Get to know the Stanley Cup, the coveted NHL trophy captured by the Vegas Golden Knights

The Stanley Cup has been a frequent visitor to Las Vegas over the years, both as a decoration for the annual NHL Awards—held locally from 2009 to 2022—and a companion of celebrating, recently-crowned champions.

Expect to see a lot more of the 35.25-inch tall, 37-pound “most famous trophy in sports” around town in the coming months now that the Golden Knights have earned the right to possess it.

The winning team typically gets to display the Cup for a couple weeks before it begins traveling the globe as part of a tradition in which members of the championship squad are each given one day with the 66-year-old object. That includes players, coaches and front-office officials, all of whom get their date with the Cup and can plan how they want to utilize it.

The trophy was first introduced in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston, Canada’s governor general, as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. It underwent two other variations before the current version was introduced in 1957.

Here are five more things to know about the Stanley Cup.

• Each winning team can engrave up to 52 names on the Stanley Cup, including players, coaches and other personnel. The engraving became a tradition in 1924, with 3,489 names having so far been added onto the trophy all-time.

• Only 2,497 of those names remained on the Cup before the Golden Knights’ win. The Cup can fit a maximum of 65 teams across its five wrap-around bands. When it hits capacity, a band containing 13 teams is removed and moved to a display in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The next scheduled band removal is set for 2030, with champions from 1958 to 1970 moving to the museum.

• The Cup has five “keepers,” one of whom stays with it everywhere it goes. Philip Pritchard is the most well-known “Keeper of the Cup,” a role he has held for 35 years. It’s not as easy a job as it might sound, considering the Cup travels more than 300 days per year and has officially visited 31 countries.

• The first place the Golden Knights brought the Cup after claiming it at T-Mobile Arena was Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace to celebrate their victory alongside DJ Steve Aoki. The morning after the Golden Knights’ championship win, Pritchard posted a video on his social media of team captain Mark Stone carrying the Cup into the venue.

• Babies always make for a popular photo opportunity in the top bowl of the Cup, which has a 35-inch circumference and 11.5-inch diameter. That trend should continue with the Golden Knights, considering five players had newborns over the past year: Stone, Brett Howden, William Karlsson Brayden McNabb and Reilly Smith. And that doesn’t include an already large number of tots and toddlers. One-month-old Beckham Karlsson and 1-year-old Ford Stephenson beat their baby peers to it, with their parents placing them in the Cup on the ice during the postgame celebration after the clinching victory.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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