The Stanley Cup is the most famous out of all of the sports trophies in the world. One of the reasons it’s different is because if you are lucky enough to win it, your name is etched into it and it stays there for anywhere from fifty-two to sixty-five years. You could almost say that it stays there for the rest of that person’s life.
Another reason that it’s unlike other trophies in professional sports is that players get to spend time alone with the Stanley Cup. They used to get twenty-four hours with it and the event was called “Day with the Cup.” Now it travels so much and players are from so far away, it has been extended to forty-eight hours. In other sports, they get to hold the trophy while on the court or field while the celebration is going on after winning it. Then it goes on display in the arena or team offices.
Another major reason the Cup is different is there is only one. Well, there are actually two because there has to one at the Hockey Hall of Fame at all times. The replacement goes on display there while the other one is out on the road for three hundred days a year. The Cup is passed from team to team each year to the new winners. In other sports, a new trophy is made up each year.
That’s why the Stanley Cup is so special. You have it for a year, two if you’re lucky, and then you have to give it up. Fans understand why it is so special and whenever it appears somewhere they flock to it for a possible photo op. Here are some of the places around the world that it has been.
25 Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto, Canada
This is the official home of the Stanley Cup but it doesn’t spend a lot of time there. It’s on the road for more than three hundred days each year. They have a very nicely done replica that stands in its place when it’s out on the road and you would probably never know the difference if you saw it.
When one of your main features is gone most of the time, you’d better have something that looks EXACTLY the same in its place for when it’s gone.
24 Every Hockey City In The USA
When you have a league where twenty-four of your thirty-one teams are based in the United States, it goes without saying that the Cup has been all over the USA. It has to be included here because it’s one of the places in the world that the Cup has been but we’ll go more in depth about some of those places shortly.
Some of the stories are funny and some just don’t make any sense at all as to why players would do the things they do.
23 A Baptism In Pitea, Sweden
In 2008 Tomas Holmstrom won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. During his day with the Cup, he brought it home to Pitea, Sweden and made it part of the baptism of his cousin Alva Felicia Holmstrom.
She was just two months old at the time and she was actually baptized INSIDE of the Cup. She is believed to be only the second person in the world who was baptized in the Stanley Cup, so that’s pretty cool for her!
22 A Shower In Detroit, Michigan, USA
In 1997 Steve Yzerman won the first Stanley Cup during his Hall of Fame career. The captain of the squad was so happy at his first championship that he was up all night partying with friends and family. When he finally got home, as the captain of the team, he still had the Cup with him.
He didn’t want to let it out of his sight so he brought it into the shower with him.
After a long night of partying who couldn’t use a nice shower right?
21 Side Of The Road In Montreal, Canada
No, that’s not the name of a city in Montreal. The 1924 Montreal Canadiens were good enough that year to win the Stanley Cup as the champions of the National Hockey League. They brought the Cup with them everywhere they went and when a few players got a flat tire, it waited patiently on the side of the road as a new tire was put onto the vehicle.
The players were so excited to get back on the road that they all piled into the car and took off. They totally forgot the Cup was on the side of the road!
20 Hodonin, Czech Republic - Things get silly when the Cup comes to town
The Washington Capitals just won their very first Stanley Cup Championship last month. Michal Kempny was part of that winning squad and on his day with the Cup, he brought it home to Hodonin, Czech Republic to share it with his friends, family, and residents of his hometown.
He brought it to the local Vaclav Nedomansky Hockey Rink were at least 2,000 local residents came out to be a part of the celebration. Kempny had a great time at the event and said "I enjoyed it here a lot. Sometimes it got a little crazy here. I didn't expect so many people to come around here.” That’s what happens when the Cup comes to town!
19 The Forum Inn, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Taking centre stage
Anyone who has been to an Edmonton Oilers game knows that The Forum Inn is right across the street. That’s an establishment where young women earn good money so they can pay their way through college.
Whenever Mark Messier won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Oilers, he brought the Cup across the street, where it was used in the stage show of several performers. If there wasn’t enough to look at previously, putting the Cup up there didn’t hurt a thing!
18 The Ural Mountains, Siberia - What's the weather like up there, Stanley?
Hockey Hall of Fame Vice President, Phil Pritchard, always keeps tabs on where the Cup is. You know him as one of the men who wear the white gloves to present the trophy to the winning team each year. He said that Pavel Datsyuk, a member of the winning Detroit Red Wings squad, took the Stanley Cup to the top of the Ural Mountains once.
Datsyuk, from Russia, obviously made the most of his twenty-four hours with the Cup and brought it to heights the trophy has rarely reached!
17 The Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA
Scott Niedermayer won the Stanley Cup four different times, three with the New Jersey Devils and once more with the Anaheim Ducks before he retired. The Hall of Famer defenseman has been honored numerous times for his illustrious career and many say that he may be the best defenseman of all time.
One time after winning the Cup he rented a helicopter and brought it up to the top of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The scene provided a perfect backdrop for a Stanley Cup photo.
16 Kandahar, Afghanistan - Day with the troops
The travels of the Stanley Cup have been well documented over the 125 years of its existence. In 2007 it made its very first appearance in an active military zone. Sure, some of the parties it has attended over the years could be considered that but when it went to Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar, Afghanistan it was the first official trip into a live zone.
Troops from both the United States and Canada flocked to the trophy for photo ops.
15 Mario Lemieux’s Pool, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - gone for a dip
Mario Lemieux might have saved the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise in more ways than one, but he didn’t do the Stanley Cup any favors when he tried to sink it back in 1991.
The Pens had just won their first championship and the entire city was in a celebratory mood for several weeks. At one of those celebration parties at the current Penguins owner’s house, the Cup took a dip, and from the weight of it, quickly sank to the bottom of the pool.
14 The Rio Grande, Mexico - for the fans
There are several nations in the world that have never had a native player be a part of a Stanley Cup winning team. Mexico is one of those countries but that doesn’t mean the Cup has never been there.
There were a lot of fans from Mexico who used to cross the border to go to minor league hockey games in Texas. The team decided to get the Cup and bring it over the border and let those fans take photos with it.
13 Niagara Falls, Buffalo, New York - an even better photo op
Patrick Kane grew up in Buffalo, New York, but made himself famous in Chicago as a member of the Blackhawks. He was the #1 overall draft pick in 2007 and led the Chicago franchise to three Stanley Cup Championships (so far).
When they won the first of those three back in 2010, Kane used his day with the Cup to bring it home to Buffalo and take it to Niagara Falls. It’s always a great photo op there but when you bring the Cup there it’s even better!
12 The Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - kick the cup
The Rideau Canal is also known as the Rideau Waterway and it was once a temporary home to the Stanley Cup.
Way back in 1905, the Ottawa Silver Seven held the Cup for three years (03-06) and they did plenty of partying to celebrate their possession of the trophy. One night, after a heavy night of partying, a player dared Harry Smith to kick the Cup across the canal. He accepted the challenge but failed to launch it far enough to avoid landing smack in the middle of the water!
11 Kiev, Ukraine - Back to the roots
When Ruslan Fedotenko scored both goals in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2-1 Game 7 Stanley Cup winning match up against the Calgary Flames, he was forever etched into hockey history.
When he returned home to Kiev, Ukraine with the Stanley Cup, he was forever etched into the city’s resident’s hearts as well. There was a huge ceremony at the Kiev City Hall, but not before the cup made an appearance at the Avangard Ice Arena, where Fedotenko first got his career underway.
10 Hrusica, Slovenia - 160 square feet is all you need
You may not have ever heard of Hrusica, Slovenia before and that’s probably for a good reason. It’s a small town where Anze Kopitar began his great hockey career that culminated with a Stanley Cup victory in 2012.
He brought the Cup home for its first ever visit to that country and more than 5,000 people showed up to see it. From the huge crowd, you’d never know that Anze learned how to play the game on an eight foot by twenty-foot piece of ice. If you want to talk about making the most out of what you have, there it is!
9 A Photographers Home In Montreal, Canada, As A Flower Pot
Back in 1907 when the Montreal Wanderers won the Stanley Cup away from the Ottawa Silver Seven, they wanted to remember the event so they went to a photographer’s house to have him take a snapshot of the group with its new trophy.
Everything went very well until it was time to leave. Nobody on the team remembered to take the Cup with them.
The photographer’s wife found it and turned it into a flower pot before the team was able to figure out where they had left it.
8 The Arctic Circle, Canada - Couldn't believe their eyes
There are a lot of places in the world that would love to have the Stanley Cup visit. Most of the smaller areas will never get that lucky but back in 2004 the Cup took a five day trip to the Arctic Circle in Northern Canada and brought joy to everyone up there.
The night it appeared in Taloyoak was magical for the entire area and one child said it best when he said that he was so unbelievably happy to see it, that he couldn't believe his eyes.
7 The New York Rangers Bonfire - 54 years of bad luck
The New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1940. Winning the championship also allowed them to make the final payments on Madison Square Garden so the team no longer had a mortgage payment on it. So they decided to combine the celebration of both events.
Team members burned the mortgage papers inside of the Cup, starting a bonfire.
When things got out of control the players peed on the fire to try and put it out. The Cup was seriously damaged and the team had to pay for the repairs. Justifiably so, the Rangers didn’t win the Cup again for 54 years.
6 The Toronto Maple Leafs Bonfire - Didn't learn from New York, did you?
The Toronto Maple Leafs apparently didn’t learn from what happened to the New York Rangers when they set the Stanley Cup on fire back in 1940. The Leafs celebrated their 1962 championship by setting their own bonfire and, you guessed it, the Cup was severely burned during the party.
Once again the team was charged for the repairs and everything was set back to the way it looked before. Back in those days, there was just something about the Stanley Cup and fire that people couldn’t get over.
5 London, England, United Kingdom - Site of the inaugural purchase
Most followers of the Stanley Cup know that Lord Stanley, Earl of Preston and Governor General of Canada, bought the first ever Stanley Cup for around fifty bucks. But what a lot of people don’t know is that it was purchased in England, not in Canada.
There is a plaque where the building once stood that reads: "Lord Stanley of Preston purchased the original Stanley Cup from a silversmith at this site in 1892 for the people of Canada to commemorate amateur and professional hockey. The Cup is now in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto."
In 2006 it returned to its original home for a visit.
4 Red Square, Russia - Entry Denied
Since the New Jersey Devils brought Slava Fetisov to the NHL, there have been countless Russian players to follow suit.
When the Detroit Red Wings won the Cup with Igor Larionov, Fetisov and Slava Kozlov, they naturally wanted to bring their trophy home to show it off.
They tried to bring it into the tomb where former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin rests but they were denied access.
It’s probably the only place in the world that the Cup has been denied entry.
They shared the trophy with friends and family at Red Square instead.
3 The Flight Deck Of The Shuttle Atlantis
OK, the Stanley Cup has never been to outer space, but it was on a vessel that went there thirty-three times! When the Boston Bruins won the trophy back in 2011 the owner of the squad doubled as CEO for Delaware North Companies and he was able to finagle a trip to the flight deck of the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the Cup.
In terms of overall travel though, the Stanley Cup probably has more miles on it than the space vehicle does. I’m sure it’s a close race!
2 St. Jerome, Canada - Ride in a Helicopter
The Stanley Cup has been inside of many helicopters over its long and endless journey. But never had it been in one that was operated by a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. That is until it climbed on board with Guy Lafleur.
He took the Cup and Andre Roy, along with his future wife, Karine Labelle, up to the top of St. Jerome in Canada for Roy’s marriage proposal. The Cup was the ring-bearer for the event. She said yes by the way. How could she say no after that?
1 Helsinki, Finland - The whole town turns up to watch
When Teemu Selanne brought the Stanley Cup to Finland it was an event the town will never forget. They put up a stage in the center of town for the event and thousands of people came out to see it. There is a short video online of that day and there are people jammed in as far as you can see.
Whenever the Stanley Cup comes to town everyone stops what they are doing to come see it. Here is some more proof of that!