The Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals in late May each year. The Stanley Cup is surrounded by numerous legends and traditions, the oldest of which is the celebratory drinking of champagne out of the cup by the winning team. Unlike the trophies awarded by the other three major professional sports leagues of North America, a new Stanley Cup is not made each year; winners keep it until a new champion is crowned. It is unusual among trophies, in that it has the names of all of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff engraved on its chalice. The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) in height and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) in diameter. The current Stanley Cup, topped with a copy of the original bowl, is made of a silver and nickel alloy.
Originally inscribed the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was donated in 1892 by then-Governor General of Canada the Lord Stanley of Preston, as an award for Canada’s top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. It was awarded for the first time in 1893 to Montreal HC. In 1915, the two professional ice hockey organizations, the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), reached a gentlemen’s agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Stanley Cup. After a series of league mergers and folds, the Cup became the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926. The Cup became the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.
Since the 1914–15 season, the Cup has been won a combined 94 times by 17 active NHL teams and five defunct teams. Prior to that, the challenge cup was held by nine different teams. The Montreal Canadians have won the Cup a record number of times, winning on 24 occasions.
2012 Stanley Cup Finals
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