I bet many of you are asking yourself “what the heck is the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup?” Well we all know it as the Stanley Cup, but that happened over time.
Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston, purchased the trophy for $50. Yup, 50 bucks. Lord Stanley was the Governor General of Canada at the time. It was presented to the top amateur ice hockey team as the championship award. In 1910 the National Hockey Association was now the league awarding the “Stanley Cup” to the winning club. Did you know the first team to be awarded the cup was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893? Well guess who won in 1993… The Montreal Canadiens! In fact, this is the last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup. They also happen to be the franchise with the most championships, a record 24 Stanley Cups.
The Stanley Cup is the only professional sports trophy which has the names of the winner engraved on it. The Montreal Wanderers were the first team to engrave its roster on the trophy, back in 1906-07. However, it didn’t start to become a tradition until 1924. Jacques Plante won the Stanley Cup five consecutive years, and his name is misspelled all 5 times!
In 1926, only the National Hockey League (NHL) competed for the Stanley Cup. There have been several repeat champions, some have been described as “dynasties”. The longest streak belongs to the Montreal Canadiens, who won it between 1956 to 1960. The current longest Stanley Cup drought is 46 years, which belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Scotty Bowan is the coach with the most cups, a total of 9 times. Marguerite Norris, President of the Detroit Red Wings, was the first woman engraved on the cup in 1954.
It is said the Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy to have professional athletes in North America compete for it. Over the years it has changed shape, been kicked into the Rideau Canal, used as a flower pot and was stolen. It’s still a beauty though.