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On May 4, 1969, the Canadiens were poised to sweep Scotty Bowman’s St. Louis Blues in the [...]More
On May 11, 1968, with Toe Blake’s crew leading 3-0 in the Finals against the St. Louis [...]More
SINCE 1893, THE TOP TEAMS IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES HAVE BATTLED IT OUT FOR THE STANLEY CUP, THE OLDEST TROPHY IN NORTH AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS.
The history of the Stanley Cup dates back to 1893, when Governor General Lord Stanley of Preston created the trophy to be given annually to the champions of the Canadian amateur league.
Until the National Hockey Association was established in 1909, the Cup was strictly awarded to amateur clubs across the country. Even before the puck dropped for the first Canadiens game, the city of Montreal was home to countless championship teams, as the Montreal Hockey Club, the Montreal Victorias and the Montreal Shamrocks all claimed the Cup with consistency.
As of 1910, amateur and professional teams alike battled for the chance to hoist the Cup.
In 1915, it was decided that the champions from each of the two main professional Canadian leagues, the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), created in 1909 and 1911 respectively, would face-off for the Stanley Cup. In 1917, the NHL, born from the now-defunct NHA, also challenged for the Cup, but the format remained the same.
It was decided at the start of the 1926-27 season that, as of 1927, the Stanley Cup would be the ultimate prize given to the NHL Champions at the end of the playoffs.
The Montreal Canadiens have hoisted the Stanley Cup on 24 occasions, more than any other team in NHL history.