Here we highlight some fun and interesting facts about the NHL's prize possession and the most coveted trophy in sports.
There are actually three cups
In 1963, NHL president Clarence Campbell believed that the original Cup had become too brittle to give to championship teams, so the “Presentation Cup” was created and is the well-known trophy awarded today. The final Cup is a replica of the Presentation Cup, and stays permanently at the Hall of Fame when the Presentation Cup isn’t available.
APGene J. Puskar
The NHL has official engravers to put each name on the cup
In its 96-year history, there have only been four official engravers sanctioned by the NHL. The first was the 1948 Stanley Cup designer Carl Poul Peterson, a Danish engraver who worked with his sons Arno, Ole, and John Paule in his engraving shop until his death in 1977. The current engraver is Louise St. Jacques (creator of the replica of the Presentation Cup).
Getty ImagesDenis Brodeur
The cup is crowded
There are 2,267 names engraved on the Cup.
Getty ImagesBruce Bennett
The rings are detachable
Since 1958, five bands of championship names are engraved around the base of the Cup. When the rings become full, the oldest band is removed and preserved in Lord Stanley’s Vault at the Hockey Hall of Fame. A blank replacement band is then put in its place to be filled with the names of the next champions.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
The cup has a chaperone
The Cup is always accompanied by at least one representative of the Hockey Hall of Fame, dubbed the “Keeper of the Cup.” The current Keeper, Philip Pritchard, has held the position since 1991 and even maintains a Twitter account to update followers on where the Cup goes from day to day. @keeperofthecup
The cup belongs to the players...for a day
The NHL allots each championship team one hundred off-season days with the Cup (accompanied by the Keeper, of course) to do with it as they wish. It was the 1994-95 New Jersey Devils who formalized the tradition of giving each player one personal day with the Cup during the off-season. In fact, since the ‘03 season, the Hall of Fame has been keeping journals of the Cup’s travels with each winning team. Though some players use their day with the trophy for peaceful reflection, others have gone a bit crazy with Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Stanley Cup has gone swimming a few times
Following their 1991 victory over the Minnesota North Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux hosted the team at his house. When Lemieux wasn’t looking, Penguins winger Phil Bourque decided he wanted to see if the Cup could float—and threw the trophy into the captain’s swimming pool. It didn’t float, and immediately sank to the bottom (thankfully, it was recovered unharmed). Two years later the Cup also found the bottom of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy’s pool.
Getty ImagesB Bennett
Two babies have been baptized in the cup
After the Colorado Avalanche won the 1995-96 championship, defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre used his personal day with the Cup to have his daughter christened in the top bowl. Eleven years later, after the Detroit Red Wings won in 2007-08, Swedish left-winger Tomas Holmström brought the silverware back to his native country so that his cousin could baptize his 7-week-old daughter in the trophy.
NHLI via Getty ImagesJuan Ocampo
The cup has been corrupted
Between 1984 and 1990, the Oilers won five Stanley Cups and were led by two hockey greats, Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier (above). Legend has it that after their 1986-87 win, Messier brought the Cup to an Edmonton strip club called the Forum Inn and set the trophy on the main stage. One of the ladies dancing at the club then reportedly incorporated the Cup into her risqué routine. When he won the Cup again in 1994 with the New York Rangers, Messier and his teammates brought the trophy to another strip club—Scores in Manhattan