Stanley Cup, 1893-1993
Date of Issue
April 16, 1993
Perforation or Dimension
Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Lise Giguère.
A new commemorative stamp issued on April 16, 1993 marks the 100 years of hockey competition to win the coveted Stanley Cup. Little did Lord Stanley realize when he donated a silver cup in 1893 to be awarded to the best amateur hockey team in Canada that it would one day become the oldest and most prized sporting trophy in North America by professional athletes. The game of hockey was gaining in popularity in Canada and no national trophy existed. It was felt that an award would boost both spectator interest and the rivalry between the competing teams. Lord Stanley's son Arthur was a hockey buff who felt that special recognition should be given to amateur teams. Ottawa publisher P.D. Ross and Lord Kilcoursie, an aide to the Governor General, persuaded him to purchase the cup, at an estimated cost of $48.67. Originally known as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, any team which convinced the Cup Trustees of its talent could compete for the cup. There were teams from places like Dawson City, the Yukon, Victoria, BC and Quebec City that coveted and sometimes won the Cup. Unlike today's playoff system, the early participating teams could challenge one another for the Cup, resulting in 53 challenges in the first 30 years. The Montreal AAA (Amateur Athletic Association) were the first to be challenged and awarded the Cup. The emergence of artificial ice rinks added American cities to the list of participants. Over the years, Montreal teams have tended to dominate the championships. In addition to the Montreal AAA, other winning teams include the Montreal Victorias, Montreal Shamrocks, Montreal Wanderers, Montreal Maroons, and finally the Montreal Canadiens, who are the most successful team in history, winning the Stanley Cup 23 times. Their record is followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs with 11 victories. A professional team, the Ottawa Senators, first won the Cup in 1909. Today's Ottawa Senators, a new expansion club, may achieve similar success after hard work and play in years to come. Since 1926 the Stanley Cup has been the exclusive property of the National Hockey League, with only professional teams competing for its fame and glory. Since 1970, the original Stanley Cup has been on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The Cup itself has a colourful history, having been battered, lost, stolen and renovated over the years. Today's modern version is about three feet high, with a barrel shape which enables the engraving of the names of the team's players and officials. The stamp design depicts the annual spring ritual of players from the winning team raising the Cup in the air and parading it around the ice.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 10, 1993, p. 4-6.
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