Stanley Cup Finals

Stanley Cup Finals
Stanley Cup Finals
Stanley Cup no background.png
The Stanley Cup is awarded to the winner of the championship series.
First awarded: 1893
Most recent: 2011

The Stanley Cup Finals (French: Séries Finales de la Coupe Stanley, pronounced: [seʁi final də la kup stanli]) is the championship series to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup, emblematic of the professional club championship of ice hockey. Although the Cup itself has existed since 1893, an annual championship series between professional teams was not established until 1913. Originally, the Stanley Cup Finals were regarded as a "World Series" between the champion of the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the champion of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). After a series of league mergers and folds, the Cup Finals is today contested as the championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL), a best-of-seven series played between the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences.



The Stanley Cup had been won and contested since 1893, when the Montreal Hockey Club was the first winner, for winning the 1893 AHAC season. The Cup winner would then have to defend its championship both through league championships and challenge games or series organized by the Stanley Cup trustees.

This changed in 1914 with the inauguration of the first "World Series" of ice hockey,[1] a series between the Stanley Cup and league champion Toronto Hockey Club of the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Victoria Aristocrats, champions of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). The Victoria club did not formally apply to the Stanley Cup trustees to challenge for the club.[2] A letter arrived from the Stanley Cup trustees on March 17, that the trustees would not let the Stanley Cup travel west, as they did not consider Victoria a proper challenger because they had not formally notified the trustees.[3] However, on March 18, Trustee William Foran stated that it was a misunderstanding. PCHA president Lester Patrick had not filed a challenge, because he had expected Emmett Quinn of the NHA to make all of the arrangements in his role as hockey commissioner, whereas the trustees thought they were being deliberately ignored. In any case, all arrangements had been ironed out and the Victoria challenge was accepted.[4] Any controversy was moot as Toronto successfully defended the Cup by sweeping a best-of-five series in three games.[5] This was the start of the end of the influence of the Stanley Cup trustees on the challengers and series for the Cup. In March 1914, trustee William Foran wrote to NHA president Emmett Quinn that the trustees are "perfectly satisfied to allow the representatives of the three pro leagues (NHA, PCHA and Maritime) to make all arrangements each season as to the series of matches to be played for the Cup."[6]

Victoria vs. Toronto

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Rules Notes
March 14, 1914 Toronto HC 5–2 Victoria Aristocrats NHA
March 17, 1914 Toronto HC 6–5 Victoria Aristocrats PCHA 15:00, OT
March 19, 1914 Toronto HC 2–1 Victoria Aristocrats NHA
Toronto Hockey Club wins best-of-five series 3 games to 0


All games played at Arena Gardens in Toronto.

One year later, the NHA and the PCHA concluded a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Cup. Under the new proposal, the Stanley Cup championship finals alternated between the East and the West each year, with alternating games played according to NHA and PCHA rules.[7] The Cup trustees agreed to this new arrangement, because after the Allan Cup became the highest prize for amateur hockey teams in Canada, the trustees had become dependent on the top two professional leagues to bolster the prominence of the trophy.[8] After the Portland Rosebuds, an American-based team, joined the PCHA in 1914, the trustees issued a statement that the Cup was no longer for the best team in Canada, but now for the best team in the world.[7] Two years later, the Rosebuds became the first American team to play in the Stanley Cup championship final.[8] In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first American team to win the Cup.[9] After that season, the NHA dissolved, and the National Hockey League (NHL) took its place.[7]

In 1919, the Spanish influenza epidemic forced the Montreal Canadiens and the Seattle Metropolitans to cancel their series tied at 2–2–1, marking the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded.[10]

The format for the Stanley Cup championship changed in 1922, with the creation of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Now three leagues competed for the Cup and this necessitated a semi-final series between two league champions, with the third having a bye directly to the final.[11] In 1924, the PCHA and the WCHL merged to form the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the championship reverted to a single series.[12] After winning in the 1924–25 season, the Victoria Cougars became the last team outside the NHL to win the Stanley Cup.[13]

The WHL folded in 1926, and most of the players moved to the NHL. This left the NHL as the only league left competing for the Cup. Other leagues and clubs have issued challenges, but from that year forward, no non-NHL team has played for it, leading it to become the de facto championship trophy of the NHL.[12] In 1947, the NHL reached an agreement with trustees P. D. Ross and Cooper Smeaton to grant control of the cup to the NHL, allowing the league itself to reject challenges from other leagues that may have wished to play for the Cup.[14][15] A 2006 Ontario Superior Court case found that the trustees had gone against Lord Stanley's conditions in the 1947 agreement.[16] The NHL has agreed to allow other teams to play for the Cup should the league not be operating, as was the case in the 2004–05 NHL lockout.[15]


The first television broadcast of the Cup Finals was in 1953. It was broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), with the play-by-play called by Danny Gallivan and colour commentary by Keith Dancy, hosted by Wes McKnight. The Hockey Night in Canada team would cover the next eight Finals. Gallivan would call his last final series in 1978. At the same time, CBC's Télévision de Radio-Canada (TRC) division broadcast the series in French, called by René Lecavalier, with colour commentary by Jean-Maurice Bailly. CBC remains the exclusive English-language broadcaster of the Final. TRC broadcast the Final until 2003 when Réseau des sports (RDS) took over the broadcast.

The first United States broadcast of the Stanley Cup Finals was in 1962, covered by Chicago station WGN. Network broadcasts started in 1966 on NBC. The Finals have been broadcast by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and Hughes broadcast networks and the ESPN, USA, SportsChannel America and the current Versus cable networks. Several Finals were carried on syndication through the 1970s NHL Network and the 1966 RKO General network. In 2010, several games were carried on NBC and several on Versus. This splitting of coverage on cable/broadcast networks originated in 1995 with a partnership of ESPN and Fox.

Series format

The championship series began with the 'Worlds Series' played in one city. The series alternated between a rink of the NHA and later the NHL and a rink of the PCHA and later the WCHL/WHL. It was not until the demise of the WHL, that the final series alternated games between the two finalists' home ice.

The series allowed ties until 1928. As the two and later three leagues differed, the series would alternate using each league's rules. The PCHA continued to use seven-man team play, and games would alternate with six and seven-man games.

The first NHL-only final series took place in 1927, between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators, it was planned to be a best-of-three series, although the series allowed ties. The series ended after four games, when the Senators defeated the Bruins in the fourth game.

Years Format Notes
1914–1922 best-of-five
1923–1924 best-of-three
1925–1926 best-of-five
1927 best-of-three Ties allowed, series ended in four games.
1928 best-of-five
1929–1930 best-of-three
1931–1938 best-of-five
1939–present best-of-seven


Most recent Finals
Year Winning team Coach Losing team Coach Games Winning goal
2011 Boston Bruins (EC) Claude Julien Vancouver Canucks (WC) Alain Vigneault 4–3 Patrice Bergeron (14:37, first)
2010 Chicago Blackhawks (WC) Joel Quenneville Philadelphia Flyers (EC) Peter Laviolette 4–2 Patrick Kane (4:06, OT)
2009 Pittsburgh Penguins (EC) Dan Bylsma Detroit Red Wings (WC) Mike Babcock 4–3 Maxime Talbot (10:07, second)
2008 Detroit Red Wings (WC) Mike Babcock Pittsburgh Penguins (EC) Michel Therrien 4–2 Henrik Zetterberg (7:36, third)
2007 Anaheim Ducks (WC) Randy Carlyle Ottawa Senators (EC) Bryan Murray 4–1 Travis Moen (15:44, second)
Most appearances in a Finals (Top Five)
Appearances Team Wins Losses Win % Years of Appearance
34 [3] Montreal Canadiens (NHA/NHL) 24 9 .727 1916, 1917, 1919, 1924, 1925, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1989, 1993
24 Detroit Red Wings 11 13 .458 1934, 1936, 1937, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009
21 Toronto Maple Leafs [1] 13 8 .619 1918, 1922, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967
18 Boston Bruins 6 12 .333 1927, 1929, 1930, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1988, 1990, 2011
11 Chicago Blackhawks [2] 4 7 .323 1931, 1934, 1938, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1971, 1973, 1992, 2010

^ 1. The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Cup in 1918 as the Toronto Blueshirts, and in 1922 as the Toronto St. Patricks.
^ 2. The Chicago Blackhawks were known as the Chicago Black Hawks prior to the 1986–87 season.
^ 3. The Montreal Canadiens totals include the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals that ended with a no-decision because of the Spanish flu epidemic.



  • Most consecutive appearances: Montreal Canadiens (10 in 19511960)[17]
  • Most consecutive wins: Montreal Canadiens (5 in 19561960)[18]
  • Most consecutive losses: Toronto Maple Leafs (3 in 19381940) St. Louis Blues (3 in 19681970)
  • Most appearances without a loss: Montreal Canadiens (9 from 1968 to 1986)
  • Most appearances without a win: Toronto Maple Leafs (6 from 1933 to 1940), Detroit Red Wings (6 from 1956 to 1995), Philadelphia Flyers (6 from 1976 to 2010)
  • Most seasons between wins: New York Rangers (53 between 1940 and 1994)
  • Most seasons between appearances: Toronto Maple Leafs (43 between 1967 and present)

Stanley Cup Finals consecutive appearances

Team Stanley Cup Finals appearance streak Consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearances Stanley Cup championships during streak
Montreal Canadiens 10 seasons 1950–51 through to 1959–60 6 : 1952–53, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60
Montreal Canadiens 05 seasons 1964–65 through to 1968–69 4 : 1964–65, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69
New York Islanders 05 seasons 1979–80 through to 1983–84 4 : 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83
Montreal Canadiens 04 seasons 1975–76 through to 1978–79 4 : 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1978–79
Detroit Red Wings 03 seasons 1940–41 through to 1942–43 1 : 1942–43
Toronto Maple Leafs 03 seasons 1946–47 through to 1948–49 3 : 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49
Detroit Red Wings 03 seasons 1947–48 through to 1949–50 1 : 1949–50
Detroit Red Wings 03 seasons 1953–54 through to 1955–56 2 : 1953–54, 1954–55
Toronto Maple Leafs 03 seasons 1961–62 through to 1963–64 3 : 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64
St. Louis Blues 03 seasons 1967–68 through to 1969–70 none
Philadelphia Flyers 03 seasons 1973–74 through to 1975–76 2 : 1973–74, 1974–75
Edmonton Oilers 03 seasons 1982–83 through to 1984–85 2 : 1983–84, 1984–85


  • Most points, one series (13) - Wayne Gretzky (1988)[20]
  • Most goals, one series (14) - Bernie Morris (1917) note: one of the above (most points, most goals) is incorrect, as 14 goals are also 14 points. The discrepancy seems to be whether the years prior to 1918 are included in NHL Stanley Cup history
  • Most assists, one series (10) - Wayne Gretzky (1988)[20]
  • Most shutouts, one series (3) - Clint Benedict (1926), Frank McCool (1945), Martin Brodeur (2003)[20]

See also


  • Coleman, Charles (1964–1969). The Trail of the Stanley Cup vols. 1–3. Sherbrooke Daily Record Company Ltd., NHL. 
  • Diamond, Dan; Eric Zweig, and James Duplacey (2003). The Ultimate Prize: The Stanley Cup. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-3830-5. 
  • Diamond, Dan, ed (1992). The Official National Hockey League Stanley Cup Centennial Book. Firefly Books. ISBN 1-895565-15-4. 
  • Diamond, Dan, ed (2000). Total Stanley Cup. Total Sports Canada. ISBN 1892129078. 
  • McCarthy, Dave, ed (2008). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book/2009. Dan Diamond Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-14-0. 
  • Podnieks, Andrew; Hockey Hall of Fame (2004). Lord Stanley's Cup. Triumph Books. ISBN 1-55168-261-3. 
  1. ^ a b Diamond, Zweig, and Duplacey, p. 25
  2. ^ Coleman 1966, p. 262.
  3. ^ "Stanley Cup Contest May Not Be for the Mug, After All is Said". Saskatoon Phoenix: p. 8. March 18, 1914. 
  4. ^ "A Tempest In a Teapot". Montreal Daily Mail: p. 9. March 19, 1914. 
  5. ^ Diamond(1992), p. 46
  6. ^ "Three Pro Leagues as to Stanley Cup". Toronto World: p. 8. March 25, 1914. 
  7. ^ a b c Diamond, Zweig, and Duplacey, p. 20
  8. ^ a b Diamond(1992), p. 45
  9. ^ "Stanley Cup Winners: Seattle Metropolitians 1916–17". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  10. ^ Podnieks, p. 51
  11. ^ Diamond, Zweig, and Duplacey, pp. 20–21
  12. ^ a b Diamond, Zweig, and Duplacey, p. 21
  13. ^ "Stanley Cup Winners: Victoria Cougars 1924–25". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2006-07-11. 
  14. ^ Diamond, Zweig and Duplacey, p. 40.
  15. ^ a b "Court:Non-NHL teams could vie for Cup". TSN. 2006-02-07. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  16. ^ "Amateurs taking NHL to court to play for Cup". ESPN. 2005-04-13. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  17. ^ Diamond(2000), p. 57
  18. ^ Diamond(2000), p. 76
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Diamond(2000), p. 88
  20. ^ a b c Diamond(2000), p. 89

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 1999 Stanley Cup Finals — 1999 Stanley Cup Finals …   Wikipedia

  • 2006 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final year=2006 team2= Edmonton Oilers team2 1=4 team2 2=0 team2 3=2 team2 4=1 team2 5=4 team2 6=4 team2 7=1 team2 tot=3 team1=Carolina Hurricanes team1 1=5 team1 2=5 team1 3=1 team1 4=2 team1 5=3 team1 6=0 team1 7=3 team1 tot …   Wikipedia

  • 1994 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final year=1994 team1=New York Rangers team1 short=New York team1 captain=Mark Messier team1 coach=Mike Keenan team2=Vancouver Canucks team2 short=Vancouver team2 coach=Pat Quinn team2 captain=Trevor Linden referees=Terry… …   Wikipedia

  • 2007 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final team1=Anaheim Ducks year=2007 team1 1=3 team1 2= 1 team1 3= 3 team1 4= 3 team1 5= 6 team1 tot=4 team2=Ottawa Senators team2 1=2 team2 2=0 team2 3=5 team2 4=2 team2 5=2 team2 tot=1 location1=Anaheim (Honda Center) (1,2,5) …   Wikipedia

  • 2008 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final year=2008 team1=Pittsburgh Penguins team1 1=0 team1 2=0 team1 3=3 team1 4=1 team1 5=4 team1 6=2 team1 tot=2 team2=Detroit Red Wings team2 1=4 team2 2=3 team2 3=2 team2 4=2 team2 5=3 team2 6=3 team2 tot=4 gm5 ot=*** table …   Wikipedia

  • 1997 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final year=1997 team1=Detroit Red Wings team1 1=4 team1 2=4 team1 3=6 team1 4=2 team1 tot=4 team2=Philadelphia Flyers team2 1=2 team2 2=2 team2 3=1 team2 4=1 team2 tot=0 dates=May 31–June 7 coaches=Detroit: Scotty Bowman… …   Wikipedia

  • 1984 Stanley Cup Finals — The 1984 Stanley Cup Finals were played from May 10 to May 19, 1984 between the Edmonton Oilers in their second Finals appearance and the defending champion New York Islanders, in their fifth straight Finals appearance. The Oilers would win the… …   Wikipedia

  • 1915 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final team1=Vancouver Millionaires (PCHA) team1 short=Vancouver team2=Ottawa Senators (NHL) team2 short=Ottawa year=1915 format=best of five team2 1=2 team1 1=6 team2 2=3 team1 2=8 team2 3=3 team1 3=12 team2 tot=0 team1 tot=3… …   Wikipedia

  • 1993 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final year=1993 team1=Montreal Canadiens team1 short=Montreal team1 captain=Guy Carbonneau team1 1=1 team1 2=3 team1 3=4 team1 4=3 team1 5=4 team1 tot=4 team1 coach=Jacques Demers team2=Los Angeles Kings team2 short=Los… …   Wikipedia

  • 1987 Stanley Cup Finals — Infobox Stanley Cup Final year=1987 team1=Edmonton Oilers team1 short=Edmonton team1 captain=Wayne Gretzky team1 coach=Glen Sather team2=Philadelphia Flyers team2 short=Philadelphia team2 coach=Mike Keenan team2 captain=Dave Poulin referees=Dave… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”