It won’t be long now and we will see another NHL team stand alone and be crowned the best in their sport.
That winning team will receive the oldest championship trophy competed for by professional athletes.
They will receive the Stanley Cup.
As hockey fans, Jeff and I have watched many teams raise that cup. My earliest memory was in 1975 when I witnessed Bobby Clarke and the Philadelphia Flyers skate around the ice with the famous trophy. Of course the best memory of all was in 1989 when our home town Calgary Flames drank champaign from the cup.
Over the years the trophy has been won a combined 94 times by 17 active NHL teams and five defunct teams. There have been only two years when the Stanley Cup was not presented to a winner. In 1919 because of a Spanish flu epidemic and in 2005 because of the NHL lockout.
Today our list is all about this famous trophy.
Here are 7 Facts you may not have known about the Stanley Cup
1. Was first presented in 1893. No other trophy in professional sports come close.
2. Each winning player and team management member gets to take the Cup home for a day to share with family and friend. As a result the cup has logged over 400,000 miles in the last five years alone and has provided many a story to tell. Here are a couple of my favorite.
* After a night of celebrating their Stanley Cup victory in 1905, members of the Ottawa Silver Seven felt it necessary to see if one could kick the Cup into Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. One of them lined it up and gave it a boot, drop-kick style. In a true test of his accuracy and distance, the Cup landed on target, in the canal. That established, the boys went on their merry way, and the Cup stayed in the Canal until the next day when sober heads prevailed and Lord Stanley’s mug was rescued. It was then placed in the capable hands of Harry Smith, a Silver Seven member.
* In 1924, Montreal Canadiens players on their way to a victory party stored the trophy in the trunk of their car. On their way to the festivities, the vehicle had a flat. The players removed the Cup to get at the spare, changed the tire and drove off leaving the Stanley Cup sitting on a snow bank. When it came time to drink champagne from the Cup they realized they didn’t have it with them. They drove back to where they changed the tire and thankfully the Cup was still there.
* In 1996, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre christened his child in the bowl of the Stanley Cup after his championship season.
3. Is the only trophy in professional sports that has the names of winning players, coaches, management and club staff engraved on the silver chalice
* To have one’s name engraved on the Stanley Cup certain requirements must be met. A player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in 1994 a stipulation was added to allow a team to petition the Commissioner for permission to have players’ names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play.
4. The Stanley Cup has been won a record 24 times by the Montreal Canadiens and a record 11 times by Henri Richard of Montreal.
5. The Cup has appeared on talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Meet the Press with Tim Russert, Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
6. The Stanley Cup was purchased for 10 guineas ($48.67 at the time) in 1892. It weighs 35 pounds and stands just under three feet in height.
7. The Stanley Cup has climbed Mt. Elbert in Colorado – 14,433 feet.
What to know more about the Stanley Cup? Visit NHL.com.