15 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About the Stanley Cup
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15 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About the Stanley Cup

After travelling around the world for 125 years, you collect a few interesting experiences. The Stanley Cup is one of the longest active championship trophies in the world of pro sports. Additionally, hockey players tend to have extremely rowdy celebrations after grinding for years to win the cup. As a result, the Stanley Cup has been a part of quite a few unexpected events and adventures over the years.

15 Facts You Didn't Know About the Stanley Cup

1. Players Didn’t Care Much For the Cup At First

It took a while before players started to show reverence towards the Stanley Cup. The Ottawa Senators were one of the first powerhouses in pro hockey, and when they won the cup in 1905, they literally kicked the trophy into the Rideau Canal.

If you’re imagining players kicking the current version of the trophy around, you should remember that the cup was much smaller at the turn of the 20th century. When players emerged trashed from one of their celebratory banquets, they decided to play a drunken game that involved accurately kicking the cup across the canal.

Amazingly, the players completely forgot about the cup, leaving it in the swim overnight. It would be retrieved the next day in one of the first known examples of a Stanley Cup hangover.

Ottawa Senators Stanley Cup

2. Stanley Cup Grew From a Tiny Bowl to a Massive Mug

The greatest trophy in sports grew from a very kickable cup into a massive mug over the past 125-plus years. A tradition of adding all the names of the winner onto the cup required extra rings to be attached to fit all the players and members of the winning team throughout the NHL playoffs.

After a few decades, the Stanley Cup started to grow into the behemoth it is today. In fact, Lord Stanley’s Mug has undergone so many changes that it’s been reborn multiple times. This is rare among major sports championship trophies, which usually don’t survive these many changes.

3. Stanley Cup a Part of Religious Tradition

One of the unique traditions of the Stanley Cup would be the fact that players and key personnel get to enjoy their own day with the cup. This way, every player can celebrate with their team, and then in their own way with people who are important to them.

For some Stanley Cup champions, their day with the cup includes sacred religious rituals. After winning with the Red Wings in 2007-2008, Tomas Holmstrom let his cousin baptize his infant daughter in the mug. However, Sylvain Lefebvre was the first to baptize a child at the top of the mug when baptized his daughter in the bowl after winning the 1995-96 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

4. All Hail the Keepers of the Cup

Philip Pritchard has been the keeper of the Stanley Cup since 1991, a position necessitated by the ridiculous liberties that players have taken with the trophy. He ensures that the cup is taken care of and maintained in optimal condition.

In addition to the keeper of the cup, a pair of trustees exercise the power of the cup, determining where it goes and who interacts with it. Currently, Scotty Morrison and Brian O’Neill function as these trustees, preventing the iconic trophy from falling into disrepair and disrespect.

5. Names Have Been Removed from the Stanley Cup

Amusingly, some people try to sneak names onto the cup that shouldn’t be present. One of the more interesting examples includes Peter Pocklington and the Edmonton Oilers. When the list of names was submitted for the 1983-84 winning team, he slipped the name of his father – Basil – into the group.

He wasn’t actually involved with the team in any way, shape or form. When the league found out, they asked the engraver to remove his name. As such, when you look at the trophy today, you’ll see a series of capital X letters stamped over Basil’s name.

6. Stealing the Cup is Tougher Than it Looks

One day a fan casually walked into a room containing the Stanley Cup and lifted the mug from its perch – located in the middle of Chicago Stadium. He wasn’t in a rush, so a police officer easily spotted and questioned the fan.

The fan wasn’t attempting to steal the cup for personal gain. He was upset that Chicago won the cup, and firmly believed that the trophy belonged in Montreal, despite the fact that the Windy City earned the championship. 

7. The Stanley Cup Doesn’t Float Well

Players seem to enjoy testing the buoyancy of the Stanley Cup more often than one would expect. In addition to the Senators plunging the award into the Rideau well over a century ago, players have attempted to swim with the silverware multiple times.

In 1991, at Mario Lemieux’s house, Phil Bourque tossed the cup into Super Mario’s pool, where it quickly sunk. Two years later, Patrick Roy plunged the trophy into his own pool. Of course, Dominik Hasek would be the next to sink the cup, but the Keeper of the Cup had watched his charge sink one too many times, so he chided the hall of fame goalie into drying it out.

Mario Lemiuex Stanley Cup

8. The Stanley Cup Was Used As A Flower Pot

A couple of years after the 1905 Senators forgot the cup in the Rideau, the Montreal Wanderers forgot the award at a photographer’s home. The mother was charmed by the trophy and decided to plant a flower in the cup. Eventually, the team remembered and retrieved Stanley’s mug. No word on what the photog’s mother decided to plant in the trophy.

9. Rings Removed Over Time

At the current moment, teams that have won the cup between 1928-1954 are no longer on the trophy. In order to preserve the history of the cup without growing it into an overwhelming beast, rings are removed and stored at the hockey hall of fame, with a brand new band added to the trophy for the next generation of champions. As such, the cup is a constantly changing award. 

10. NHL Technically Doesn’t Own the Stanley Cup

The ownership of the Stanley Cup is more complicated than one would expect. Nearly all sports leagues have full ownership of their major trophies, but the ownership of Lord Stanley’s mug has been passed down the generations, with the current decision-makers being the pair of trustees. As such, there are disputes as to who actually owns the copyright of the cup, and who can use its likeness.

11. Three Stanley Cups Exist

The first version of the Stanley Cup was actually referred to as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. The second version included the “Presentation Cup”, while the “Permanent Cup” version of the award was built with the intended spelling of the award. One could argue that you could build another cup or two with the rings removed from the earlier versions of the award.

12. What’s the Stanley Cup Made Of?

The first construction of the initial version of the Stanley Cup was forged in pure silver and consisted of a smaller design that wasn’t as massive as it is today. The modern version of the cup is made out of a silver and nickel alloy is 35.25 inches tall and weighs slightly less than 35 pounds. The original cup was only 7.28 inches tall, just over a fifth of the height. A copy of the original sits atop the modern version.

Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup

13. Ural Mountain Road Trip With Pavel Datsyuk

Pavel Datsyuk was one of the greatest magicians with the puck that hockey has ever witnessed. However, his ability to completely dominate the disk includes his toughness and attention to physical conditioning. Not satisfied with taking it easy after a gruelling NHL season that included a full Stanley Cup playoff run, Pavel decided to take his trophy up a Siberian mountain. Not everyone’s ideal in terms of a celebration, but an impressive way to spend a day with the cup nonetheless.

14. The Curse of the Bonfire

For some reason, the original six era of the league included a pair of winners who decided to go ahead and set the Stanley Cup on fire.

The first time took place in 1940 when the New York Rangers celebrated their win with a bonfire that damaged the cup after they had difficulty putting the fire out. The Rangers wouldn’t win another cup until 1994.

The Toronto Maple Leafs could have gotten the hint when the Rangers didn’t win for more than two decades. However, when the team won in 1962, the Leafs set fire to the cup during a bonfire and needed to pay to fix the trophy. The dynasty would be their last – after winning four cups during the 1960s, the Leafs haven’t made a Stanley Cup Finals since 1967, one of the worst streaks of futility in the world of sports.

15. The Biggest Longshots to Win the Stanley Cup 

The 2012 Los Angeles Kings barely squeaked into the playoffs, entering the fray as the eighth seed in the west. They would go on to completely dominate, winning 16 out of 20 games en route to becoming the lowest seed to win the cup at 20-to-1 odds.

How to bet on the Stanley Cup

After all these fun facts you might be wondering how to bet on the Stanley Cup. CanadaSportsBetting offers some great betting resources such as the NHL Power Rankings and the NHL Free Picks.

We also go through the recommended sportsbooks which are available in Canada. Choose the one that suits you from the list below.