Stanley Cup: History of the trophy, value, winners list & more

Stanley Cup
JulieAndSteve, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The ultimate goal of every NHL club is to become a champion. Every season, 32 NHL teams clash to reach the top and get a hold of the prestigious Stanley Cup trophy.

Stanley Cup trophy

The Stanley Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the NHL championship. It’s one of the most iconic trophies in sports. Compared to other championship trophies, this trophy stands out since it has a rich history dating back to 1892.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Stanley Cup trophy…

Why do they call it the Stanley Cup?

Being one of the oldest trophies in professional sports, the Stanley Cup history is rich and is widely considered a national treasure.

The Stanley Cup is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the governor general of Canada. It was originally known as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup.

Lord Stanley donated it in 1892 as an award to the best amateur hockey club in Canada. The Montreal Hockey Club was the first hockey team to receive the trophy in 1893.

In the early years, amateur teams competed for the Cup on a challenge basis as they had no playoff system. However, the number of professional hockey teams grew and this led to amateur teams dropping out of the competition.

In 1926, the Stanley Cup became the sole property of the NHL and was exclusively awarded to the NHL champion.


How many Stanley Cups are there?

There are actually three Stanley Cups—the original Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the Presentation Cup, and the Permanent Cup.

The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup donated by Lord Preston was physically awarded to the NHL champions until 1970. However, NHL president Clarence Campbell thought that the original bowl was becoming too fragile due to its age.

In 1963, Campbell decided to make a Presentation Cup authenticated by the NHL. This is the one that we know and is currently awarded to the NHL champion every season. It has the Hockey Hall of Fame seal at the bottom.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Cup is a replica created in 1993. It’s intended as a replacement at the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever the Presentation Cup isn’t displayed there.

How much is the Stanley Cup worth?

Compared to other major sports trophies such as the Commissioner’s trophy ($19,000) of the MLB and the Vince Lombardi trophy ($15,000) of the NFL, the Stanley Cup is more valuable. The Stanley Cup value is estimated to be $23,000.

What is the Stanley Cup made of?

The original bowl is made of silver. It’s 7.28 inches high and 11.42 inches in diameter.

The trophy continued to grow in size since new bands were added to it. Currently, the Stanley Cup is made of silver and nickel alloy which stands 35.25 inches and weighs 37 pounds.

Once the bands get filled with names, the top band will be preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame and a new blank band will be added to the bottom. This process will ensure that it would not grow further in size and will not run out of space.

Who gets their name engraved on the Stanley Cup?

Since the Stanley Cup is not reproduced each year for the champion team, engraving names became an annual tradition in 1924. This is a feature to immortalize the names of the champions forever.

The Stanley Cup is engraved with the names of the winning players, coaches, owners, and other members of the organization. They can choose up to 52 names to engrave in the Cup.

For players, their name automatically gets engraved on the Stanley Cup if they played half the regular season, which would be 41 games; or at least one game in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Meanwhile, for non-players, they must have an active affiliation with the club to get their name engraved on the trophy.

The team is also allowed to petition names to be included in the Cup if they haven’t met the criteria above.

Who engraves the Stanley Cup?

There have been only four engravers of the Stanley Cup throughout history. Louise St. Jacques, the fourth engraver, is the current and official engraver of the Cup. Ever since 1988, she has been tasked to engrave the names of the NHL champions every year.

Who is the keeper of the Cup?

Phil Pritchard is the official keeper of the Stanley Cup. Pritchard has been looking after the prized trophy since 1988. He takes care of the Cup until it’s awarded to the winning club every season.

The champion team only gets to keep the Stanley Cup for 100 days. Each individual player on the team has the privilege of spending one day with the Cup, accompanied by Pritchard.

Once returned, the winning players will also get a special ring and miniature version of the trophy.

Where is the real Stanley Cup trophy kept?

The original Stanley Cup, the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup donated by Lord Stanley, is displayed in the Vault Room at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.

Stanley Cup winners list

Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup era

1918 – Toronto Arenas

1919 – No winner

1920 – Ottawa Senators

1921 – Ottawa Senators

1922 – Toronto St. Pats

1923 – Ottawa Senators

1924 – Montreal Canadiens

1925 – Victoria Cougars

1926 – Montreal Maroons

1927 – Ottawa Senators

1928 – New York Rangers

1929 – Boston Bruins

1930 – Montreal Canadiens

1931 – Montreal Canadiens

1932 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1933 – New York Rangers

1934 – Chicago Black Hawks

1935 – Montreal Maroons

1936 – Detroit Red Wings

1937 – Detroit Red Wings

1938 – Chicago Blackhawks

1939 – Boston Bruins

1940 – New York Rangers

1941 – Boston Bruins

1942 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1943 – Detroit Red Wings

1944 – Montreal Canadiens

1945 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1946 – Montreal Canadiens

1947 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1948 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1949 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1950 – Detroit Red Wings

1951 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1952 – Detroit Red Wings

1953 – Montreal Canadiens

1954 – Detroit Red Wings

1955 – Detroit Red Wings

1956 – Montreal Canadiens

1957 – Montreal Canadiens

1958 – Montreal Canadiens

1959 – Montreal Canadiens

1960 – Montreal Canadiens

1961 – Chicago Blackhawks

1962 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1963 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1964 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1965 – Montreal Canadiens

1966 – Montreal Canadiens

1967 – Toronto Maple Leafs

1968 – Montreal Canadiens

1969 – Montreal Canadiens

1970 – Boston Bruins

Presentation Cup era

1971 – Montreal Canadiens

1970 – Boston Bruins

1972 – Montreal Canadiens

1974 – Philadelphia Flyers

1975 – Philadelphia Flyers

1976 – Montreal Canadiens

1977 – Montreal Canadiens

1978 – Montreal Canadiens

1979 – Montreal Canadiens

1980 – New York Islanders

1981 – New York Islanders

1982 – New York Islanders

1983 – New York Islanders

1984 – Edmonton Oilers

1985 – Edmonton Oilers

1986 – Montreal Canadiens

1987 – Edmonton Oilers

1988 – Edmonton Oilers

1989 – Calgary Flames

1990 – Edmonton Oilers

1991 – Pittsburgh Penguins

1992 – Pittsburgh Penguins

1993 – Montreal Canadiens

1994 – New York Rangers

1995 – New Jersey Devils

1996 – Colorado Avalanche

1997 – Detroit Red Wings

1998 – Detroit Red Wings

1999 – Dallas Stars

2000 – New Jersey Devils

2001 – Colorado Avalanche

2002 – Detroit Red Wings

2003 – New Jersey Devils

2004 – Tampa Bay Lightning

2005 – NHL Lockout

2006 – Carolina Hurricanes

2007 – Anaheim Ducks

2008 – Detroit Red Wings

2009 – Pittsburgh Penguins

2010 – Chicago Blackhawks

2011 – Boston Bruins

2012 – Los Angeles Kings

2013 – Chicago Blackhawks

2014 – Los Angeles Kings

2015 – Chicago Blackhawks

2016 – Pittsburgh Penguins

2017 – Pittsburgh Penguins

2018 – Washington Capitals

2019 – St. Louis Blues

2020 – Tampa Bay Lightning

2021 – Tampa Bay Lightning

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About Jeremy Mallari 128 Articles
Jeremy lives and breathes basketball. He's an avid NBA fan for almost a decade now.

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