Stanley Cup’s Cool Facts – Part One

Stanley Cup

By Josie Lemieux – Consultant – Hockey – Mental toughness – Emotional control

Talk to all NHL players/rookies/alumni about the Stanley Cup and their eyes lighten up.  Players crave for it, rush, hurt and get hurt for it. They want to hold it up, kiss it, party with it, bring it home and have the label – and soul – of an official and inscribed hockey champion. They want to make NHL history.

But what do we know about the prestigious trophy? I found some interesting facts, some cool ones.

Various sources apply here, such as Historica Canada (or Canadian Encyclopedia) and the Hockey Hall of Fame archives. Also, an excellent reference for all Cup and hockey fans is The Official National Hockey League Stanley Cup Centennial Book, by Dan Diamond (1992), considered as one of the NHL’s official chronicles.

Be ready to be surprised. I was.

Lord Stanley of Preston, Count of Derby:

Other names given to Lord Stanley, who came from England to be the 6th Governor General of Canada in 1888.

Ottawa Athletes Association Dinner:

Event which took place on March 18, 1892, where Governor Stanley proposed a Cup for the first time by reading a letter excerpt sent previously to his aide:

¨ I propose to create a trophy to honor the Dominion’s (league’s) best team. I am aware that the real championship does not exist for the moment. Hockey games presently evoke a major interest. Therefore, if I consider this interest and based on the fact that games must be played according to specific rules, I am ready to donate a Cup which will be given to the champions each year ¨.

Rideau Hall Rebels:

Hockey team formed by Lord Stanley, his sons and his personnel. Games were played near the Governor’s home.

State debates were often interrupted by those hockey games:

They were considered to be ¨ the most effective place to work out political issues ¨.

$ 48.67 Canadian dollars:

Amount paid by Lord Stanley to obtain the modest pinkish cup.

Amateur Hockey Association:

First league of teams who competed against other competitive leagues in Canada (West provinces, Maritimes, Ontario).

National Hockey Association:

Founded in 1910. Ancestor of the NHL.

NHL:

Founded in 1917.

Snow:

What was prayed for every year in order to play hockey games.

End of December until March:

Period of year all playoffs were played.

Nonexistent ice boards:

If a player was pushed out of ice limits, he was kicked by fans and ordered to go back.

Fans throwing objects on the ice and also to players:

Allowed (?!?)

Fans insulting Referees:

Allowed (Oh, which has always been there).

Players attempting to injure with a stick:

Allowed (?!?)

Police officer on duty:

He was in charge of giving a discipline lecture (?!?) to all players serving a penalty.

Protective equipment worn by players:

None.

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