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How Tall Would The Stanley Cup Be If The NHL Never Removed Anyone’s Name?

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The NHL season is over, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have won their second straight Stanley Cup. They beat the Nashville Predators in six games, and so now their names will be engraved on the Stanley Cup for all eternity.

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Or, well, for the next 53 years at least. In 2070, if things continue as they do now and there are no stoppages, the band containing this year’s Pittsburgh Penguins team—as well as the 12 previous Stanley Cup winners—will be removed from the Cup and stored in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

The Stanley Cup did not always look as it does today. Originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the first Stanley Cup was just a bowl. One of the original conditions of the cup was that “each winning team [could] have the club name and year engraved on a silver ring fitted on the Cup.” At first teams only occasionally did this, and some early engravings are on the bowl itself or on the band attached by the Montreal Hockey Club.

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Basically, engraving was spotty until the Montreal Canadiens added a new band in 1924. The original Ottawa Senators, in 1923, are the last team to not have their names engraved on the Cup. But beginning with that Canadiens team, each team to lift the Stanley Cup added a band with the names of players and team staff members. The Stanley Cup got so tall it was nicknamed the “Stovepipe Cup” because it began to resemble an exhaust pipe. (Other nicknames: cigar cup, elephant leg cup.)

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