The Stanley Cup is a trophy given annually to the playoff champion club of the National Hockey League (NHL) hockey league. It was donated by the Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, and is now the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. [1] Inscribed that the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the trophy was first awarded to Canada’s amateur hockey clubs that won the prize as the result of challenge games and league play. Professional clubs came back to dominate the competition in the first years of the twentieth century, and in 1913 the two leading professional hockey organizations, the National Hockey Association (NHA) (forerunner of the NHL) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), reached a gentlemen’s agreement where their individual champions would face each other in an annual series for the Stanley Cup. Following a set of league mergers and folds, it became the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926, though it was still matter to external challenge. The Cup became the de jure NHL championship trophy.
By 1914 to the end of this 2019 year, the prize has been won 101 times. 25 teams have won the cup, 20 of which are still active from the NHL. Prior to this, nine teams held the challenge cup. The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 days and made the finals an extra ten times. There were just two years when the Stanley Cup wasn’t awarded: 1919, due to the Spanish flu epidemic, and 2005, due to the NHL lockout.The origins of this Challenge age come from the technique of play of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada prior to 1893. From 1887 to 1893, the league didn’t play a round-robin format, but rather challenges involving teams of the association that year, together with the winner of the show being the’interim‘ champion, together with the last challenge winner getting the league champion for the year. The Stanley Cup maintained the tradition going, but extra league championships as another way a team will win the trophy. If a group in the same league as the current champion won the league championship, then it might then inherit the Cup, with no struggle. The only time that this rule wasn’t followed was 1904, when the Ottawa Senators club withdrew from its own league, the CAHL. The trustees ruled that the Cup stayed with Ottawa, rather than the CAHL league winner.
Throughout the battle cup period, none of the leagues that played for the prize had a formal playoff method to decide their respective champions; whichever group finished in first place after the regular season won the league name. [2] A playoff would just be performed if teams tied to first-place within their leagues at the end of the regular season. Challenge games have been played until 1912 at any moment during baseball season by challenges accepted or ordered from the Stanley Cup trustees. Back in 1912, Cup trustees declared that it was just to be defended at the end of the winner team’s regular season. [3]
In 1908, the Allan Cup was introduced as the trophy for Canada’s amateurs, as the Stanley Cup became a symbol of professional hockey supremacy. [4]
This table lists the results of Stanley Cup wins, such as successful successes and guards in challenges, and league championships for the challenge era.

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