Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lord Stanley's Cup

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks begin battling tonight to see who will take home the most famous trophy in team sports, The Stanley Cup. Besides being a Bruins fan, I have a small wager on the outcome.

You may recall that I had a bet in the previous series versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. That was with Michelle. She made good on the bet HERE. The terms were simple: Loser had to post the hated logo of the other team and then say a few good words about the city of the winner; something like that. The terms were loosely-constructed. In any case, I enjoyed winning and I enjoyed Michelle's payoff.

The current wager is with Chuck, a Chicago fan. The terms are as loose. And I expect the payoff will be fun, no matter which of us (him) loses.

(As soon as I lose my humility and start predicting I will win, I will lose. It always happens. Therefore, I take back the part about him losing and I predict the Blackhawks will annihilate the Bruins by a combined score of 23 - 0 in a four-game sweep.)

The quest for The Cup is a long and storied one. I'm not going to recount every story connected with it, but I'll crib a few notes from other places, such as Wikipedia and the National Hockey League website, that might make your viewing of the games more enjoyable even if you have no particular rooting interest (aside from rooting for me to win the bet, of course, since you're reading my blog and I have to assume you aren't doing so because you hate me.)

Here are a few fun facts about The Stanley Cup.

Lord Stanley
Lord Stanley was appointed by Queen Victoria as Governor General of Canada in 1888. Soon thereafter, he became a huge fan of ice hockey. His sons persuaded him to donate a trophy for the championship of the sport. Stanley purchased a punch bowl for 10 and 1/2 pounds ($48.67 in US funds, equivalent to about $1,250 today.) The bowl was made of silver and was a bit bigger than 7 inches high.

Since that time, the original cup has grown to about 35 pounds of silver and nickel.

Stanley himself never saw a Stanley Cup championship game! He was forced to return to England in July of 1893, due to the death of his elder brother, the 15th Earl of Derby. Lord Stanley succeeded him as the 16th Earl, and he never did see the cup awarded.

32 different teams have won The Cup. Only 18 of those teams are still in existence. The Montreal Canadiens have won it more often than any other team - 24 times. As of this writing, they are the last Canadian-based team to have won it. The first American-based team to win The Cup were the Seattle Metropolitans (no longer in existence) who took it in 1917.

In 1919, Seattle and Montreal played to the only Stanley Cup tie. Due to a severe Spanish Flu epidemic, the deciding game of their series was never played. They remain deadlocked at 2 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie, and no resolution is expected in the near future.

The only other time The Cup wasn't awarded was in 2005, due to a season not being played at all that year.

The NHL does not actually own the trophy. They use it by agreement with the two appointed Trustees of the Cup, who each serve (by tradition) until death. When one dies, the remaining Trustee names a successor.

The Stanley Cup is the only one of the four trophies awarded to the champion of the major North American sports that is singular. By that, I mean it is not copied and given to that year's winner. There is only the one, and the winner keeps it only until another team gains victory. It has the names of all winning players, coaches, and management engraved on it.

(There have been numerous mistakes and oddities in this regard. Some are fairly inexplicable. For instance, in 1972, the Boston Bruins team name appears as "Bqstqn". In 1963, some grammarians apparently were unable to decide if it should be Toronto "Maple LEAFS" or "Maple LEAVES", so they compromised and spelled it "Leaes")

Henri Richard, of the Montreal Canadiens, has his name on The Cup more times than anyone else as a player - 11 times.

Overall, Jean Beliveau of the Canadiens has his name appear more times, due his career as both a player and an executive - 17 times. Red Kelly, of the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, appears 8 times, the most of any non-Montreal player or executive. Twelve women have their names on The Stanley Cup. The first was Marguerite Norris, who won The Cup as President of the Red Wings in 1954 and 1955.

As for the combatants this year, it will be Boston's 19th trip to the finals and Chicago's 12th, which rank 4th and 5th overall respectively. Boston has won 6 Cups, Chicago has won 4, and this will be the first time in history they have met in the finals.

List of Stanley Cup champions

One final note : It's going to be fun. It always is.

Soon, with more better stuff.


Jenny Woolf said...

Oh to be rich enough to donate a big silver cup!

Buck said...

I'm rooting for yer Broons, but ya knew that. But next year? You shall become anathema.

Michelle H. said...

I do hope your Bruins win, if only to keep the Cup on the East Coast. Of course, it would be interesting to see what you wrote in adulation for the Blackhawks if they win. Oh, the indecision...

joeh said... that the game with the big stones and the long-handled whisk brooms?

Craig said...

Hmmmmm. . . Am I the only one who thinks that Lord Stanley bears more than a passing resemblance to our beloved Suldog?

Coincidence? Perhaps not. . .

Hilary said...

Ha! Craig is right.. I see it, too. :)

I enjoyed the trivia. Strange little "typos" on that cup.

In the late 60s, when I was in my early teens, my uncle had a menswear company for which Jean Beliveau did some off season work.. spokesperson/model/promoter. When my aunt passed away, Beliveau was kind enough to spend an evening at their home (along with me and much of the family) to be with my uncle. He was a very kind, soft-spoken gentleman. I just thought I'd throw in a bit of trivia of my own.

Jackie said...

Craig....I would have never noticed, but I scrolled back up and looked. Yep. Lord Sully.
Jim...I learned what a singular trophy is. I like the idea of keeping the prize (trophy) until someone else earns it and takes it away. I am rooting against Chicago for pretty much everything; I hope you don't have to post their logo on your blog.

i beati said...

not the beginning I wanted hope for Heat tonight

Suldog said...

Losing in Triple OT is like spending all night buying drinks for a girl and then she goes home with the other guy...

Daryl said...

okay . hockey is one sport i truly know nothing about aside from its 'performed' on ice skates

Babs said...

very interesting bit of trivia..thanks for sharing... go team!

Chris said...

Amazing game last night, sorry the B's lost (I'm kinda pulling for them, partly because I was a Neely fan, and also because Patrick Kane is a punk-ass). I actually got my picture taken with the Cup last year when it was making the rounds in LA. It's a lot bigger than you think it is (that's what SHE said).

Go Bruins!

messymimi said...

While it's not "The Cup," Louisiana and Arkansas have "The Boot," a singular trophy shaped like the two states, for which the football teams of their respective state universities compete each year. The winner owns "The Boot" unless the other team wins the next year. That's a fun way to do it.

Yes, i'll pull for Boston, for you and for a remembered fondness for the area when we took a trip up there many years ago.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I recently heard that they became concerned with how big and heavy the cup was getting (probably due to Michael Ryder dropping the thing during his day with it back in 2011...). Apparently they're going to start removing top layer rings and archiving them in the Hall of Fame so the newly added rings for new names won't be so burdensome. Which is good because I think the thing is actually taller than Brad Marchand ;-)

Suldog said...


Man, I love Marchand. He gets so much notice for being a "pest" that some folks overlook his very considerable skills. My favorite part of these playoffs has been seeing he and Jagr work so well together.

lime said...

well, that was some interesting backstory. i learned a few things and now i know why the thing is so freaking huge. whole lotta names to cram on there.