And the Holy Grail hockey. The cup that everyone dreams of and that somehow grants eternal youth, in the sense that the fame it guarantees will never die. It carries the weight of history, the link with tradition and all the names of the winners. There The Stanley Cup has an undeniable, magnetic charm. In a few days it will be the captain of the winning team who will lift it. So Steven Stamkos (Lightning) or Gabriel Landeskog (Avalanche).
A drink coming from afar
Frederic Arthur Stanleybetter known as Lord Stanley of Preston was named governor of Canada by the queen Victoria a 1888. He and his children soon discovered the new sport that drove Canadians crazy: ice hockey. Mostly kids became passionate players. On March 18, 1892, at a dinner of the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association, it was proposed to Lord Stanley that he give away a cup for the winning team of a challenge. It is not a final cup, but will be reassigned year after year to the winners. Lord Stanley took the opportunity to code some rules and give a first regulation to that new game. A silver cup was bought which cost 10 guineas (equivalent to about $ 1,500 today). The Stanley Cup was made in Sheffield in England. The first winners were the players of the Montreal Amateur Athletics Association in 1893. Lord Stanley never saw a competition in which his cup was awarded because he returned to England a few weeks before the 1893 challenge. But his children founded the Ontario Hockey Association which effectively started the organization of modern hockey. The NHL didn’t exist yet, the first time it was awarded by the new league was in 1917.
It all happened with the glass, as the first pioneers of ice hockey. The first the matches were played without railingsthere were already a few thousand spectators and the players ended up gaining momentum among the audience, often the fans mistreated them a little before returning them to the court … 1905 the team of Dawson City traveled for 23 days, even on a sleigh to get to play the challenge. The cup has always been accompanied high alcohol celebrations. The drunken Ottawa players threw the cup into the Rideau Canal and they caught him the next day. It has often been forgotten where they had organized the victory party. He was even robbed complete with a rescue note. He resisted and came to us. But it was replaced by a replica made in 1963the original silver was now too fragile and thin and is preserved in the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame Vault Hall. So what is delivered from 1964 is a Presentation Cup, which also has its own replica ready to take its place in the shop window. Because the Stanley Cup is the only trophy in the world that during the summer is given to each player on the winning team for a day so that he can show it to friends and family at home. Because it travels about 200 days a year attend events, appear on TV shows. It’s a star, the Stanley Cup. He also has his personal social media accounts. It also has managers who take care of it and never lose sight of it. Because, in fact, anything can happen to him. The tradition of drinking champagne from the glass seems to have begun in 1896 of the Winnipeg Victories. Then many imitated him, with all the cups and in all the sports. But from time to time it got worse. I Olczyk (New York Rangers) took her to the Belmont Stakes in 1984 and fed us the winning horse of the Kentucky Derby. gallop. There are countless players who have used it as a bowl to feed their beloved dogs. Old habit … but not too much. Sean O’Donnell did the same in 2007 and Nick Bonino of the Penguins in recent years.
A special way
The Stanley Cup is also famous for its shape. due to the tradition of writing the names of the winners in the cup which thus becomes a list of honor for the final, or maybe it would be better to say silver … The first attempts were awkward, sometimes incisions made with a small knife, sometimes only the name of the team was written, other times all the names of the players. But the habit quickly became a tradition. The names of the players and staff must be noted in the cup. A understandable space problem to welcome so much glory. The addition of rings to the base of the cup has been fixed so that other names can be engraved on the silver band that was added. The last ring was unveiled in 2018 by the capitals of Washington and will host the winners until 2030. But these bases may not bear all the approximately 3,300 names that have been written during 129 years of challenges. The silver bands are being phased out and kept in the Hockey Hall of Fame, leaving only the most recent names. The team that has won it several times is the Montreal Canadiens (24). The player who has recorded his name several times is Henri Richards of Montreal: won 11 times. But the name that appears several times is that of Jean Beliveau: 17 times, 10 as a player and 7 as a coach.
The turn of the track
The other tradition related to the Stanley Cup is that it is given to the captain of the winning team and he is one make the first lap of the track by lifting the cup over your shoulders with both hands, given the size. A scene that has become one of the most emblematic celebrations of the sport. But this is a fairly recent invention. It was first released on ice immediately after the game in 1932. And it wasn’t until 1950 that Ted Lindsay, captain of the Detroit Red Wings, thought of lifting him above his head. and take a walk around the track to show it closer to the fans. Good idea. Since then it has always been like this and the cup has always been delivered at the end of the final (before it didn’t happen every year …). Only three captains have given the honor of the first round to other players. Because it represented revenge. Wayne Gretzky gave it to Steve Smith in 1987accused the previous year of losing the Oilers and Guy Carbonneau in 1993 gave it to Denis Savard that many of Montreal would have liked to send somewhere else in some trade to get rid of it. In 2001, the year of the last victory of the Colorado Avalanche that return to the final this year, Joe Sakic presented the trophy to Ray Bourque, legendary player who had finally come to win the Stanley Cup after 22 years of career and who had already announced his retirement.
The NHL at Sky Sports
Race 1 between Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning is tonight at 2pm at the Sky Sport Arena. Runs 2 at night between Saturday and Sunday always a 2.00 and Sky Sport Action. Play the best of 7 games. The advantage of the field is of the Avalanche that had better balance in the regular season. Tampa Bay has won the title for the past two seasons, Colorado last won in 2001.