The Chase for the Holy Grail
It is one of the most difficult championship tournaments to win in professional sports. After an 82-game regular season in what amounts to a seven-month “preseason qualifying tournament”, 16 of 30 teams earn places for the post-season, known as the Stanley Cup playoffs. Through further physical and mental strain, one of the 16 teams endures and wins four best-of-seven rounds; the first to win sixteen games captures the National Hockey League’s championship trophy: the Stanley Cup1.
The Tradition begins …
“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 leading hockey club of the Dominion. There does not appear to be any such outward and visible sign of a championship at present, and considering the interest the hockey matches now elicit and the importance of having the games fairly played under generally recognised rules, I am willing to give a Cup that shall be annually held by the winning club.”
– Lord Stanley, March 18, 1892.
An aide, Captain Colville, then in England, was instructed to purchase the gold lined silver bowl standing on an ebony base for ten guineas. This was for ever to be known simply as the Stanley Cup.
There’s little doubt the trophy is what many boys and girls from the hockey-playing world dream of holding up high …
1 The team with the most points in the regular season wins the Presidents Trophy, which in the Australian/New Zealand vernacular is the “minor premiers”. The team who wins the Stanley Cup is the “major premiers”.
On a self-guided tour of The Hockey Hall of Fame, I made the photo above on 9 Apr 2012 with Canon 450D, 18-55 kit-lens, and the following settings: 1/30s, f/4.5, ISO400, 29mm focal length (46mm full-frame equivalent). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-1Xs.