win in Game 7.

According to ESPN, Panthers fans began chanting “Bobby” but McDavid did not show up for the presentation because he had already headed to the locker room.

“Yeah, I guess it’s an honor, obviously, having your name on the trophy, but … yeah,” McDavid said after becoming just the sixth player to win the honor on a losing team. From ESPN.

Booing Bettman is a familiar and accepted development in hockey circles, and there was no hope he would escape the boos when the MVP award was presented to the Oilers on Monday.

“The Conn Smythe Trophy winner is the most valuable player throughout the entire playoffs,” Bettman began, as boos began to ring out around Amerant Bank Arena.

Frustration grew when Bettman made it clear Bobrovsky had been ignored.

Gary Bettman and the Conn Smythe Trophy. AP
Conn Smythe Trophy. @Sportsnet/X

“The player who receives the Conn Smythe Trophy this year is the player who is the playoff leading scorer and breaks Wayne Gretzky’s playoff assist record,” Bettman said before the boos intensified. “And the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy is Connor McDavid.”

Ironically, TV cameras immediately turned their flashes on Bobrovsky, who praised the decision.

McDavid’s parents were also shown congratulating him, likely the only people in the stands happy about the decision.

Despite fans booing, McDavid certainly deserved the honor: He was just the second non-goaltender to win the honor while playing for a losing team, according to ESPN, and the first since Flyers’ Reggie Leach did it in 1976.

The McDavid family attended Monday’s game. @Sportsnet/X

McDavid’s 42 points 4th in NHL history He recorded 34 assists in a single postseason game, breaking the record set by Wayne Gretzky in 1988.

After losing the first three games of the Stanley Cup Finals, McDavid scored four straight points to lead his team to victory as the Oilers stormed back.

However, McDavid failed to score in Games 6 and 7.

“I’m proud of how we fought all year. We were quickly put at a disadvantage. We were uphill for months and months,” McDavid told ESPN.[This] It just… sucks.”

Connor McDavid and the Oilers lost. Getty Images

Bobrovsky was deserving of the award, making 23 saves in Game 7 to lead the Panthers to the win, including a stellar performance under relentless pressure in the third period with Florida holding a one-point lead.

“He deserves it,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov told Sportsnet. Transcribed by Dailyhive.com“There were many deserving players, but Bobby was especially outstanding.”