The 2011 NHL Playoffs are in full swing and into the Conference Semifinals. In the Eastern Conference, the Capitals (who beat the Rangers) are taking on the Lightning (who beat the Penguins) and the Bruins (who beat the Canadiens) are duking it out with the Flyers (who beat the Sabres). In the Western Conference, the Sharks (who took out the Kings) are pitted against the Red Wings (who defeated the Coyotes) and the Canucks (who beat the Blackhawks) are fighting the Predators (who overcame the Ducks). As the teams get closer to the Stanley Cup, the excitement gets more and more intense, so don’t miss a moment of the action, get your NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup tickets now!
As one of the most coveted awards in professional sports, the Stanley Cup is always a hugely popular event, which means that tickets can be nearly impossible to find for most people – but not for you, you sly fox! You know that Coast to Coast has plenty of tickets to any NHL event you’d like, including the 2011 NHL Playoffs and 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Plus, since NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals tickets are refundable for playoffs and finals games that aren’t played, you can go ahead and purchase your tickets now with peace of mind. These hard to find tickets won’t be around for long though, so get your 2011 NHL Playoffs and 2011 Stanley Cup Finals tickets today!
The Stanley Cup, the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America, was donated by Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of the Earl of Derby, in 1893. Since 1910, when the National Hockey Association took possession of the Stanley Cup, the trophy has been the symbol of professional hockey supremacy. It has been competed for only by NHL teams since 1926 and has been under the exclusive control of the NHL since 1946.
It all started on March 18, 1892, at a dinner of the Ottawa Amateur Athletic Association. Lord Kilcoursie, a player on the Ottawa Rebels hockey club from Government House, delivered the following message on behalf of Lord Stanley, the Earl of Preston and Governor General of Canada:
"I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion (of Canada).
"There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team."
Shortly thereafter, Lord Stanley purchased a silver cup measuring 7 ½ inches high by 11 ½ inches across for the sum of 10 guineas (approximately $50); appointed two Ottawa gentlemen, Sheriff John Sweetland and Philip D. Ross, as trustees of that cup; and set the following preliminary conditions to govern the annual competition:
* The winners to return the Cup in good order when required by the trustees in order that it may be handed over to any other team which may win it.
* Each winning team to have the club name and year engraved on a silver ring fitted on the Cup.
* The Cup to remain a challenge competition and not the property of any one team, even if won more than once.
* The trustees to maintain absolute authority in all situations or disputes over the winner of the Cup.
* A substitute trustee to be named in the event that one of the existing trustees drops out.
The first winner of the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) hockey club, champions of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada for 1893. Ironically, Lord Stanley never witnessed a championship game nor attended a presentation of his trophy, having returned to his native England in the midst of the 1893 season. Nevertheless, the quest for his trophy has become one of the world's most prestigious sporting competitions.
The Montreal Canadiens have won a record 23 Stanley Cups, with Toronto a distant second at 13. The Habs also hold the record for most consecutive championships with five, accomplished between the years 1956 and 1960 inclusive.
Over the years, the Cup has been sent in for numerous repairs (from a silversmith and an auto body shop, that we know of). It has also been reputedly used as a trash can, a urinal, a peanut dish, and a candy dish. Additionally, it has been reported as being dismantled, been tossed into cemetaries, has been found in numerous beds and at the bottom of numerous swimming pools (Pittsburgh Penguin Mario Lemieux and Montreal Canadien Patrick Roy, for example), dumped in a snowdrift, has starred in its own beer commercial, and during the two summers of 1997 and 1998 when the Red Wings won the cup, the Cup went golfing with Darren McCarty, to the shower with Steve Yzerman, bowling with Martin Lapointe and visited Moscow with Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, and Igor Larionov.