How Much Does the Stanley Cup Weigh and 10 Other Fun Facts About the Cup

Carol Schram@pool88Featured ColumnistJune 12, 2012

How Much Does the Stanley Cup Weigh and 10 Other Fun Facts About the Cup

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    The day has finally arrived.

    On their third try, the Los Angeles Kings have finally won their first championship in their 44-year franchise history.

    The Stanley Cup stands 35.25 inches tall and weighs 34.5 pounds.

    As Dustin Brown demonstrated tonight, it feels light as a feather when it's hoisted overhead by a winning captain for the first time.

    Here are 10 more fun facts about the coveted silver chalice.

The Stanley Cup Has More Facebook Friends Than You

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    Check out the Facebook page for Lord Stanley's Cup. It's close to 100,000 fans.

    The page is full of great content. It features current news, historical nuggets and a timeline that goes back to the 1800s.

    Bet your page doesn't do that either.

It's the Oldest Trophy in Professional Sports

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    The Stanley Cup has the richest history by far of any professional North American sport.

    It was originally donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston.

    He's also the namesake of Stanley Park in Vancouver, where this statue stands.

    According to the Hockey Hall of Fame website, Lord Stanley purchased the trophy for 10 Guineas—about $50 at the time—with the intent of presenting it to "the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada."

    The first champion was the Montreal AAA, or the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, in 1893.

    The National Hockey Association began awarding the trophy in 1910. In 1926, it became the symbol of supremacy for the National Hockey League.

Don't Touch It Unless You Win It

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    There has been a long tradition that players won't touch the Stanley Cup until they win it. That's one of the reasons why the hoisting-and-passing ritual when the Cup is awarded gets so emotional.

    There has also been a trickle-down effect. Most players now refuse to touch their conference championship trophies either. The thought is that they haven't won anything yet—their eyes are still on the big prize.

    Neither Boston nor Vancouver touched their respective trophy in 2011. In 2010, Mike Richards did hoist the Prince of Wales Trophy for the Flyers, while Jonathan Toews elected not to touch the Clarence Campbell Bowl, and the Blackhawks emerged victorious. However, Sidney Crosby's carrying the Prince of Wales trophy did nothing to hurt the Penguins' Cup chances in 2009.

    Wikipedia has a good series of anecdotes across the years. There doesn't seem to be any correlation between touching the conference trophy and ultimate success, but there's little doubt that the superstition will live on and be a talking point for many years to come.

No Eighth-Seed Has Ever Won the Stanley Cup

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    With their Stanley Cup victory, the Los Angeles Kings have made history as the only eighth-seed ever to capture the big prize.

    The only previous eighth-seed to reach the final was the 2005-06 Edmonton Oilers, who lost to the Carolina Hurricanes.

    Until their loss in Newark in Game 5 of the finals, the Kings were also on the verge of becoming the first team in Stanley Cup history not to lose a game on the road in the playoffs.

What's Engraved on There?

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    Engraving the roster of the Stanley Cup champion did not become an annual tradition until the 1924-25 Victoria Cougars.

    The first team to engrave its names inside the bowl was the 1906-07 Montreal Wanderers. The 1914-15 Vancouver Millionaires also engraved nine names inside the bowl.

    Now, there are 2,267 names engraved on the cup in total. As new names are added, older rings are removed and stored at the Hockey Hall of Fame. If you look at the cup today, you won't see any names between 1928-29 and 1953-54.

    A few mistakes have been made over the years, like spelling Montreal's Bob Gainey's last name as "Gainy" or awarding the 1982 cup to the New York "Ilanders." Jacques Plante won the cup in five consecutive years between 1956 and 1960 and his name is spelled differently every time.

    Despite the mistakes, there have only been four trusted engravers in Cup history. Currently, the duties are handled by Louise St. Jacques of Boffey Silversmiths in Montreal.

    The Hockey Hall of Fame website explains the engraving process:

    During engraving the Cup is disassembled from the top down. The band being engraved is clamped onto a homemade circular jig that creates a steel background for stamping. Special hammers with different head-weights are used to strike against a letter-punch to sink each letter into the silver.

The Cup Has Two Trustees

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    When Lord Stanley first donated the Stanley Cup back in 1893, he appointed two trustees to care for it.

    According to the Hockey Hall of Fame website:

    The main responsibility of the trustees was to maintain the rules, govern the competitions and ensure the Stanley Cup was awarded and returned in proper condition. When one trustee chooses to resign or is in need of replacement, the remaining trustee nominates a substitute. The trustees have absolute power over all matters regarding the Stanley Cup.

    Today's trustees are former NHL Executive Vice President Brian O'Neill, who has held the position since 1988, and Ian "Scotty" Morrison, longtime NHL referee-in-chief and former president and chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He's held his position since 2002.

The Kings Will Have to Dig Deep to Outdo the 2011 Bruins

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    After their June 18, 2011 Stanley Cup Parade, six of the Boston Bruins gathered at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, where they racked up an astonishing bar tab of $156,679.74.

    The piece de resistance was the $100,000 bottle of champagne. Thirty litres in size, there are only six in the world. The Daily Mail has photos, along with a picture of the bill in its entirety. See it for yourself to fully appreciate it.

    Given their reputations, perhaps Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are the perfect candidates to lead the charge to beat that bill.

There Are Actually THREE Cups

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    This photo is the original Stanley Cup, as donated by Lord Stanley and physically awarded to the champion until 1970.

    The Cup we know today is dubbed the "Presentation Cup." According to Wikipedia, it was created in 1963 when NHL President Clarence Campbell felt that the original Cup was becoming too thin and fragile. The Presentation Cup features the symbol of the Hockey Hall of Fame on the bottom of its base, which can be seen when winning players hoist the Cup above their heads. This is the Cup that's awarded to the championship team and used for promotional events such as the All-Star Game, Fan Fairs, NHL Awards and such.

    The third Cup is a replica of the Presentation Cup. It was created in 1993 and stands in at the Hockey Hall of Fame when the Presentation Cup is out on the road. There are two key differences—the seal on the bottom and the entry for the 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers.

    Owner Peter Pocklington originally had his father Basil's name engraved on the Presentation Cup, but when it was discovered that he had no actual connection to the team, the name was crossed out with a series of X's. On the Replica Cup, Basil Pocklington's name does not appear at all.

The Keeper of the Cup Plays It Cool

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    Over the years, Phil Pritchard's face has become quite well-known.

    He's an officer for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and he's been traveling with the Stanley Cup since 1991. His white gloves are an unmistakable hallmark of the care that's lavished on the trophy—at least until it gets into the hands of the winners. explains that Pritchard and the Cup don't actually enter the building until it looks like a win might be at hand.

A Day with the Cup Is a Relatively New Tradition

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    There's plenty of lore about players like Guy Lafleur and Mario Lemieux going rogue with the Stanley Cup for a few hours here and there, but the tradition of each player on the winning team getting one day with the cup wasn't formalized until the New Jersey Devils' victory in 1995.

    Since 2003, the Hockey Hall of Fame website has been keeping a journal of the Cup's travels, with detailed entries on everything from the parade to the engraving to the banner-raising, along with all the players' adventures in between.

    They've also built special journal entries highlighting the Cup's trips to Afghanistan, and a collection of celebrities who have been photographed with the puck.

    Click here to check it out.

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