The best trophy in all of sports has been awarded yet again. The Colorado Avalanche are your 2022 Stanley Cup champs. But the Stanley Cup was dented in the process.
While the celebrations send a chill down my spine every year, it was capped off by Colorado forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel falling while holding the priceless trophy. Leaving a massive dent on the bottom just before the team picture.
This was the first time the Cup has been damaged during the on-ice celebration post game. But it’s far from the first time the Cup has been damaged. Through its history the Stanley Cup has had plenty of dents, knicks, and plenty of typos and Lord Stanley’s fabled cup has one long story to tell.
The oldest story of possible mistreatment of the Cup goes back to 1905 (possible 1906, stories differ). At the time the Cup was much smaller than it is now. Essentially only being the bowl shape at the top, not much bigger than a soccer ball. While there isn’t a whole lot of evidence, if any, there’s a story that a Ottawa Senators player kicked the cup into the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Possibly future Hall of Famer Harvey Pulford. A lot of hockey historians dispute this ever happening, but if true, it would be far from the craziest thing to happen to the trophy.
Léo Dandurand gives what may be the craziest story about the Stanley Cup. He was the coach/owner of the Montreal Canadiens through the 20’s and 30’s. He tells a story about winning the Cup in 1924.
Georges Vézina (yes that Vezina), Sprague Cleghorn and Sylvia Mantha and him were driving with the Cup In Quebec. When the Model T they were driving struggled to get up a hill, they all got out to push the car and Cleghorn set the Cup on the side of the road to help. They got it up the hill and continued driving. When they arrived at their destination they realized they no longer had it. Almost an hour after leaving the Cup there, they found it still waiting for them on the side of the road perfectly safe.
The Stanley Cup has had plenty of other mishaps. Multiple times lit on fire, multiple children have used the Cup as a toilet. There’s still plenty of stories of Messier taking the Cup to strip clubs and it being damaged there. Maurice Richard even chipped two teeth when drinking out of it in 1957. But what the Cup has a very bad history with is swimming pools.
Now I think it’s perfectly fine for players to Celebrate their day with the Cup by having a pool party. Great way to enjoy their summer… but they have to stop throwing it into the pool. Mario Lemieux really kicked off the bad mixture of Lord Stanley and swimming pools back in 1991 with Pittsburgh, quickly learning that it doesn’t float. Patrick Roy tried the same thing in 1993 and found the same results. But Dallas topped them both off in 1999.
After winning the Cup in Buffalo it was brought back to Arlington, Texas. Where a huge party was held at the home of Vinnie Paul, the drummer for heavy Metal band Pantera. Story goes that Dallas forward Guy Carbonneau chucked the Cup off a balcony and tried to get it into the pool. Guy missed and it landed just short of the pool. Leaving a massive dent in it. The Stars spent a few more days partying with Paul and his brother “Dimebag Darrel” even showing up late to their own parade.
For those of you that don’t know the Stanley Cup is hand engraved with all the players, owners, and coaches that have won it. Naturally, it’s filled with typos. Some of which I’m in awe of how they got missed.
The funniest typo will always Be Jacques Plante, who won the Stanley Cup in five consecutive seasons. Over those five appearances on the Cup, his name is spelled differently every single time. In the second of the Islanders four straight cups to start the 80’s, Islanders is spelled “NEW YORK ILANDERS”. The 1963 Maple Leafs are spelled as “TORONTO MAPLE LEAES” and the 1972 Bruins are the “BQSTQN BRUINS”.
One mistake on the Cup was actually controversial. The 1984 Oilers owner Peter Pocklinton tried to include his father Basil Pocklinton onto the Cup as well, who had nothing to do with the team. The NHL was not pleased when they learned the name was snuck on, and covered his name with a string of X’s. Which is still there on the original Cup, but his name is missing from the replica Cup completely. Plenty of other names are misspelled on the Cup as well, there will definitely be more in the future.
So to Colorado players and fans, don’t sweat just denting the bottom of it. There has been plenty of worse things happen to it.
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