If you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks, you might not know that the Stanley Cup Finals are going on.
In fact, one team might be going home with the Stanley Cup tonight. Game 6 airs at 8 ET tonight, and after Saturday night’s win, Chicago could win it all tonight.
So what happens when someone has won the Stanley Cup? Besides infinite bragging rights, of course.
Skating Around the Ice
As soon as one team wins four of the seven Stanley Cup Final games, the Cup is brought out and presented to the winning team. Then each player gets to do a lap around the ice holding it above his head. Detroit Red Wings Captain Ted Lindsay is the one who started this tradition way back in 1950.
Back in 1998, Detroit Red Wings Captain Steve Yzerman let someone who wasn’t on the roster hoist the Stanley Cup. Vladimir Konstantinov was paralyzed after a limousine accident just six days after winning the Stanley Cup with the Wings in 1997. As Yzerman was presented with the cup, he hoisted it just before setting it on Konstantinov’s lap and helping him parade it around the ice.
A Day with Stanley
The Cup is the most-traveled championship trophy in the world. This is thanks in part to an unofficial tradition. Since 1995, each member of the Cup-winning team gets to have his own day with the cup (always attended with a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, of course). People have swum with it, eaten cereal out of it, and more. It’s been all over North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
After winning the Cup in 1997, Red Wings Defenseman Slava Fetisov convinced NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to let him take it to his hometown of Moscow. It was its first trip to Russia.
It is tradition for the players who have won the Cup to have their names engraved. Originally, there was only one band below Lord Stanley’s Cup, and when it was filled, players decided to engrave their names on the bowl itself rather than buy a new band. Eventually a new band was added, and in 1948 it was redesigned so bands could be removed and added as needed. Currently, five bands are kept on the cup at a time, with older bands being displayed at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
To have their name engraved, players have to have played at least one game in the Stanley Cup Finals or played at least half of the regular season with the team and still be on the roster when the team has won. Exceptions can be petitioned and must be approved by the NHL Commissioner. Konstantinov, for example, was added to the 1998 Stanley Cup winners list despite not being on the team after his accident.
As of right now, 12 women have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup. The first woman was Marguerite Norris, who was the President of the Detroit Red Wings in 1954 and 1955. She was also the first female executive in the NHL.
Pretty cool stuff, huh? I’m only a little biased toward the Red Wings…
What would you do if you had a day with the Stanley Cup?