Tomorrow, 16 NHL teams will go at it in best-of-seven elimination series. How much do you really know about the Stanley Cup? Here are some facts and anecdotes about the greatest prize in sports today.
- The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America.
- The Stanley Cup was first purchased for $48.67 in 1892.
- The original bowl was made of silver and was 7.28 inches in height and 11.42 inches in diameter. The current Stanley Cup is made of silver and nickel alloy. It has a height of 35.25 inches and weighs 34.5 lbs.
- It is the only trophy in professional sports that has the name of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff engraved on it.
- In 1919, the Spanish Influenza epidemic forced the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Metropolitans to cancel their series, marking the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded. The series was tied at 2–2–1, but the final game was never played because Montreal players Joe Hall, Billy Coutu, Jack McDonald, Edouard Lalonde, and Manager George Kennedy, were hospitalized with influenza. Hall died four days after the canceled game, and the series was abandoned.
- There are several misspellings and illegitimate names on the Cup. Many of them have never been corrected. Examples include: Jacques Plante's name has been misspelled five times, Bob Gainey was spelled "Gainy" when he was a player for Montreal, Toronto Maple Leafs was spelled "Leaes" in 1963, One name was later scratched out: Peter Pocklington, a former Edmonton Oilers owner, put his father's name, Basil, on the Stanley Cup in 1984; today, there is a series of "X's" over Basil's name.
- No one name appears on the Stanley Cup more than Jean Beliveau. He appears 17 times: 10 as a player and seven as management. Henri Richard has won the most Stanley Cups as a player, with 11.
- Thirteen women have had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup.
- There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl, the authenticated Cup, and the replica at the Hall of Fame. The original bowl purchased by Lord Stanley is currently displayed at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario
- Players weren’t given a full day with the Cup until 1993.
- In 1907, the victorious Montreal Wanderers gathered for a team photo with the cup at a photographer’s house. They left the Cup behind and the photographer’s mother turned it into a flower pot. It wasn’t claimed for several months.
- Several members of the 1924 Canadiens team left it by the roadside after repairing a flat tire en route to celebrate their win at owner Leo Dandurand's home. The Cup was recovered exactly where they left it on the snow bank.
- In 1979 Guy Lafleur borrowed it for the weekend without telling anyone to show his friends back home in Thurso, Quebec where he set it out on his front lawn for all his neighbors to see.
- Martin Brodeur drove around Montreal when New Jersey won the Cup 1995 with the Cup in the passenger seat—wearing a seat belt
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