How Many Stanley Cups Are There?

By Carey Hart on June 6 2020 in Sports

The presentation Stanley Cup is awarded to the NHL champions each year. Image credit:
The presentation Stanley Cup is awarded to the NHL champions each year. Image credit:
  • There are actually three versions of the Stanley Cup.
  • There was a new version of the Stanley Cup made because the owner of the NHL worried the original was too fragile.
  • Nobody can see the original Stanley Cup as it's locked away at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

The Stanley Cup is the trophy that is awarded to the team that wins the playoffs in the National Hockey League (NHL). It is argued that this trophy is one of the hardest trophies to get in all of the professional sports. A team has to make the playoffs in order to qualify to win the Stanley Cup. To do that, there is first an 82 game season, and you need to finish in the top 16 of 31 teams. Then, you have to win four best of seven series, for a total of up to 28 games played. If your team is successful, only then do you get to hoist the Stanley Cup over your head and call yourself a champion. What many people don't know is that there isn't just one Stanley Cup ... there are actually three of them, the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the Presentation Cup, and the Permanent Cup. 

The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup 

The original Stanley Cup was donated by Lord Stanley. Image credit:

The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup was the original Stanley Cup. It was purchased as well as donated by Lord Stanley himself. This cup was awarded to the players up until the 1970 season. Players of the winning teams also got their name engraved into said cup. The dominion hockey challenge cup was made of silver and is 18.5 centimeters (7.28 inches) high and 29 centimeters (11.42 inches) wide. Currently, this cup is locked away in a vault at the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is located in Toronto, Canada. 

The Presentation Cup 

Unlike other professional sports, a new Stanley Cup is not made each year. Rather, a winning team gets to keep the trophy for an off-season (from June to October), trading ownership of it from player to player, and it is returned to the NHL waiting for a new winning team to take ownership. The presentation cup was created in 1963, the reason for the new cup was that the league owner at the time deemed the current cup (the dominion hockey challenge cup) was too thin and fragile. The presentation cup is the current cup used in today's NHL and is hoisted over the heads of winning hockey teams every year in June. This cup is also used for promotional reasons, commercials, and charity events. There is only one person who has the key to the cups 

The Permanent Cup

The permanent Stanley Cup is at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Image credit:

The Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto, Canada, located in the heart of downtown and was established in 1961. In 1993, the permanent cup was created for tourists and fans alike to get their photo taken with the elusive Stanley Cup. There are very few differences between the Permanent Cup and the real Stanley Cup, to give fans that real authentic feeling. It is said that the only real way of noticing the difference between one version from the other is to check the engraving for the 1984 Stanley Cup-winning Edmonton Oilers. The authenticated version has x's engraved over hockey player Basil Pocklington's name, and in the Hockey Hall of Fame version, his name is missing altogether. Make sure to keep an eye out for this the next time you're in Toronto!

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