Hockey players with Stanley Cup
Source: Getty Images

The Stanley Cup is 34 Pounds of Silver and Hockey Glory

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May 14 2022, Published 1:59 p.m. ET

Thirteen teams currently remain in the 2022 NHL playoffs: the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, and Los Angeles Kings.

And soon, we’ll know which of those teams will claim the one and only Stanley Cup. It is the one and only Stanley Cup, right? No? Wait, how many Stanley Cups are there?

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Hockey fans know that the NHL doesn’t just make a new Stanley Cup each year: The name of each season’s winning team is just added onto the cup. But there actually are other versions of the Stanley Cup floating around.

Here’s more info on hockey’s top prize…

The cup is named after a former Governor General of Canada.

Stanley Cup
Source: Getty Images

The Stanley Cup’s namesake is Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, also known as the Lord Stanley of Preston, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893.

Stanley purchased the original cup in London for the not-so-princely sum of 10 guineas, and he donated it to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893 so that the organization could have a trophy.

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“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,” Stanley wrote in a message to the organization, per Hockey Central.

There are actually three Stanley Cups.

As Mental Floss reports, Stanley’s original cup was in service until 1970 and now stands on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Now there are two other Stanley Cups in the world.

In 1963, then-NHL President Clarence Campbell decreed that the original cup was too brittle to be awarded every year, so the league ordered the creation of the Presentation Cup, which has been the Stanley Cup you’ve seen awarded for the last half century.

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The third Stanley Cup, known as the Permanent Cup, is a replica made by Montreal silversmith Louise St. Jacques. That cup, which also has various typos corrected, fills in at the Hall of Fame when the Presentation Cup is needed elsewhere.

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As new teams get added to the cup, other teams have to be removed.

According to NHL.com, teams are removed from the Stanley Cup every 13 years when a new band is added to the trophy to accommodate more names. During that changeover, the top band is removed, the four bands below it are each moved up one level, and the new band is attached to the bottom.

The site also reports that the trophy weighs 34 and a half pounds, meaning its silver is worth about $11,757 USD at the current silver price of $21.13 per ounce. But we’re sure that for whichever team claims the 2022 Stanley Cup title, the cup is priceless!

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