Seven interesting facts about the Stanley Cup

Any true hockey fan knows about the Stanley Cup, the most prestigious award given to the NHL team that wins the Stanley Cup Championship. Here are some interesting facts that even the most die-hard fans might not know.

Origin of the Name - The Stanley Cup was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, who was appointed Governor General of Canada by Queen Victoria in 1888. Being fans of the sport, his family contributed to the creation of several hockey leagues in Canada and ultimately the significant introduction of the sport to Great Britain.

Original Name - The Stanley Cup was first called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup after the inscription that Lord Stanley had engraved on the side of the cup. It was given by Lord Stanley to be the prize awarded to the best amateur Canadian hockey team. Today, it is the sole prize of the NHL (National Hockey League).

Purchase of the Cup - The Cup was made by a London silversmith and was originally intended to be a decorative silver punch bowl. The bowl's purchase price was the equivalent of nearly $1,200 in today's currency.

Never Seen in Action - Even though Lord Stanley purchased the cup and designated it as the award to the best amateur hockey team, he never attended a Stanley Cup championship game or presented a winning team with the Cup. He was forced to return to England prior to the first championship game.

Writing on the Wall - Each team that wins the cup is allowed to have their teams name, year won, and players names engraved on the cup. Because of this, additional layers had to be added to give more room for inscriptions. The original bowl measured over 11 inches. Today, the Stanley Cup measures nearly 3 feet tall and weighs in at about 35lbs.

Three Versions - There are three versions of the Stanley Cup - the original, presentation, and replica. The original Cup was given to the winning championship team until 1970. After that, the original cup was replaced by a presentation cup and placed in a vault at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The presentation cup is now awarded to the winning team. A replica of the cup was also created to stand in for the presentation cup when it is not available for display.

Inscription Errors - There are dozens of typographical errors in the inscriptions on the Stanley Cup. Most notably is Peter Pocklington's inscription where his fathers name (Basil) was accidentally used. There are several x's that now cross out Basil's name.

Sources:

Legends of Hockey - Stanley Cup

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Updated Wednesday, Mar 2, 2011