Stanley Cup History

How the Stanley Cup started

The Stanley Cup was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who donated it as an award to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The entire Stanley family supported the sport, the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game. The first Cup was then awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club.

During the period from 1893 to 1914, the champions held the Cup until they lost their league title to another club, or a champion from another league issued a formal challenge and subsequently defeated them in a special game or series. The competitive format of each Cup challenge was determined by negotiation between the two clubs. Furthermore, none of the leagues that played for the Cup had a formal playoff system to decide their respective champions; whichever team finished in first place after the regular season won the league title. A playoff would only be played if teams tied for first-place in their leagues at the end of the regular season