Let's Learn From the Past: History of the Stanley Cup
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There are few trophies as highly coveted as the Stanley Cup, the ultimate achievement in the National Hockey League.
The sterling silver trophy weighs 34.5 pounds and stands about 3 feet. The Cup, built in England for $50.00, was donated by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Governor General of Canada, in 1892 to be used as trophy for the amateur championship of Canada.
Officially named Lord Stanley's Cup, the trophy was first hoisted by the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893, making it the oldest professional sports trophy in North America.
The Stanley Cup has changed owners since leaving the hands of Sir Stanley. In 1910, the National Hockey Association took possession of the Cup before handing it over to the National Hockey League 16 years later.
For more than 100 years, the name of each player and coach from every championship team has been engraved into the Cup -- the only professional sports trophy to do so.
Multiple bands have been added to the trophy to make room for names of new champions, with the oldest band being placed into Lord Stanley's vault at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Each year, the Cup is awarded to the winning team of the seven-game Stanley Cup final. Following the trophy presentation, a summer celebration begins with each of the organization's players and staff hosting the Cup for a day.
The Montreal Canadiens have won a record 23 Stanley Cup titles since the formation of the NHL, with the Toronto Maple Leafs a distant second at 13 championships.
The Stanley Cup has traveled all over the world, including a few stops in Pittsburgh, when the Penguins won it in 1991, 1992, and 2009.
Visitors to the Heinz History Center can get up-close-and-personal with the Stanley Cup this weekend, starting today at 3 p.m. Penguins fans can also relive great moments in team history at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum inside the History Center.
First Published April 1, 2010 12:00 am