9 Things You Might Not Know About the Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is not the most important cup in a hockey player’s life. That honor goes to his protective cup. However, the Stanley Cup is the most sought-after, seeing as how you can buy a protective cup at pretty any sporing goods store in the world. And next to the actual Holy Grail, or maybe some hacky joke about Dolly Parton, the Stanley Cup is probably the most famous cup of all time.
Of course, no person or thing gets that famous and important without accruing some serious mileage and genuine history, and over the years the Cup has definitely had its share of crazy adventures and mishaps. So today we’re going to share some of that history and mileage with you. When we’re through, you’ll see it’s really no wonder everybody wants to hoist is so badly.
Things You Might Not Know About the Stanley Cup
Lord Stanley of Preston was the Governor General of Canada back in 1892 when he bought what would become the Stanley Cup for around $50, donating it to the biggest amateur hockey club at the time.
It's Named for Lord Stanley of Preston
We call it "The Stanley Cup," but much like Michelle Tanner there are actually more than one. There's the original Cup bought by Lord Stanley in 1892, now on display Hockey Hall of Fame after being awarded until 1970 (that one's pictured above). Then there's the Presentation Cup, which either the Lightning or the Blackhawks will win this week. Finally there is the weakest Stanley Cup of them all, an official replica created in 1993 for Hall of Fame display when the real one is traveling or otherwise unavailable.
In Reality There Are 3 Stanley CupsSince every year sees another team (with all their included players) etched via official engraver onto the Cup, you'd need either magic or creativity to find room for them all. The NHL opted for the second option when the Stanley Cup was redesigned in the late 50s with detachable bands - once an old band has to come off to make room for a new one, it goes to Hockey Hall of Fame for display.
It Has Detachable Bands
The NHL states that only 52 people affiliated with the winning team can have their names engraved on the Cup. But in 1984 Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington illegally included his dad's name in the engraving, despite his having no official connection with the team. You can see the result above - a series of intimidating X's stamped over the elder Pocklington's name.
Basil Pocklington Was Redacted From the Cup
It figures that with a history stretching back to 1892, there wouldn't be a totally contiguous legacy of championship in the Cup. A couple seasons have "SEASON NOT PLAYED," like in 04-05 due to the players' union lockout, or the 1919 season due to a flu outbreak.
Some Seaons Haven't Had Champions
1924 was a pretty wild time, so it's no surprise that that's one of the only times the Cup has ever been lost by the team that won it. It was the 1924 Montreal Canadiens, who had to ditch the Cup from their vehicle due to a flat tire. Then, in their haste to make it to their post-victory party, they accidentally left the Stanley Cup on the side of the road. They went back later and got it back, though.
It's Gotten Lost At Least Once
Whoever wins the Stanley Cup doesn't get to keep it until the next champion takes possession. Instead, they get it for just a day, before it goes on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. That's plenty of time to guzzle some champagne out of it as per tradition, though.
The Winners Get The Stanley Cup for Just One Day
With only a day of carte blanche with the Stanley Cup, your timing has to be fairly precise in order to baptize your infant child in it. Two babies have gotten the privilege - Sylvain Lefebvre's daughter in 1996 and Tomas Holmström's in 2008.
Two Babies Have Been Baptized In It
Much like the Egyptian tomb of Imhotep, some believe that the Stanley Cup has a way of taking revenge over teams that disrespect it. As legend has it, members of the New York Rangers celebrated their 1940 Stanley Cup victory by urinating in the Cup, and thus began a record 54-year stretch of no Stanley Cup victories for the team. The curse was finally broken in 1994, pictured above.