How Do You Qualify to Get Your Name on the Stanley Cup?



There are few sports trophies as legendary as Lord Stanley’s Cup. This article will tell aspiring hockey players how they might have their names inscribed on this historic piece of sport’s memorabilia.

The Stanley Cup is one of the only major trophies that engraves club participants noting important members and the year they won the National Hockey League’s ultimate title.

Players, coaches, management personnel, and other support staff are all eligible to have their names written on the trophy during a championship run, but some might be included on the engraving depending on one’s role in the club and grave personal misconduct. 

History of the Stanley Cup

image by [Scazon] via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Lord Stanley Preston was the general governor of Canada in the late 1800s. After seeing the Montreal Victorias and the Montreal Athletic Club play one another in an exhibition match during the 1889 Winter Carnival, he became a great fan of hockey. He became a devoted advocate for the game, amazed by each team’s skill and tenacity.

As a result, he played the main role in the growth of the young sport of ice hockey in Canada, effectively helping it to become the international sport that you know today. As Canada was a subject of England at the time, Lord Stanley helped to organize the first amateur hockey leagues in Canada as well as the United Kingdom, and the championship trophy was named in his honor.

In a tradition that continues to today’s NHL, winning teams were expected to enjoy their time with the trophy but return it at the beginning of the next season. You can find no shortages of footage featuring players partying with the Stanley Cup only to give it back the next season for the next championship club to enjoy.

Taking a crazy photo with “The Cup” has become a rite of passage at this point.

How Do You Qualify to Get Your Name on the Stanley Cup?

The bare minimum requires that individuals must be members of a winning club to have their names inscribed on the Stanley Cup for a given championship year. Players and coaches are often obvious pick to have their names put down on the Cup’s ledger, but there have been sentimental picks put down alongside the team captains and head coaches.

Equipment managers, trainers who have had particular sentimental value or were beloved former players have also graced the side of the Stanley Cup. It is one of the world’s only sports trophies that allows clubs to pay homage most fittingly and make sure that every individual gets the proper recognition for his or her contribution to a championship season.

What Team Has Won the Stanley Cup the Most?

The Stanley Cup has been exclusive to champions of the National Hockey League (NHL) since 1926, and the league has claimed corporate ownership of the iconic piece since 1910. The first Stanley Cup was fittingly awarded by Lord Stanley 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association.

Despite hockey’s global explosion, the Montreal Canadians still claim the most Stanley Cup wins. The club is one of the original hockey teams and has established a legacy of continued excellence. The Montreal Canadians have won 23 titles since the formation of the National Hockey League as the world knows it today.

While the Stanley Cup is older than the NHL is as a chartered organization, Montreal still leads organized hockey in both “pre-NHL” and “NHL” Stanley Cup wins. This tradition can ultimately be traced back to Lord Stanley’s local support of hockey clubs and his desire to see to sport flourish and improve upon itself every season.

Whose Name Is on the Stanley Cup the Most?

You will find this a fascinating question, as anyone can have his or her name included on the Stanley Cup, from the head coach down to a beloved equipment manager. This makes Lord Stanley’s Cup a historical document all its own, even including an inscription from the 1919 Spanish Flu which simply reads “SEASON NOT PLAYED”.

As the cup is currently constructed (past rings have been removed to make the cup easier to maneuver/transport) Scotty Bowman is currently featured on the Cup. His accolades include 9 championship seasons as a coach and 5 more winning seasons as an executive.

Henry Richard has the most wins listed as a roster player with 11 on-ice championships. He was a part of multiple Montreal Canadian back-to-back runs, making him part of the reason that the Montreal club has the fearsome legacy that they maintain to this day.

How Heavy Is the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup is the only major trophy that is constantly expanded to make room for the names of champions that came before. Despite this tradition, it is still surprisingly light, allowing players to parade the piece around home ice after an exhausting season.

The Stanley Cup stands at approximately 35 inches and 35 pounds, so NHL players will be able to easily lift the trophy over their heads for years to come. 

What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Stanley Cup?

  • Despite male players dominating the list of inscriptions on the cup, there are twelve women featured on the legendary trophy for their contributions to the game.
  • Other major sports trophies are re-made every year, but the Stanly Cup is passed down every year, truly making its passing one of the greatest traditions in all of sport.
  • Each player gets the cup for a day during the offseason. Dedicated hockey fans will find no shortage of hilarious pictures featuring legendary team captains and their families posing with Lord Stanley’s Cup and creating life-long moments with it. Other professional athletes typically only get a shared parade to have some personal time with the physical embodiment of their sport’s greatest achievement.
  • The Stanley Cup is one of the most beloved and storied trophies in all of sport, and this can still be seen with the very personal interaction that players and their families have with the artifact when they get to take it home and enjoy their success.

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