The Stanley Cup is a championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff winners. It was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada, who in 1892 purchased and donated a silver bowl to be awarded to the best amateur hockey team in Canada.
Since then, the cup has undergone many changes and has become the most prestigious trophy in ice hockey. Today, the Stanley Cup symbolizes excellence and is recognized as one of the most coveted prizes in professional sports. As we celebrate the trophy’s arrival in Baltics this week, let’s have a look at some interesting facts and figures revolving around this revered award.
The Keeper of the Cup
The Stanley Cup is the only trophy in professional sports that has 24-hour supervision and is accompanied by a full-time chaperon – known as the Keeper of the Cup. Since 1988, at the age of only 27, the duties of what some might say is one of the world’s best jobs has been assigned to Phil Pritchard.
Wherever the Cup goes, Pritchard will accompany it. Presentations, ceremonies, trips. During summer when each player of the champion team gets the privilege of spending one day with the Cup. Always.
He has seen it pass through the hands of hundreds of players and has traveled all over the globe with it. And now, while the Stanley Cup is visiting Baltics, you’re more than guaranteed to see Phil Pritchard as well.
The hardest trophy to win?
Of the top sports leagues in the USA, winning the NHL playoffs is arguably the most challenging task. For instance, it takes only three to four games for a playoff team to win the NFL Super Bowl. The most one baseball team of the MLB would have to play is 19 games, just three more than the Stanley Cup Champion’s minimum amount of games.
The only other sport that can claim the same would be the NBA, with 16 teams in playoff contention, each having only a 6.25% chance to win from the start. In total, it can take as many as 28 post-season games to win either the NBA championship or the Stanley Cup.
So what’s the difference between the two, you may ask? The playing time. While an NBA game lasts at least 48 minutes, each NHL game takes no less than an hour. Besides, the NHL is the only major professional sport that allows fighting. Just imagine the wear and tear on an NHL player’s body after 82+ games.
In the end, a player seeking to get his hands on the coveted Stanley Cup will have played more playoff games than required by most other sports, have endured more physical pain, played for a longer period of time, and will have done so using less money than, for example, the NBA and the NFL.
The one and only
Unlike the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy, the Lombardi Trophy (Super Bowl), Anschutz Trophy (MLS), and Commissioner’s Trophy (MLB), which are all given permanently to the winning team, and a new one is made every year, the Stanley Cup the only trophy in major sports that is not being replicated.
The newly crowned championship team gets to keep the Stanley Cup for celebration purposes during the summer. Then, it is handed back to the trustees of the Hockey Hall of Fame at the start of the following regular season. During the summer, each representative of the winning team is given 24 hours with the Cup.
Additionally, the winning team gets their roster engraved on the bottom ring of the Stanley Cup. However, this cannot go on forever as there is limited space, right? True. Each ring has room for 13 years worth of winners. Once the Stanley Cup is full, the topmost (oldest) barrel is removed and placed in the Hall of Fame in Toronto, while a new barrel is added to the bottom. Since 1907 a total of 2319 names have been engraved on the Stanley Cup. Despite such an impressive figure, only five people have been responsible for it.
The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff champion. Over the years, several teams and players have held the Cup for extended periods.
Although their most recent victory dates back to 1993, the Montreal Canadiens still hold the record for Stanley Cup wins with 24. What makes this number even more impressive is that the second-best team in this category, Toronto Maple Leafs, has won it only 13 times. Canadiens also hold the record for the longest consecutive streak of Stanley Cup triumphs, winning it five times in a row from 1956 to 1960.
The player who has held the Cup the most is Henri Richard. He won it 11 times during his career with – you guessed it – the Montreal Canadiens from 1956 to 1973. Other notable long-time Cup holders include Jean Beliveau and Yvan Cournoyer, who each won it ten times with the Canadiens, and Red Kelly, who lifted the Cup a combined eight times with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Stanley Cup x OlyBet
Given all the above mentioned, you probably can get an impression of the honor and excitement of OlyBet welcoming the Stanley Cup in the Baltics.
We hosted magnificent events at the luxurious Olympic Voodoo Casino in Riga and OlyBet Bar & Grill in Tallinn, where our guests and well-known influencers had the chance to enjoy great drinks and food, participate in various contests with great prizes, and – of course – see and take pictures of ice hockey’s most honorable trophy.
The atmosphere was electrifying, filled with smiles and cheers, and we would like to thank everyone who joined us.