Stanley Cup
Mandatory Credit: Craig Melvin /Allsport

The Stanley Cup was first awarded 125 years ago on May 15 to the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada’s Montreal Hockey Club.

At the start of every National Hockey League season, every club has one goal it would like to achieve. That’s to win the Stanley Cup. 125 years ago on May 15, the very first cup was awarded. It had a much smaller look back then.

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The Stanley Cup, notably the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America, was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of the Earl of Derby. He purchased the trophy for 10 Guineas ($50.00 at that time) to be presented to “the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada.” The first team ever awarded the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893.


In 1910 the National Hockey Association took ownership of the Stanley Cup and in 1926 only teams from the National Hockey League battled to win the world’s most prestigious trophy.

The original cup is locked in the Hockey Hall of Fame’s vault. Today’s most recent version of the Stanley Cup has the name of every member of every winning team on the cup itself. Bands are often retired to make room for new champions. Retired bands, along with the original Stanley Cup bowl, are proudly displayed in Lord Stanley’s Vault in the Esso Great Hall, located within the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The current Stanley Cup consists of a bowl, three-tiered bands, a collar, and five barrel or uniform bands. The names are hand-etched into the bands of the cup after every Stanley Cup Finals.

Every player on the winning Stanley Cup team gets a period of 24 hours in which they can celebrate with the cup. The Keeper of the Cup, Philip Pritchard, is a very busy man every summer as he chaperones Lords Stanley’s Cup wherever it travels. What a great job that man has, and a great title too.

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