The Stanley Cup is without a doubt one of the biggest Sports League Cups in the world (from a fan’s perspective). It is also the single most important cup of the NHL and it holds on it, more relevance than any league championship title. So one can only imagine what it must feel like to have your name on the Stanley Cup.
Unlike other trophies in sports, the Stanley Cup immortalizes the name of its winners by engraving them onto the cup. And this has been the tradition for decades.
However, that poses the question, “How Can I Get My Name on The Stanley Cup?” (hint: you don’t have to be a hockey player to have your name on the Stanley Cup). All of that is in this article as we will be looking at the History, facts, rules and ways to get your name with hockey legends.
History of the Stanley Cup
The history of the Stanley cup dates back to 1888 when Lord Stanley of Priston became the Governor General of Canada under the era of Queen Victoria. This was during a period when Canada was under the British Era.
Lord Stanley witnessed the game for the first time during the winter carnival held in Montreal in 1889. He was taken aback by the Montreal Victorias and Montreal Hockey Team’s skilful and tactical movement. He and his family immediately gained interest in the sport with his two sons creating the Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels.
Later on, one of his sons became a key person in the foundation of the Ontario Hockey Association.
Who Invented The Stanley Cup?
Over the years, Arthur and Algernon (the children of Lord Stanley), convinced their father to create a trophy which will be “an outward and visible sign of the hockey championship”. Eventually, Lord Stanley would buy a silver Rose Bowl, engraving the words “Dominion Hockey Championship Cup” at one end, and “ From Stanley of Priston” at the other end.
The cup was given to the top amateur hockey team in Canada and Lord Stanley made some regulations. Among the regulations was the rule that the cup will be a challenge cup and will not permanently be the possession of one team.
A regulation that led to the engraving of names stated that each team may have the year and name of its club engraved into the bowl.
How The Stanley Cup Got Its Name
Although known as the Dominion Hockey League Cup, the Ottawa Journal in 1893 during a publication, used the phrase “Stanley Cup”. Ever since the cup became the Stanley Cup. The cup in recent times has other names, such as The Holy Grail, The Cup, Lord Stanley’s Cup and even Lord Stanley Mug.
Evolution of the Stanley Cup
The cup evolved over the last decade. In the world of hockey today, the cup is given to the winner of the NHL season after a battle between respective NHL teams. However, this was quite different during the challenge era.
From 1983-1914, the cup was more like a boxing championship as respective teams requested a match to play for the trophy. Since they were multiple leagues back then, you could also win the trophy if you win your league tournament when the trophy was in the possession of a team in your league.
This system led to multiple teams winning the cup in a year. An example is when the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Wanderers won the title in 1910.
How many Stanley Cups Are There?
There are three Stanley Cups. They are:
- The Dominion Hockey League Cup
The Dominion Cup is the original and first Stanley cup, presented by Lord Stanley in 1892.
- Presentation Cup
The Presentation Cup is the famous trophy presented to the winner of each NHL season. It is a replacement for the original cup which the NHL president, Clarence Campbell, believed had become fragile and thin.
- Hall of Fame Cup
The Hall of Fame Cup is a replica of the presentation cup. Made in 1983, the cup is on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever the presentation cup is not available.
A key difference between the Hall of Fame Cup and the Presentation Cup is that the Presentation cup has a seal of the Hall of Fame on the bottom. Also, the original cup has some names that were “X” out. Meanwhile, the replica has these mistakes corrected during engraving.
Rules of The Stanley Cup
Some rules and regulations govern how the trophy should be awarded. These regulations were first put in place by Lord Stanley and added upon by the Cup trustees. Check out more on the rules and regulations of the Stanley Cup.
When it comes to the max number of names allowed by a team in the cup, the NHL put a regulation for a maximum of 52 names. The regulation began in 1998 after the Detroit Red Wings submitted a total of 55 names to be on the cup.
Although it is considered excessive by the NHL, they allowed it and made rules for players and non-players that can be in the cup.
How Do You Qualify To Get Your Name on The Stanley Cup?
The requirement to be on the Stanley cup of three types: Players, Goaltenders and Non-players.
NHL Players Requirement
When I talk about players, I am talking about defensemen, centres, wingers and backup players.
- Players must play actively for half of the NHL season. This means the player must play 41 games on the ice since the beginning of that NHL season.
- Or, the player must play at least one game in the Cup finals
- The player must be on his team’s roster when the team wins the Cup
NHL Goaltender Requirement
- Goaltenders must play actively for half of the NHL season. The rule also applies to the backup goaltender who must dress for his role for half of the season (41 games).
- The Goaltender must play at least one game in the Cup finals. In the case of a backup goaltender, he must dress for at least one game in the Stanley cup finals.
- The Goaltender and backup must be on the team’s roster when the team wins the Cup
NHL Non-player Requirement
Non-players must play an active role in the team in other to be eligible to have their names engraved. Positions like that of the club owner, coach, manager, director, trainer, scouts, massage therapists and other relevant are allowed on the cup.
There is an exception for the people who are not eligible to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup. The exceptions are if the team makes a petition to the NHL president to seek reconsideration of certain players who were not able to meet up with the requirement.
However, the reason for the petition must be genuine as the player under consideration must have fallen short of the requirement due to “extenuating circumstances”. Exceptions have occurred in the past with a recent one being with the Philadephia Penguins.
In 2016, Pascal Dupuis, a key player for the Penguins had a mandatory retirement due to health issues after playing 18 games in that season. The Penguins eventually went on to win the cup that year. A petition to the NHL to include his name on the cup even though he fell short of the requirement was successful and his name was on the trophy.
Facts on The Stanley Cup
Here are some quick facts about the Stanley Cup you might not have known.
How Many Rings Are There on The Stanley Cup?
The Stanley cup has 5 barrel rings. Each barrel can contain as many as 13 teams, in order words, each ring can hold the cup winners for 13 years.
What Happens When The Rings Are Full of Names?
Each of the rings of the Stanley cup is moveable. Once the base ring(fifth ring) is full, the topmost ring(first ring) is removed. The previous base ring becomes the fourth ring while a new ring is added, and this becomes the new fifth ring.
All rings removed from the Cup stay in the Hockey Hall of Fame where they will remain immortalized for generations.
Perks of Winning The Stanley Cup
Winning any award has its perk, and the Stanley Cup is no exception. Some of the perks teams who win the Cup have include:
- Engraving of Name on The Stanley Cup
NHL players have their names immortalized in history as their names on the cup stay for generations.
- Customized Stanley Cup Rings
Each player and some other members of the winning team will have a customized Stanley Cup ring. These rings are never the same for two teams as the teams are responsible for designing and producing their ring each time they win.
The ring is an exquisite thing of beauty usually worth a lot of money.
- Personal Time With The Cup
The ability to have the legendary Stanley cup all to yourself is the peak of the perk that comes with the award. The Winning team get to keep the Cup throughout the summer until they return it at the start of the next season.
During this season the players and some non-playing staffs like the coach have unrestricted access to the cup to take it wherever they want. It has also been a tradition for players to do the craziest things with the cup such as eating and drinking from it.
What is on the Bowl of The Stanley Cup?
On the inside of the Bowl of the Stanley Cup is two teams and their players, as well as the name of a player whose name whose team we do not know.
The first team engraved is the Montreal Wanderers along with twenty players from the team. Vancouver Millionaires of the 1914-1915 season is the second team, along with 9 players.
Finally, the last name on the inside of the bowl is a player who goes by the name of H. Broadbent. His name appears at the back of the bowl without any team and the year he won the cup.
Note that the NHL does not own the Stanley Cup but partners with the Cup trustees. The Cup trustees are responsible for the Stanley Cup as well as its regulations.
Now, you know the history, facts and how to get your name on the cup. This brings us to the end of our journey on the cup. It has been a splendid journey with a lot of information. Thank you for reading.