April 8th was the busiest Saturday ever for the NHL, the first time there were 16 games played and all 32 teams in action. Of course, all these players were aiming at the grandest trophy of them all: the Stanley Cup.
In honor of this historic day, and as we gear up now for the Stanley Cup, we thought we’d share some fun facts about the playoffs and the trophy—share them with your family during commercial breaks between games!
1. Did you know that the Stanley Cup is the oldest professional trophy in North America?
The trophy is over 130 years old! According to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley donated the trophy in 1892, and the first team to win the Cup was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association.
2. Did you know that the players and staff get to spend a day with the trophy?
No other sport has this tradition! Each year, after a team wins the trophy, every single player on that team, and every single staff member, gets to spend a full 24 hours with the trophy. The trophy “has traveled around the world, including stays in Russia, Japan, and Switzerland as well as atop mountain peaks through the Rockies and inside igloos in Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut.”
3. Did you know that the Stanley Cup is older than the NHL?
Sir Stanley donated the trophy in 1892, 25 years before the NHL began. Before the NHL was organized, there were smaller regional leagues across the United States and Canada.
4. Did you know that players get the summer off before returning to training camp?
Training for the next season starts in early September. Even elite players remember to take their rest!