Categorized | NHL

Hockey Cup Tales

One of the greatest pleasures for any sportsman is getting to the end of a season, becoming champions and getting to raise a trophy in the air in front of adoring fans. Not many will get to experience this feeling, but any who have will tell you that it was the greatest day of their lives – even beating wedding days and the birth of their children.

Hockey has had some, shall we say ‘interesting’, trophies through the years and the Stanley Cup is the current holy grail for all the teams you’ll see in the NHL free picks. The cup has history and it was preceded by some other trophies.

The Stanley Cup

You’ve seen the Stanley Cup and you might have thought that it looks like a beer keg with a normal trophy welded to the top, but it’s synonymous with the one-upmanship in the world of hockey trophies. Did you ever see the Stovepipe Cup? That looked like a length of drainpipe painted silver with a trophy attached to the top. The point is that size is everything with hockey trophies and the Stanley Cup is the biggest of them all.

Named after Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor General of Canada, the first trophy was donated to Canada’s top team in the late 1800s. The name stuck, but the trophy has changed. The first one was in fact quite modest when compared to today’s behemoth.

There have been many different variations of Stanley Cup, but the one used nowadays stands at 35.25 inches in height and weighs 34.5 pounds.

Mistakes

The prestige of winning a sporting trophy is underlined with the name of an individual or team engraved on a trophy. These names engraved on to the Stanley Cup is no exception and it is regarded as a real mark of achievement within the sport of hockey. That is unless you are one of the twelve players or teams whose names have been misspelled by an engraver on the trophy, many of which were never corrected. Still, mistakes happen, but you can’t help but wish someone had checked it before they did the work.

Traditions

The captain of the winning team has the honour of being the first to hold aloft the massive cup in celebration of his team’s victory and the team who wins the Stanley Cup have exactly 100 days to use the trophy for things like team parades and photo opportunities with sponsors. The New York Rangers actually signed an agreement with players in 1994 whereby every single player was allowed to spend a full day in possession of the cup. Who knows what they all did with it?

Given the cup’s height and weight, one of the most popular traditions seems like it would be quite difficult. It is namely tradition for the victors to drink champagne from it in celebration. You’ll never drink champagne out of a more cumbersome glass and anyway, most champagne used to celebrate sporting victory is generally just sprayed around.

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