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The stage is set for the league's 92nd chase for the Stanley Cup, which begins on Wednesday.

The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs of the National Hockey League will begin in April, 2010. The sixteen teams that have qualified, eight from each conference, will play best-of-7 series for conference quarterfinals, semifinals and championships, and then the conference champions will play a best-of-7 series for the Stanley Cup. June 11 is the last possible date for the series to end.

The Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup, notably the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes
in North America, was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston and son of the Earl of Derby. He purchased the trophy
 a silver cup measuring 7 inches high by 11 inches across for 10 Guineas ($50.00 at that time) to be presented to "the championship hockey club of the Dominion of Canada." The first team ever awarded the Stanley Cup was
the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893.

Since 1910, when the National Hockey Association took possession of the Stanley Cup, the trophy has been symbolic of professional hockey supremacy. Beginning in 1926, only NHL teams have competed for this prized trophy.

The Montreal Canadians have won a record 23 Stanley Cups since the formation of
the NHL (they also won in 1916), with Toronto a distant second at 13. The Habs
also hold the record for most consecutive championships with five, accomplished
between the years 1956 and 1960 inclusive.

Overshadowing all other championship trophies in sports, the legend and glory of
the Stanley Cup continues to live in the dreams of hockey players and fans alike.

Original Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup was originally known as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup

  • The winners to return the Cup in good order when required by the trustees in order that it may be handed over to any other team which may win it.
  • Each winning team to have the club name and year engraved on a silver ring fitted on the Cup.
  • The Cup to remain a challenge competition and not the property of any one team, even if won more than once.
  • The trustees to maintain absolute authority in all situations or disputes over the winner of the Cup.
  • A substitute trustee to be named in the event that one of the existing trustees drops out.

The first winner of the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) hockey club, champions of the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada for 1893. Ironically, Lord Stanley never witnessed a championship game nor attended a presentation of his trophy, having returned to his native England in the midst of the 1893 season. Nevertheless, the quest for his trophy has become one of the world's most prestigious sporting competitions.

Stanley Cup Facts
Was first presented in 1893

The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in
North America and Canada. The National Hockey League (NHL) awards the Stanley Cup to the playoff tournament champion.

It takes 13 years to fill the ring of the Stanley Cup with names of winners Has been won a record 24 times by the Montreal Canadians

Henri "The Pocket Rocket" Richard of the Montreal Canadians is the player who has won the most Stanley Cup championships, with 11. Two other Canadians players, Jean Beliveau and Yvan Cournoyer, are each on the Cup 10 times. The first U.S. citizen to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup is John Sherf of Calumet, MI. He played with the Detroit Red Wings in the 1936 Stanley Cup Finals when they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs.

FREE Printable NHL Brackets Below

Our 2010 printable NHL Playoffs Bracket will be updated after each round so be sure to book mark this page and stop back to print out the updated copy. Enjoy the NHL Playoffs!
 

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