The Stanley Cup (French: La Coupe Stanley) is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers it to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The trophy was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who donated it as an award to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The entire Stanley family supported the sport, the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game. The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club, and winners from 1893 to 1914 were determined by challenge games and league play. Professional teams first became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1906. In 1915, professional ice hockey organizations 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 annually for the Stanley Cup. It was established as the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926 and then the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.
There are actually three Stanley Cups: the original bowl of the "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup", the authenticated "Presentation Cup", and the spelling-corrected "Permanent Cup" on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The NHL has maintained control over the trophy itself and its associated trademarks; the NHL does not actually own the trophy but uses it by agreement with the two Canadian trustees of the cup. The NHL has registered trademarks associated with the name and likeness of the Stanley Cup, although there has been dispute as to whether the league has the right to own trademarks associated with a trophy that it does not own.
The original bowl was made of silver and is 18.5 centimetres (7.28 inches) high and 29 centimetres (11.42 inches) wide. The current Stanley Cup is topped with a copy of the original bowl, made of a silver and nickel alloy. It has a height of 89.54 centimetres (35.25 inches) and weighs 15.5 kilograms (34.5 lb). A new Stanley Cup is not made each year, unlike the trophies awarded by the other major professional sports leagues of North America. The winners originally kept it until a new champion was crowned, but winning teams currently get the Stanley Cup during the summer and a limited number of days during the season. Every year since 1924, a select portion of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff names are engraved on its bands, which is unusual among trophies. However, there is not enough room to include all the players and non-players, so some names must be omitted. Between 1924 and 1940, a new band was added almost every year that the trophy was awarded, earning the nickname "Stovepipe Cup" due to the unnatural height of all the bands. In 1947, the cup size was reduced, but not all the large rings were the same size. In 1958, the modern one-piece Cup was designed with a five-band barrel which could contain 13 winning teams per band. The oldest band is removed when the bottom band is full and preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame in order to prevent the Stanley Cup from growing, and a new blank band added to the bottom. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug. The Stanley Cup is surrounded by numerous legends and traditions, the oldest of which is the winning team drinking champagne from it.
Since the 1914–15 season, the Cup has been won a combined 101 times by 18 current NHL teams and 5 defunct teams. It was not awarded in 1919 because of a Spanish flu epidemic or in 2005 because of the 2004–05 NHL lockout. It was held by nine different teams between 1893 and 1914. The Montreal Canadiens have won it a record 24 times and are the most recent Canadian-based team to win it, doing so in 1993; while the Detroit Red Wings have won it 11 times, the most of any United States-based NHL team, most recently in 2008.
|Given for||Playoff champion of the National Hockey League|
|Most wins||Montreal Canadiens (24)|
|Most recent||Washington Capitals|
After the Lord Stanley of Preston was appointed by Queen Victoria as Governor General of Canada on June 11, 1888, he and his family became highly enthusiastic about ice hockey. Stanley was first exposed to the game at Montreal's 1889 Winter Carnival, where he saw the Montreal Victorias play the Montreal Hockey Club. The Montreal Gazette reported that he "expressed his great delight with the game of hockey and the expertise of the players". During that time, organized ice hockey in Canada was still in its infancy and only Montreal and Ottawa had anything resembling leagues.
Stanley's entire family became active in ice hockey. Two of his sons, Arthur and Algernon, formed a new team called the Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels. Arthur also played a key role in the formation of what later became known as the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), and became the founder of ice hockey in Great Britain. Arthur and Algernon persuaded their father to donate a trophy to be "an outward and visible sign of the hockey championship". Stanley sent the following message to the victory celebration held on March 18, 1892, at Ottawa's Russell House Hotel for the three-time champion Ottawa Hockey Club:
I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion [of Canada].
There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team.
I am not quite certain that the present regulations governing the arrangement of matches give entire satisfaction, and it would be worth considering whether they could not be arranged so that each team would play once at home and once at the place where their opponents hail from.
Soon afterwards, Stanley purchased what is frequently described as a decorative punch bowl, but which silver expert John Culme identified as a rose bowl, made in Sheffield, England, and sold by London silversmith G. R. Collis and Company (now Boodle and Dunthorne Jewellers), for ten guineas, equal to ten and a half pounds sterling, US$48.67, which is equal to $1,357 in 2018 dollars. He had the words "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup" engraved on one side of the outside rim, and "From Stanley of Preston" on the other side.
Originally, Stanley intended that the Cup should be awarded to the top amateur hockey team in Canada, to be decided by the acceptance of a challenge from another team. He made five preliminary regulations:
- The winners shall return the Cup in good order when required by the trustees so that it may be handed over to any other team which may win it.
- Each winning team, at its own expense, may have the club name and year engraved on a silver ring fitted on the Cup.
- The Cup shall remain a challenge cup, and should not become the property of one team, even if won more than once.
- The trustees shall maintain absolute authority in all situations or disputes over the winner of the Cup.
- If one of the existing trustees resigns or drops out, the remaining trustee shall nominate a substitute.
Stanley appointed Sheriff John Sweetland and Philip D. Ross (who went on to serve an unsurpassed 56 years) as trustees of the Cup. Sweetland and Ross first presented the trophy in 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association on behalf of the affiliated Montreal Hockey Club, the champions of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC), since they "defeated all comers during the late season, including the champions of the Ontario Association" (Ottawa). Sweetland and Ross also believed that the AHAC was the top league, and as first-place finishers in the AHAC, Montreal was the best team in Canada. Naturally, the Ottawas were upset by the decision because there had been no challenge games scheduled and because the trustees failed to convey the rules on how the Cup was to be awarded prior to the start of the season.
- The Cup is automatically awarded to the team that wins the title of the previous Cup champion's league, without the need for any other special extra contest.
- Challengers for the Cup must be from senior hockey associations, and must have won their league championship. Challengers will be recognized in the order in which their request is received.
- The challenge games (where the Cup could change leagues) are to be decided either in a one-game affair, a two-game total goals affair, or a best of three series, to the benefit of both teams involved. All matches are to take place on the home ice of the champions, although specific dates and times have to be approved by the trustees.
- Ticket receipts from the challenge games are to be split equally between both teams.
- If the two competing clubs cannot agree to a referee, the trustees will appoint one, and the two teams shall cover the expenses equally. If the two competing clubs cannot agree on other officials, the referee will appoint them, and the two clubs shall also pay the expenses equally
- A league could not challenge for the Cup twice in one season.
Stanley never saw a Stanley Cup championship game, nor did he ever present the Cup. Although his term as Governor General ended in September 1893, he was forced to return to England on July 15. In April of that year, his elder brother Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby died, and Stanley succeeded him as the 16th Earl of Derby.
During the challenge cup period, none of the leagues that played for the trophy had a formal playoff system to decide their respective champions; whichever team finished in first place after the regular season won the league title. However, in 1894, four teams out of the five-team AHAC tied for the championship with records of 5–3–0. The AHAC had no tie-breaking system. After extensive negotiations and Quebec's withdrawal from the championship competition, it was decided that a three-team tournament would take place in Montreal, with the Ottawa team receiving a bye to the final because they were the only road team. On March 17, in the first ever Stanley Cup playoff game, the Montreal Hockey Club (Montreal HC) defeated the Montreal Victorias, 3–2. Five days later, in the first Stanley Cup Final game, Montreal HC beat the Ottawa Hockey Club 3–1.
In 1895, Queen's University was the first official challenger for the Cup, although it was controversial. The Montreal Victorias had won the league title and thus the Stanley Cup, but the challenge match was between the previous year's champion, Montreal HC, and the university squad. The trustees decided that if the Montreal HC won the challenge match, the Victorias would become the Stanley Cup champions. The Montreal HC won the match 5–1 and their cross-town rivals were crowned the champions. The first successful challenge to the Cup came the next year by the Winnipeg Victorias, the champions of the Manitoba Hockey League. On February 14, 1896, the Winnipeg squad defeated the champions 2–0 and became the first team outside the AHAC to win the Cup.
As the prestige of winning the Cup grew, so did the need to attract top players. Only nine months after winning the Cup, in March 1906, the Montreal Wanderers pushed through a resolution at the annual meeting of the Eastern Canada Amateur Hockey Association (ECAHA) to allow professional players to play alongside amateurs. Because the ECAHA was the top hockey league in Canada at the time, the Cup trustees agreed to open the challenges to professional teams. The first professional competition came one month later during the Wanderers' two-game, total goals challenge series, which they won 17 goals to 5.
The smallest municipality to produce a Stanley Cup champion team is Kenora, Ontario; the town had a population of about 4,000 when the Kenora Thistles captured the Cup in January 1907. Aided by future Hall of Famers Art Ross and "Bad" Joe Hall, the Thistles defeated the Montreal Wanderers in a two-game, total goals challenge series. The Thistles successfully defended the Cup once, against a team from Brandon, Manitoba. In March 1907, the Wanderers challenged the Thistles to a rematch. Despite an improved lineup, the Thistles lost the Cup to Montreal.
In 1908, the Allan Cup was introduced as the trophy for Canada's amateurs, and the Stanley Cup started to become a symbol of professional hockey supremacy. In that same year, the first all-professional team, the Toronto Trolley Leaguers from the newly created Ontario Professional Hockey League (OPHL), competed for the Cup. One year later, the Montreal HC and the Montreal Victorias, the two remaining amateur teams, left the ECAHA, and the ECAHA dropped "Amateur" from their name to become a professional league. In 1910, the National Hockey Association (NHA) was formed. The NHA soon proved it was the best in Canada, as it kept the Cup for the next four years.
Prior to 1912, challenges could take place at any time or place, given the appropriate rink conditions, and it was common for teams to defend the Cup numerous times during the year. In 1912, Cup trustees declared that it was to be defended only at the end of the champion team's regular season.
In 1914, the Victoria Aristocrats from the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) challenged the NHA and Cup champion Toronto Blueshirts. A controversy erupted when a letter arrived from the Stanley Cup trustees on March 17, that the trustees would not let the Stanley Cup travel west, as they did not consider Victoria a proper challenger because they had not formally notified the trustees. However, on March 18, Trustee William Foran stated that it was a misunderstanding. PCHA president Frank Patrick had not filed a challenge, because he had expected Emmett Quinn of the NHA to make all of the arrangements in his role as hockey commissioner, whereas the trustees thought they were being deliberately ignored. In any case, all arrangements had been ironed out and the Victoria challenge was accepted.
Several days later, trustee Foran wrote to NHA president Quinn that the trustees are "perfectly satisfied to allow the representatives of the three pro leagues (NHA, PCHA, and Maritime) to make all arrangements each season as to the series of matches to be played for the Cup". One year later, when the Maritime league folded, the NHA and the PCHA concluded a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Cup, similar to baseball's World Series, which is played between the American League and National League champions. Under the new proposal, the Stanley Cup Final series alternated between the East and the West each year, with alternating games played according to NHA and PCHA rules. The PCHA's Vancouver Millionaires won the 1915 series three games to none in a best-of-five series.
Prior to organized ice hockey expanding to any serious extent outside Canada, the concept that the Stanley Cup champion ought to be recognized as the world champion was already firmly established – Stanley Cup winners were claiming the title of world champions by no later than the turn of the century. After the Portland Rosebuds, an American-based team, joined the PCHA in 1914, the trustees promptly issued a formal statement that the Cup was no longer for the best team in Canada, but now for the best team in the world. Ice hockey in Europe was still in its infancy at this time, so it was without much controversy that winners of the Stanley Cup continued styling themselves as the world champions just like in baseball. Two years later, the Rosebuds became the first American team to play in the Stanley Cup Final. In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first American team to win the Cup. After that season, the NHA dissolved, and the National Hockey League (NHL) took its place.
In 1919, the Spanish influenza epidemic forced the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Metropolitans to cancel their series, marking the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded. The series was tied at 2–2–1, but the final game was never played because Montreal Manager George Kennedy and players Joe Hall, Billy Coutu, Jack McDonald, and Newsy Lalonde were hospitalized with influenza. Hall died four days after the cancelled game, and the series was abandoned.
The format for the Stanley Cup Final changed in 1922, with the creation of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Three leagues competed for the Cup: two league champions faced each other for the right to challenge the third champion in the final series. This lasted three seasons as the PCHA and the WCHL later merged to form the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 1925. After winning in the 1924–25 season, the Victoria Cougars became the last team outside the NHL to win the Stanley Cup.
The WHL folded in 1926 and was quickly replaced by the Prairie Hockey League. However, in the meantime, the NHL (which had entered the U.S. only two years before) bought up the contracts of most of the WHL's players and largely used them to stock the rosters of three new U.S. teams. In what would turn out to be its most significant expansion of its pre-Original Six era, the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers joined the NHL. With the NHL now firmly established in the largest markets of the Northeastern United States, and with the Western teams having been stripped of their best players, the PHL was deemed to be a "minor league" unworthy of challenging the NHL for hockey supremacy.
The PHL lasted only two seasons. Over the next two decades, other leagues and clubs occasionally issued challenges, but none were accepted by the Cup's trustees. Since 1926, no non-NHL team has played for the Cup, leading it to become the de facto championship trophy of the NHL. In addition, with no major professional hockey league left to challenge it, the NHL began calling its league champions the world champions, notwithstanding the lack of any interleague championship. In doing so, the NHL copied a policy that had been adopted by the then still-fledgling National Football League from its start in 1920 (and which the National Basketball Association also asserted upon its founding in 1946).
Finally in 1947, the NHL reached an agreement with trustee. J. Cooper Smeaton to grant control of the Cup to the NHL, allowing the league to reject challenges from other leagues that may have wished to play for the Cup:
- The Trustees hereby delegate to the League full authority to determine and amend from time to time the conditions for competition of the Stanley Cup, including the qualifications of challengers, the appointment of officials, the apportionment and distribution of all gate receipts, provided always that the winners of this trophy shall be the acknowledged World's Professional Hockey Champions.
- The Trustees agree that during the currency of this agreement they will not acknowledge or accept any challenge for the Stanley Cup unless such a challenge is in conformity with the condition specified in paragraph one (1) thereof.
- The League undertakes the responsibility for the care and safe custody of the Stanley Cup including all necessary repairs and alterations to the cup and sub-structure as may be required from time to time, and further undertakes to ensure the Stanley Cup for its full insurable value.
- The League hereby acknowledges itself to be bound to the Trustees in the sum of One Thousand Dollars, which bond is conditioned upon the safe return of the Stanley Cup to the Trustees in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, and it is agreed that the League shall have the right to return the trophy to the Trustees at any time.
- This agreement shall remain in force so long as the League continues to be the world's leading professional hockey league as determined by its playing caliber and in the event of dissolution or other termination of the National Hockey League, the Stanley Cup shall revert to the custody of the trustees.
- In the event of default in the appointment of a new trustee by the surviving trustee, the "Trustees" hereby delegate and appoint the Governors of the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario, to name two Canadian trustees to carry on under the terms of the original trust, and in conformity with this Agreement.
- And it is further mutually agreed that any disputes arising as to the interpretation of this Agreement or the facts upon which such interpretation is made, shall be settled by an Arbitration Board of three, one member to be appointed by each of the parties, and the third to be selected by the two appointees. The decision of the Arbitration Board shall be final.
This agreement was amended on November 22, 1961, substituting the Governors of the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario with the Committee of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario as the group to name the two Canadian trustees, if need be. In the 1970s, the World Hockey Association sought to challenge for the Cup. By this time, all Cup Trustees were longtime NHL loyalists, and under the direction of NHL President Clarence Campbell the WHA's challenge for the Cup was blocked. However, notwithstanding the aforementioned legal obligation, the NHL (considering not only the WHA's presence but also the rising caliber of European ice hockey leagues) quietly stopped calling its champions the world champions.
Nevertheless, the NHL came under pressure to allow its champion to play the WHA champion. Eventually, following the establishment of the Canada Cup as the first best-on-best international hockey tournament, NHL President Clarence Campbell (who was a vocal opponent of the tournament) made public overtures to establish a true world professional championship in ice hockey, "just like the World Series". Under Campbell's proposal, the NHL champion would have played the WHA champion for the right to face the European champion. In the end, Campbell's proposal went nowhere – eventually, the NHL resolved the WHA challenge by agreeing to merge with its rival, by which time the older league had quietly withdrawn its support for the idea. Neither the NHL nor any other professional hockey league makes a claim to its champions being the world champions.
The Cup was awarded every year until 2005, when a labour dispute between the NHL's owners and the NHL Players Association (the union that represents the players) led to the cancellation of the 2004–05 season. As a result, no Cup champion was crowned for the first time since the flu pandemic in 1919. The lockout was controversial among many fans, who questioned whether the NHL had exclusive control over the Cup. A website known as freestanley.com (since closed) was launched, asking fans to write to the Cup trustees and urge them to return to the original Challenge Cup format. Adrienne Clarkson, then Governor General of Canada, alternately proposed that the Cup be presented to the top women's hockey team in lieu of the NHL season. This idea was so unpopular that the Clarkson Cup was created instead. Meanwhile, a group in Ontario, also known as the "Wednesday Nighters", filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court, claiming that the Cup trustees had overstepped their bounds in signing the 1947 agreement with the NHL, and therefore must award the trophy regardless of the lockout.
On February 7, 2006, a settlement was reached in which the trophy could be awarded to non-NHL teams should the league not operate for a season. The dispute lasted so long that, by the time it was settled, the NHL had resumed operating for the 2005–06 season, and the Stanley Cup went unclaimed for the 2004–05 season. Furthermore, when another NHL lockout commenced in 2012 the Trustees stated that the 2006 agreement did not oblige them to award the Cup in the event of a lost season, and that they were likely to reject any non-NHL challenges for the Cup in the event the 2012–13 season were cancelled, which it was not.
In 2007, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) formalized the "Triple Gold Club", the group of players and coaches who have won an Olympic Games gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup. The term had first entered popular use following the 2002 Winter Olympics, which saw the addition of the first Canadian members.
In March 2017 to commemorate the Stanley Cup's 125th anniversary, the original Cup and the current Stanley Cup were the focus of a four-day tour of Ottawa, including a stop at Rideau Hall. The Royal Canadian Mint announced the production of two commemorative coins to mark the anniversary. The first is a roll of Canadian quarters with an image of the Stanley Cup, the word Stanley Cup in English and Coupe Stanley in French with two ice hockey players and 125 years (English)/Ans (French) on the obverse and an effigy of Elizabeth II on the back made using plated steel. The second coin was designed to be a replica of the Stanley Cup on the obverse and an effigy of Elizabeth II, Stanley Cup in English and Coupe Stanley in French and 50 dollars above the effigy. It was made using 99.9% silver.
In October 2017, the Lord Stanley's Gift Monument, commemorating the donation of the Stanley Cup was erected in Ottawa at Sparks Street and Elgin Street, near the location of the dinner party announcing the Cup at the Russell House, which has since been demolished.
Like the Grey Cup, awarded to the winner of the Canadian Football League, the Stanley Cup is engraved with the names of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff. However, this was not always the case: one of Lord Stanley's original conditions was that each team could, at their own expense, add a ring to the Cup to commemorate their victory. Initially, there was only one base ring, which was attached to the bottom of the original bowl by the Montreal Hockey Club. Clubs engraved their team names, usually in the form "TEAM NAME" "YEAR WON", on that one ring until it was full in 1902. With no more room to engrave their names (and unwilling to pay for a second band), teams left their mark on the bowl itself. The 1907 Montreal Wanderers became the first club to record their name on the bowl's interior surface, and the first champion to record the names of 20 members of their team.
In 1908, for reasons unknown, the Wanderers, despite having turned aside four challengers, did not record their names on the Cup. The next year, the Ottawa Senators added a second band onto the Cup. Despite the new room, the 1910 Wanderers and the 1911 Senators did not put their names on the Cup. The 1915 Vancouver Millionaires became the second team to engrave players' names, this time inside the bowl along its sides.
The 1918 Millionaires eventually filled the band added by the 1909 Senators. The 1915 Ottawa Senators, the 1916 Portland Rosebuds and the 1918 Vancouver Millionaires all engraved their names on the trophy even though they did not officially win it under the new PCHA-NHA system. They had won the title of only the previous champion's league and would have been crowned as Cup champions under the old challenge rules. The winners in 1918, 1920 to 1923 did not put their winning team name on it.
No further engraving occurred until 1924, when the Canadiens added a new band to the Cup. Since then, engraving the team and its players has been an unbroken annual tradition. Originally, a new band was added each year, causing the trophy to grow in size. The "Stovepipe Cup", as it was nicknamed because of its resemblance to the exhaust pipe of a stove, became unwieldy, so it was redesigned in 1948 as a two-piece cigar-shaped trophy with a removable bowl and collar. This Cup also properly honoured those teams that did not engrave their names on the Cup. Also included was the 1918–19 no decision between the Montreal Canadiens and Seattle Metropolitans.
Since 1958, the Cup has undergone several minor alterations. The original collar and bowl were too brittle, and were replaced in 1963 and 1969, respectively. The modern one-piece Cup design was introduced in 1958, when the old barrel was replaced with a five-band barrel, each of which could contain 13 winning teams. Although the bands were originally designed to fill up during the Cup's centennial year, the names of the 1965 Montreal Canadiens were engraved over a larger area than allotted and thus there are 12 teams on that band instead of 13. When the bands were all filled in 1991, the top band of the large barrel was preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a new blank band was added to the bottom so the Stanley Cup would not grow further.
Another new band was scheduled to be added to the bottom of the cup following the 2004–05 season, but was not added because of the 2004–05 NHL lockout. After the 2005–06 champion Carolina Hurricanes were crowned, and the new bottom ring was finally added (along with the retiring of the band listing the 1940–41 to 1952–53 champions). The cancelled season was acknowledged with the words "2004–05 Season Not Played".
Following the crowning of the 2017–18 champions, the Washington Capitals, the band listing the 1953–54 to 1964–65 winners is scheduled to be retired, and a new band that will list the 2017–18 to 2029–30 champions will then be added to the bottom of the cup.
Currently, the Cup stands at 89.5 centimetres (35¼ inches) tall and weighs 15½ kilograms (34½ lb).
Currently, to qualify for automatic engraving, a player:
However, since 1994 teams have been permitted to petition the NHL Commissioner, to be considered on a case-by-case basis, to engrave a player's name on the cup if the player was unavailable to play due to "extenuating circumstances". For example, the Detroit Red Wings received special permission from the NHL to inscribe the name of Vladimir Konstantinov, whose career ended after a car accident on June 13, 1997, on the Stanley Cup after Detroit defended their title in 1998.
With the Montreal Canadiens having won by far the most Cup championships of any team, the list of the players who have been engraved on the Cup the most often is dominated by Montreal players. Henri Richard of the Canadiens, with his name engraved eleven times, played on more Stanley Cup champions than any other player. He is followed by Jean Beliveau and Yvan Cournoyer of the Canadiens with ten championships, Claude Provost of the Canadiens with nine, and three players tied with eight: Red Kelly (four with the Red Wings, four with the Leafs, the most for any player who was not a member of the Canadiens) and Canadiens players Jacques Lemaire, Maurice Richard. Beliveau's name appears on the Cup more than any other individual, ten times as a player and seven times as management for a total of seventeen times.
Fifteen women have had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup. The first woman to have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup is Marguerite Norris, who won the Cup as the President of the Detroit Red Wings in 1954 and 1955. The only Canadian woman to have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup is Sonia Scurfield (born in Hafford, Saskatchewan) who won the Cup as a co-owner of the Calgary Flames in 1989.
In 2001, Charlotte Grahame, the Colorado Avalanche's Senior Director of Hockey Administration, had her name engraved on the trophy. Her son John later had his name engraved as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.
There are many traditions associated with the Stanley Cup. One of the oldest, started by the 1896 Winnipeg Victorias, dictates that the winning team drink champagne from the top bowl after their victory. The Cup is also traditionally presented on the ice to the captain of the winning team after the series-winning game; each member of the victorious club carries the trophy around the rink. However, this has not always been the case; prior to the 1930s, the Cup was not awarded immediately after the victory. The first time that the Cup was awarded on the ice may have been to the 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs, but the practice did not become a tradition until the 1950s. Ted Lindsay of the 1950 Cup champion Detroit Red Wings became the first captain, upon receiving the Cup, to hoist it overhead and skate around the rink. According to Lindsay, he did so to allow the fans to have a better view of the Cup. Since then, it has been a tradition for each member of the winning team, beginning with the captain, to take a lap around the ice with the trophy hoisted above his head.
The tradition of the captain first hoisting the Cup has been "breached" a few times. In 1993 after the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Los Angeles Kings, Guy Carbonneau handed the Cup to Denis Savard, as Savard had been the player that many fans had urged the Canadiens to draft back in 1980. The second was involving Joe Sakic and Ray Bourque when the Colorado Avalanche won the Cup in 2001, as the seventh and deciding game of the finals was the last of Bourque's 22-year NHL career, having never been on a cup-winning team until that time (until being traded to the Avalanche on March 6, 2000, Bourque had played only for the Boston Bruins). When Sakic received the trophy, he did not hoist it, but instead immediately handed it to Bourque; Sakic then became the second player on the team to hoist the trophy.
The Stanley Cup championship team is allotted 100 days during off-season to pass around the Cup including the team's parade, days with sponsors and a day or so with each player and member of the team's staff. It is always accompanied by at least one representative from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Although many players have unofficially spent a day in personal possession of the Cup, in 1994 the New York Rangers started a tradition wherein each member of the Cup-winning team is allowed to retain the Cup for a day. Victors of the Cup have used it to baptize their children. Three players (the New York Islanders' Clark Gillies, the Anaheim Ducks' Sean O'Donnell, and the Pittsburgh Penguins' Nick Bonino) even allowed their dogs to eat out of the Cup.
There are technically three versions of the "Stanley Cup": the original 1892 bowl or Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the 1963 authenticated "Presentation Cup", and the 1993 "Permanent Cup" at the Hall of Fame.
The original 1892 Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, purchased and donated by Lord Stanley, was physically awarded to the Champions until 1970, and is now displayed in the Vault Room at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
The authenticated version or "Presentation Cup" was created in 1963 by Montreal silversmith Carl Petersen. NHL president Clarence Campbell felt that the original bowl was becoming too thin and fragile, and thus requested a duplicate trophy as a replacement. The Presentation Cup is authenticated by the seal of the Hockey Hall of Fame on the bottom, which can be seen when winning players lift the Cup over their heads, and it is the one currently awarded to the champions of the playoffs and used for promotions. This version was made in secret, and its production was revealed only three years later.
The replicated "Permanent Cup", was created in 1993 by Montreal silversmith Louise St. Jacques to be used as a stand-in at the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever the Presentation Cup is not available for display. There are very few differences between the authenticated version and the Hockey Hall of Fame version. The surest way to identify one version from the other is to check the engraving for the 1984 Stanley Cup winning Edmonton Oilers. The authenticated version has x's engraved over Basil Pocklington's name whereas his name is completely missing from the Hall of Fame version.
The Stanley Cup has served as a valuable morale booster for both American and Canadian troops, as well as their NATO allies. In 2004, the Cup was displayed at MacDill Air Force Base, located near Tampa, Florida. The visit gave both American troops and a visiting Canadian unit the thrill of seeing the trophy at close hand. The event was later touted by officials at MacDill as "a huge morale booster for our troops". In 2006, the Cup toured Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where wounded Marines were given the opportunity to view and be photographed with the Cup.
In 2007, the Stanley Cup made its first trip into a combat zone. During the trip to Kandahar, Afghanistan from May 2 to 6, organized by the NHL, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the NHL Alumni and the Canadian Department of National Defence, the Cup was put on display for Canadian and other NATO troops. It briefly endured a rocket attack on May 3, but emerged unscathed.
The Stanley Cup did a second tour in Afghanistan as part of a "Team Canada visit" in March 2008. In the spring of 2010 the Stanley Cup made its fourth trip to Afghanistan, accompanied by ex-players.
On June 27, 2010, Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Brent Sopel paid tribute to his friend, former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and Burke's late son, Brendan, by accompanying the Cup to the 2010 Chicago Gay Pride Parade.
In 2018, the Cup was used to improve the spirits of those who were affected by either of two significantly tragic events which claimed the lives of multiple individuals, the Humboldt Broncos' bus crash on April 6, and the Capital Gazette shooting on June 28. For the former, the Stanley Cup was brought to the hospital where the crash survivors were recuperating on April 15, and for the latter, the it was presented to Capital Gazette employees at their temporary office on July 3. Chandler Stephenson of the 2018 champion, the Washington Capitals, also spent his day with the Stanley Cup with the Broncos that August.
The regulations set down by Lord Stanley call for two Trustees, who had the sole, joint right to govern the Cup and the conditions of its awarding until 1947, when they ceded control to the NHL. While the original regulations allow for a Trustee to resign, to date, all Cup Trustees have served until their deaths. In the event of a vacancy, the remaining trustee names the replacement for the deceased or resigned Trustee.
To date, nine men have served as Trustees of the Stanley Cup:
|Trustee||Year of appointment||Served until|
|Sheriff John Sweetland||1893||1907|
|P. D. Ross||1893||1949|
|Mervyn "Red" Dutton||1950||1987|
|Justice Willard Estey||1984||2002|
|Ian "Scotty" Morrison||2002||current|
The 1993 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1992–93 season, and the culmination of the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested between the Los Angeles Kings and the Montreal Canadiens. It was the first appearance in the Final for the Kings and the first appearance since the 1920 Final for a team based on the west coast of the United States. . It was also the 34th and (as of 2018) most recent appearance for Montreal, their first since the 1989 Final. The Canadiens won the series four games to one to win the team's 24th Stanley Cup. The year 1993 was the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the Stanley Cup in 1893, and the first Finals to start in the month of June. The 1993 Canadiens are also the last Stanley Cup championship team to be composed solely of North American-born players. To date, this is the last Stanley Cup finals won by a Canadian team.
The series is remembered for Kings defenceman Marty McSorley's penalty late in the third period of game two for using an illegal stick, in what proved to be the turning point in the 1993 Cup Finals. When McSorley entered the penalty box, Los Angeles held a 1–0 series lead, and a 2–1 score in the contest. The Canadiens then went on to score the equalizer on the ensuing power play, won game two in overtime, and then defeated the Kings in the next three games to win the Cup.
From the moment that McSorley was called for the penalty, the Kings failed to win another postseason game from the remainder of the 20th century, losing all the remaining games of the Finals, failing to qualify for the playoffs in five of the next seven seasons, and being swept out in the first round the other two times. Their next postseason win would not come until 2001, against the Detroit Red Wings.1994 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1994 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1993–94 season, and the culmination of the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested between the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers and Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks were making the club's second Final appearance, their first coming during their Cinderella run of 1982, and the Rangers were making their tenth appearance, their first since 1979. The Rangers ended their record 54-year championship drought with a victory in game seven to claim the long-awaited Stanley Cup. It was the fourth championship in franchise history. The CBC broadcast of the deciding game seven attracted an average Canadian audience of 4.957 million viewers, making it the most watched CBC Sports program in history to that time.1999 Stanley Cup Finals
The 1999 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 1998–99 season, and the culmination of the 1999 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested by the Eastern Conference champion Buffalo Sabres and the Western Conference champion Dallas Stars. It was the 106th year of the Stanley Cup being contested. The Sabres were led by captain Michael Peca, coach Lindy Ruff and goalie Dominik Hasek. The Stars were led by captain Derian Hatcher, coach Ken Hitchcock and goalie Ed Belfour. It was the Sabres' second Stanley Cup Final appearance, the first being a loss to Philadelphia in 1975. It was the third appearance for the Stars' franchise, and their first since moving to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993. Minnesota (known at the time as the North Stars) lost in the Final to the NY Islanders in 1981 and to Pittsburgh in 1991. The Stars defeated the Sabres four games to two to win their first Stanley Cup, becoming the eighth post-1967 expansion team to earn a championship, and the first Southern team to win the Cup. This was the first time since 1994 that the Stanley Cup Finals did not end in a sweep.
This series is also remembered because of the controversial finish to game six, in which Stars forward Brett Hull scored the Cup-winning goal with his skate in the crease, which was against the rules at the time. The league allowed the goal to stand as it was ruled that Hull was turned into the crease while maintaining continuous possession. 1999 was the only year between 1995 and 2003 that neither the New Jersey Devils, the Colorado Avalanche nor the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.2006 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2006 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2005–06 season, and the culmination of the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested between the Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes and the Western Conference champion Edmonton Oilers. It was Carolina's second appearance in the final, the other being in 2002, a loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It was Edmonton's seventh appearance in the Final and their first since their fifth Cup win in 1990. It was also the first (and to date only) finals matchup between two former World Hockey Association franchises. Carolina defeated Edmonton in seven games to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup and become the tenth post-1967 expansion team and third former WHA team to win the Cup. Carolina's 2006 win was also the teams' second league championship (the club, then known as the New England Whalers won the WHA Championship in 1973).2008 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2008 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2007–08 season, and the culmination of the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was contested between the Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings and the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins. This was Detroit's 23rd appearance in the Final, and its first since winning the Cup in 2002. This was Pittsburgh's third appearance in the Final, and its first since winning consecutive Cup championships in 1991 and 1992. The Red Wings defeated the Penguins four games to two, and were awarded the Stanley Cup. Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.This was Detroit's 11th Stanley Cup title and was also the first Cup Final between two United States-based NHL teams since 2003.
In the United States, Versus televised games one and two, and NBC broadcast the rest of the series. It was broadcast in Canada on CBC in English and on RDS in French. In the United Kingdom, all games were aired live on Five, and on the cable sports channel NASN. The series was also broadcast by NHL Radio via Westwood One.2015 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2015 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2014–15 season, and the culmination of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Western Conference champion Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning four games to two to win their sixth championship in franchise history, and their third title in six seasons.
The Lightning, as the club with the better regular-season record, held home-ice advantage in the series. The best-of-seven series was played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format, with Tampa Bay hosting games one, two, five, and seven (if necessary); and Chicago hosting games three, four and six. The series started June 3 and ended on June 15.Tyler Johnson and Patrick Kane led the Stanley Cup playoffs in points scored with 23 points each.2016 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2016 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2015–16 season, and the culmination of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks four games to two to win their fourth championship in franchise history (winning the clinching game of all four on the road). Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.
The Penguins finished ahead of the Sharks during the regular season, giving them home ice advantage in the series. The series began on May 30 and concluded on June 12. This was the first Stanley Cup Finals since 2007 to feature a team making their Finals debut. This was the first playoff meeting between teams from Pittsburgh and the Bay Area since the Penguins swept the Oakland Seals in the 1970 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals.
The Eastern Conference had home-ice advantage in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2004 and 2006 Finals. For the first time since 2011, neither the Chicago Blackhawks nor the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup.2018 Stanley Cup Finals
The 2018 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2017–18 season, and the culmination of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Washington Capitals defeated the Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights four games to one to win their first championship in their 44th season. The Vegas Golden Knights made the Finals in their first season, while this was the second Finals appearance for the Capitals. This was the first Finals series since 2007 where neither team had previously won the Stanley Cup and the third consecutive year in which a Western Conference team made their Finals debut. This was the first Finals since 2014 to require fewer than six games. Washington captain Alexander Ovechkin was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs.
The series began on May 28 and ended on June 7. The Vegas Golden Knights had home ice advantage in the series since the Golden Knights won the Pacific Division with 109 points during the regular season, while the Capitals won the Metropolitan Division with 105 points.Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team has been in existence since 1924, and is the league's third-oldest team overall and the oldest in the United States. It is also an Original Six franchise, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins have won six Stanley Cup championships, tied for fourth most of all-time with the Blackhawks and tied second-most of any American NHL team also with the Blackhawks (behind the Red Wings, who have 11).
The first facility to host the Bruins was the Boston Arena (today's Matthews Arena) – the world's oldest (built 1909–10) indoor ice hockey facility still in use for the sport at any level of competition – and following the Bruins' departure from the Boston Arena, the team played its home games at the Boston Garden for 67 seasons, beginning in 1928 and concluding in 1995, when they moved to the TD Garden.Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks (spelled Black Hawks until 1986, and known colloquially as the Hawks) are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They have won six Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926. The Blackhawks are one of the "Original Six" NHL teams along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Since 1994, the club's home rink is the United Center, which they share with the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls. The club had previously played for 65 years at Chicago Stadium.The club's original owner was Frederic McLaughlin, who owned the club until his death in 1944. Under McLaughlin, a "hands-on" owner who fired many coaches during his ownership, the club won two Stanley Cup titles. The club was then owned by the Norris family, who as owners of the Chicago Stadium were the club's landlord, and owned stakes in several of the NHL teams. At first, the Norris ownership was as part of a syndicate fronted by long-time executive Bill Tobin, and the team languished in favor of the Norris-owned Detroit Red Wings. After the senior James E. Norris died in 1952, the Norris assets were spread among family members and James D. Norris became owner. Norris Jr. took an active interest in the team and under his ownership, the club won one Stanley Cup title in 1961.
After James D. Norris died in 1966, the Wirtz family became owners of the franchise. In 2007, the club came under the control of Rocky Wirtz, who is credited with turning around the organization, which had lost fan interest and competitiveness. Under Rocky Wirtz, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015.Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a professional ice hockey team based in Detroit. They are members of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL) and are one of the Original Six teams of the league. Founded in 1926, the team was known as the Detroit Cougars from then until 1930. For the 1930–31 and 1931–32 seasons the team was called the Detroit Falcons, and in 1932 changed their name to the Red Wings.As of 2018, the Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championships of any NHL franchise based in the United States (11) and are third overall in total Stanley Cup championships, behind the Montreal Canadiens (24) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13). The Wings played their home games at Joe Louis Arena from 1979 until 2017, after playing for 52 years in Olympia Stadium. They moved into the new Little Caesars Arena beginning with the 2017–18 season. The Red Wings are one of the most popular and successful franchises in the NHL; fans and sports commentators refer to the Detroit area as "Hockeytown", which has been a registered trademark owned by the franchise since 1996.Between the 1931–32 and 1965–66 seasons, the Red Wings missed the playoffs only four times. Between the 1966–67 and 1982–83 seasons, the Red Wings made the playoffs only two times. However, thereafter, from 1983–84 to 2015–16, they made the playoffs 30 times in 32 seasons, including 25-straight from 1990–91 to 2015–16 (not counting the cancelled 2004–05 season), at the time the longest streak of postseason appearances in all of North American professional sports. Since 1983–84, the Red Wings have tallied six regular season first-place finishes and have won the Stanley Cup four times (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008).List of Stanley Cup champions
The Stanley Cup is a trophy awarded annually to the playoff champion club of the National Hockey League (NHL) ice hockey league. It was donated by the Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, and is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. Inscribed the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was first awarded to Canada's amateur ice hockey clubs who won the trophy as the result of challenge games and league play. Professional clubs came to dominate the competition in the early years of the twentieth century, and in 1913 the two major professional ice hockey organizations, the National Hockey Association (NHA) (forerunner of the NHL) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other in an annual series for the Stanley Cup. After a series of league mergers and folds, it became the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926, though it was nominally still subject to external challenge. After 1947, the Cup became the de jure NHL championship prize.
From 1914 to the end of the 2018 season, the trophy has been won 100 times. 24 teams have won the cup, 19 of which are still active in the NHL. Prior to that, the challenge cup was held by nine teams. The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 times and made the finals an additional ten times. There were two years when the Stanley Cup was not awarded: 1919, because of the Spanish flu epidemic, and 2005, because of the NHL lockout.Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens (French: Les Canadiens de Montréal) are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
The club's official name is le Club de hockey Canadien. The team is frequently referred to in English and French as the Habs. French nicknames for the team include Les Canadiens (or Le Canadien), Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, La Sainte-Flanelle, Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux (or Nos Glorieux), Le CH, Le Grand Club and Les Habitants (from which "Habs" is derived).
Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide, and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL. One of the oldest North American professional sports franchises, the Canadiens' history predates that of every other Canadian franchise outside football as well as every American franchise outside baseball and the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals. The franchise is one of the "Original Six" teams, a description used for the teams that made up the NHL from 1942 until the 1967 expansion. The team's championship season in 1992–93 was the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times than any other franchise. They have won 24 Stanley Cups, 23 of them since the founding of the NHL and 22 of them since 1927, when NHL teams became the only ones to compete for the Stanley Cup. On a percentage basis, as of 2014, the franchise has won 25.3% of all Stanley Cup championships contested after the Challenge Cup era, making it the second most successful professional sports team of the traditional four major sports of Canada and the United States, behind only the Boston Celtics. The Canadiens also had the most championships by a team of any of the four major North American sports until the New York Yankees won their 25th World Series title in 1999.
Since 1996, the Canadiens have played their home games at Bell Centre, originally known as Molson Centre. The team previously played at the Montreal Forum which housed the team for seven decades and all but their first two Stanley Cup championships.National Hockey League
The National Hockey League (NHL; French: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.
The National Hockey League was organized on November 26, 1917, at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the National Hockey Association (NHA), which had been founded in 1909 in Renfrew, Ontario. The NHL immediately took the NHA's place as one of the leagues that contested for the Stanley Cup in an annual interleague competition before a series of league mergers and folds left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Stanley Cup in 1926.
At its inception, the NHL had four teams—all in Canada, thus the adjective "National" in the league's name. The league expanded to the United States in 1924, when the Boston Bruins joined, and has since consisted of American and Canadian teams. From 1942 to 1967, the league had only six teams, collectively (if not contemporaneously) nicknamed the "Original Six". The NHL added six new teams to double its size at the 1967 NHL expansion. The league then increased to 18 teams by 1974 and 21 teams in 1979. Between 1991 and 2000, the NHL further expanded to 30 teams. It added its 31st team in 2017 and has approved the addition of a 32nd team in 2021.
The league's headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal.After a labour-management dispute that led to the cancellation of the entire 2004–05 season, the league resumed play in 2005–06 under a new collective agreement that included a salary cap. In 2009, the NHL enjoyed record highs in terms of sponsorships, attendance, and television audiences.The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers the Stanley Cup to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The NHL draws many highly skilled players from all over the world and currently has players from approximately 20 countries. Canadians have historically constituted the majority of the players in the league, with an increasing percentage of American and European players in recent seasons.
The current NHL Champions are the Washington Capitals, who defeated the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins (colloquially known as the Pens) are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Penguins are one of two NHL franchises in Pennsylvania, the other being the Philadelphia Flyers. The cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the "Battle of Pennsylvania". The club is owned by Mario Lemieux and Ronald Burkle, who purchased the Penguins in 1999 and brought the club out of bankruptcy.
The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams. The Penguins played in the Civic Arena, also known as The Igloo, from the time of their inception through the end of the 2009–10 season, when they moved to the Consol Energy Center, which was later renamed PPG Paints Arena. The 1992–93 Penguins won the franchise's first-ever Presidents' Trophy for being the team with the most points at the end of the regular season. In addition to their eight division titles, they have qualified for six Stanley Cup Finals, winning the Stanley Cup five times – in 1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, and 2017. Along with the Edmonton Oilers, the Penguins are tied for the most Stanley Cup championships among non-Original Six teams and sixth overall. With their Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and 2017, the Penguins became the first back-to-back champions in 19 years (since the 1997–98 Detroit Red Wings) and the first team to do so since the introduction of the NHL salary cap. They also became the fifth team to accomplish this feat multiple times.Presidents' Trophy
The Presidents' Trophy (French: Trophée des présidents) is an award presented by the National Hockey League (NHL) to the team that finishes with the most points (i.e. best record) during the NHL regular season. If two teams tie for the most points, then the Trophy goes to the team with the most wins. The Presidents' Trophy has been awarded 33 times to 17 different teams since its inception during the 1985–86 season.As the team with the best regular season record, the Presidents' Trophy winner is guaranteed home-ice advantage in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, provided they advance that far. However, it does not guarantee that success; only eight of these winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. Three other teams reached the Stanley Cup Finals, but failed to win. The last team to win both the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the 2012–13 Chicago Blackhawks. The only team to accomplish this more than once is the Detroit Red Wings.Season structure of the NHL
The season structure of the National Hockey League (NHL) is divided into the regular season and the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the regular season, which generally runs from early October through early April, teams play 82 games which determine their standings. The three highest-placed teams in each division and two wild card teams per conference enter the playoff elimination tournament to determine the Stanley Cup champion.Stanley Cup Finals
The Stanley Cup Finals in ice hockey (also known as the Stanley Cup Final among various media, French: Finale de la Coupe Stanley) is the National Hockey League (NHL)'s championship series to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup, North America's oldest professional sports trophy.Originally inscribed the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was donated in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston, then–Governor General of Canada, initially as a "challenge trophy" for Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The champions held onto the Cup until they either lost their league title to another club, or a champion from another league issued a formal challenge and defeated the reigning Cup champion in a final game to claim their win.
Professional teams first became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1906. Starting in 1915, the Cup was officially held between the champion of the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the champion of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). After a series of league mergers and folds, it became the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1926. Starting in 1982, the championship round of the NHL's playoffs has been a best-of-seven series played between the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Western champions have won 19 times, while the Eastern champions have won 17 times.Stanley Cup playoffs
The Stanley Cup playoffs (French: Les séries éliminatoires de la Coupe Stanley) is an elimination tournament in the National Hockey League consisting of four rounds of best-of-seven series. Eight teams from each of the two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season points totals. The final round is commonly known as the Stanley Cup Final, which sees the two conference champions play for the Stanley Cup.
The NHL has always used a playoff tournament to determine its champion. Its playoff system has changed over the years, from the league's inception in 1917 when ownership of the Stanley Cup was shared between different leagues, to when the NHL took over the Cup in 1926, to the current setup today.
Stanley Cup awarded on challenge basis 1893–1914, by prearranged inter-league competitions 1915–1926, to NHL champion since 1927