Hockey may not be the most popular sport in the world, but it does have the most badass trophy in the world. The Stanley Cup is not reproduced annually and it’s the only professional sports trophy that has the name of the winning players, coaches, management, and club staff engraved upon it. Even better was that until 1995 – when it became required that a Hockey Hall of Fame representative be with the Cup at all times – the team that won it could do pretty much whatever they wanted with it until the next season. Under the more stringent current rules, each member of the winning organization will be able to take individual possession of the Cup for 24 hours some time before the start of the next season.
Even with the tighter rules since 1995, the Stanley Cup has been involved in a lot of crazy incidents. Uh, like that photo of Patrick Kane with the cup from last year. But aside from being just a giant drinking glass, the Stanley Cup has been a miracle worker, a hostage (twice), a dog bowl, and it even once found its way to the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s pool. The Stanley Cup’s adventures make The Hangover I and II seem tame in comparison. So let’s take a look back at the adventures of Lord Stanley.
Adventures of the Stanley Cup
It’s probably a good thing Ottawa isn’t winning the Stanley Cup this year, because back in 1905 they didn’t treat it very well. After winning the trophy, a drunken member of the team accepted a challenge to punt the Cup into the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Luckily for the Cup, the canal was frozen, and instead of being sunk it bounced across the ice. The Cup was left out on the ice all night before being recovered by hungover and embarrassed teammates the next morning.
In 1907 it was stolen from a photographer’s home after it was accidentally left there by the Montreal Wanderers. It was held for ransom, but when no one bit, the thief returned it to the photographer’s house. It was reportedly used by the photographer’s wife as a flower pot until the Wanderers learned it had been recovered.
In 1924 some Montreal Canadiens players stuck it in the back of their car on the way to a victory party. After getting a flat tire, they took the Cup out and set it on a snowbank in order to get the spare tire. After fixing the tire, they sped off with the Cup still sitting in the snow bank. When it was time to drink champagne from the Cup they remembered they’d left it out on the road. It was still there when they drove back to pick it up.
In 1970 the Cup was stolen from the Hockey Hall of Fame. A popular theory is that it was being held hostage by someone whom the police were familiar with. It was eventually recovered a few weeks later but the details of how are sketchy. According to police, it was simply left on a Detective Sergeant’s driveway.
In 1991 it wound up at the bottom of Super Mario’s pool when a teammate dove into the water with it. Just to let you know, the Cup weighs more than 30 lbs.
In 1996 a childless couple of 14 years attended a party where the Stanley Cup was present. The woman, who doctors said had a slim to none chance of getting pregnant, kissed the Cup while at the party. Shortly after she discovered she was pregnant. By counting back, she determined she likely conceived the night she kissed the Cup. The couple named their kid Stanley.
In 1999 a number of Dallas Stars were good friends with the band Pantera. After the Stars won the cup, Vinnie Paul – the co-founder of Pantera – had a party at his house for the Dallas Stars and all his heavy metal friends. During the party, people rode the Cup like a pony, drank from it, etc. But things really got out of hand when Guy Carbonneau stood on Paul’s balcony overlooking the pool, raised the Cup over his head and threw the cup from the balcony towards the pool….and missed. The Cup naturally had an enormous dent in it. A silversmith was immediately called to repair the cup. The Stars deny this ever happened.
Other bizarre facts:
The Cup has reportedly been crapped in and urinated on.
It’s shared a bed with at least one player and his wife.
A Kentucky Derby winner has eaten from it.
It’s been to strip clubs. (Not a big surprise)
New York Islanders player Clark Gillies let his dog eat out of it.
Has been misplaced multiple times by airlines.
Has been dogsledding.
Has been run through the dishwasher at the Ramada Inn in Armonk, NY by Esa Tikkanen.
Jamie Langenbrenner took the cup innertubing behind a speedboat. The only way the cup attendant would let him do it is if they put a lifejacket on the trophy.
A number of players’ children have been baptized in it.
It’s been the guest of honor at weddings.
It’s been atop peaks in the Rocky Mountains.
It’s been to Afghanistan.
So in other words, when the Cup comes to your town, be sure to go party with it. At least until someone takes a crap in it.