It's true, tonight the Cup will be in the building, providing the Pittsburgh Penguins a chance to win the Cup on home ice for the first time in franchise history. Don't let that confuse you. The Pens have won the cup 3 times already but everytime they were playing on away ice. I felt like there is no better time than the present to discuss a few little fun facts about the hardest trophy to win in professional sports.
1) Claimed to be the hardest trophy to win in professional sports. First you have to get into the playoffs which means collecting enough points to get you a spot during the 82 game season. Then you have to make it through 4 rounds of playoffs. Each round is best of 7 meaning the first team with 4 wins advances. Do the math and that means a team would play a minimum of 16 games enroute to the cup but as many as 28!
2) You may think the Stanley Cup was first awarded back in 1942 when the Original 6 were playing and other teams were dissolved. That is not the case. The cup was first handed out in 1893 to the Montreal Hockey Club.
3) The Stanley Cup had a name change! It was originally called the 'Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup'
4) There are a few teams in the current NHL that have never won a cup. The San Jose Sharks being one of them but there are some cities that have won cups in the past while hockey leagues evolved.
The Winnipeg Jets have never won a cup but the city of Winnipeg has celebrated lots of wins at the turn of the century in 1900.
The Vancouver Canucks have also never won a Cup but the Vancouver Canadians did back in 1915. At the time they played in a rink which would now be located in the West End.
The Cup has even traveled to BC's capital! The Victoria Cougars won in 1925. The Cougars beat the Montreal Canadiens to win the Cup, the last non-NHL team to hoist Lord Stanley. Fun fact about the Cougars, following the dissolve of the Western Hockey League in 1926, the Cougars franchise moved to Detroit to become the Detroit Cougars. After short lived name change to the Falcons, the Detroit franchise ultimately settled on their classic moniker, the Red Wings which they still use till this day.
And finally the Cup has even been celebrated in Seattle! The Seattle Metropolitans won in 1917.
5) The city to spend the most time with the Cup would be Montreal. The city won the cup the first time it was awarded and over the evolution of contemporary hockey it has spent a lot of time in Habs land. They have won 24 Stanley Cups since the 1915/16 season.
The most modern day dynasties would be the New York Islanders in the 80s with four wins, the Edmonton Oilers and Wayne Gretzky with 5 wins, 4 in the 80s and one in the 90s and most recently the Chicago Blackhawks who are the current 2015 champs but who also won in 2010 and 2013.
6) The Stanley Cup stands almost 3 feet tall! That is including the bowl on the top, the original piece. It also weights nearly 35 pounds.
7) After each win the Cup in engraved with the names of the players, coaches, club staff and management. In order to get your name on the Stanley Cup the player must have played at least 41 games in the regular season or at least 1 game during the Stanley Cup Final.
There are a ton more fun facts about this beautiful piece of hockey but we can discuss those later!
Enjoy the game tonight Hockey Fans!
Below are a few commercials for the Stanley Cup Playoffs that I think sum up the Stanley Cup pretty well.