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The Stanley Cup: Oldest Trophy in Professional Sports in North America

A trophy every hockey player dreams about, to have his name engraved forever on the iconic trophy.

The Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup

First Stanley Cup Winners 1893 Montreal Amateur Athletic Association

First Stanley Cup Winners 1893 Montreal Amateur Athletic Association

Lord Frederick A. Stanley And the Stanley Cup

On February 4, 1889, Lord Stanley, Governor of Canada, saw his first hockey game with his family at the Winter Carnival in Canada and became enamored with hockey. It wasn't long before even his children took to the sport, and they convinced their father that a trophy should be awarded to the champions. Stanley then purchased a decorative punch bowl made in Sheffield, England, for 10 guineas, equal to $50 US dollars. The silver bowl measured 7.28" high and 11.42"wide.

Lord Stanley made a few mandates regarding the cup. First, he said the cup was at all times to be accompanied by at least one representative of the Hockey Hall of Fame, dubbed the "Keeper of the Cup." And, he added, two trustees be appointed to care for the Cup.

Lord Stanley never got to see a hockey championship game nor present the coveted Stanley Cup. He had been called back to England when his brother died, leaving Lord Stanley to succeed him as the 16th Earl of Derby. Today, the Stanley Cup is priceless in its emotional and monetary value.

In 1924, a decision was made to engrave the names of every team member, coach, and staff. It is the only professional sports trophy where the names are individually engraved for all time. As a result, a band was created to allow for the names. As new names are added and room runs out, a new band is added to the trophy. Removed bands are then placed in the vault in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

A little unusual in that the presentation of the Stanley Cup is made immediately after the winner of the playoff is determined. Then, the winning team holds it for one year AND, each player gets the trophy for one day for their own possession.

Some players used their day of possession to have their babies baptized in the bowl, and others carried it to their favorite watering spots. A new trophy is not made each year; instead, the rings are added as necessary.

Today, the Stanley Cup measures 35.25" high and weighs 34.5 PDS.

Lord Stanley, Governor of Canada

Lord Stanley, Governor of Canada

To Win The Stanley Cup

The NHL has 32 teams with a grueling schedule of 82 games to compete in the playoffs, where the winner will hoist the Stanley Cup over their head in victory. In 1957, Maurice "Rocket" Richard chipped his front teeth while drinking champagne from the bowl. And, in 1962, the Toronto Maple Leafs, while at a party, dropped the trophy in a bonfire and damaged the trophy. Repairs were made and paid for by the team.

The 2021-2022 hockey schedule begins in October 2021 ending in June 2022. Then the playoffs begin. A new NHL team, the Seattle Kraken, was added to the league in 2021.

The Most Winners of the Stanley Cup

Here are the most winners:

  • 24 Wins by the Montreal Canadians
  • 13 Wins by the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 11 Wins by the Detroit Red Wings
  • 6 Wins by the Boston Bruins
  • 6 Wins by the Chicago Blackhawks

The Last Ten Winners of The Stanley Cup

Here are the last ten winners of the Stanley Cup

  • 2020-2021 Tampa Lightening
  • 2019-2020 Tampa Lightening
  • 2018-2019 St. Louis Blues
  • 2017-1018 Washington Capitals
  • 2016-2017 Pittsburg Penguins
  • 2015-2016 Pittsburg Penguins
  • 2014-2015 Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2013-2014 L.A. Kings
  • 2012-2013 Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2011-2012 L.A. Kings


The Stanley Cup Rings

Not only is the prestigious Stanley Cup presented to the winner, but each team, along with coaches and staff, gets a ring designed by the team. The 2021 Hockey Ring won by the Tampa Lightening cost $20,000 to $25,00 each and consisted of 557 diamonds, 81 blue sapphires, and a 14 K silver gold. It is simply stunning with all its sparkle.

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2021 Tampa Hockey Ring

2021 Tampa Hockey Ring

The Isobel Trophy for Women's Hockey

A women's hockey league was formed in 2015, the NWHL for the U.S. and Canada. The league started with four teams but has grown to six leagues today. They are:

  • Boston Pride
  • Buffalo Beauts
  • Connecticut Whale
  • Metropolitan Riverters
  • Minnesota Whitecaps
  • Toronto Six

The league schedule for 2021-2022 opens November 6th, 2021, consisting of 60 games; each team plays 20 games, 10 home and 10 away. Their trophy is called the Isobela Trophy, named after Lord Stanley's daughter, Isabela.


  • 2021 Boston Pride
  • 2020 Not awarded, COVID 19
  • 2019 Minnesota Whitecaps
  • 2018 Metropolitan Riverters
  • 2017 Buffalo Beauts
  • 2016 Boston Pride
  • 2015 Boston Pride
Isobel NWHL TrophyL

Isobel NWHL TrophyL



The Hockey Hall of Fame

Where all hockey memorabilia, equipment, posters, and, everything associated with the game of hockey. The original Stanley Cup with all rings fully displayed.

The Hall is located at 30 Younge St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of Fame


fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on September 13, 2021:

Pamela, thank you for your visit. I to learn so much from researching articles. My boys played travel hockey but I knew little of the history of the Stanley Cup. Thanks for your comments.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on September 13, 2021:

Janne, thanks for your visit. Both my boys played travel hockey and it is a great sport. I even learned something about the Stanley Cup. Thanks again.

Joanne Hayle from Wiltshire, U.K. on September 13, 2021:

Excellent article, wonderfully informative about a sport that largely gets forgotten over here after school. :-)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 13, 2021:

Many years ago I attended a couple of Cleveland Baron hockey games, and it was so exciting.

I enjoyed your very good article, Fran. I had no idea the cup was so large, and I have not followed hockey in recent years. I liked reading about everything that has happened in the more recent years. I also did not know about the women't hockey leagues. This article has such interesting information.

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