John Rohde
Stanley Cup is perfect tin

By John Rohde Published: May 1, 2000
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YUKON -- From all the stories you've heard, you'd think the famed Stanley Cup was some beat up hunk of tin.

It's been to the White House, the Kremlin, Lenin's Tomb, Sweden, Japan and to Yankee Stadium for Opening Day.

It's gone golfing, fishing and been used as a baptismal chalice. A recent request to go skydiving was vetoed.

It's been on Letterman, Leno, Late Night and the Late Late Show.

Its bowl has been filled with champagne, beer, soda pop, pasta and ice cream. During Sunday afternoon's deluge that hit central Oklahoma, it nearly was filled with rain.

Last year, Dallas center Guy Carbonneau took it to the grave of his father, who died a month before the Stars became National Hockey League champions.

One player swore up and down he didn't have the Cup, only to discover it at the bottom of his swimming pool.

Perhaps no object -- not even Madonna -- has posed for more pictures, slept in more hotel rooms, or been fondled more than the Stanley Cup.

Two years ago, when hockey's holy grail was making the rounds in Detroit, a local doctor sent out a warning to the general public: Drinking from the Stanley Cup can be hazardous to your health.

Fans were instructed to at least wipe the Cup before drinking from it.

"Don't drink from that cup. You don't know where it's been."

Lord knows where the Stanley Cup has been. This includes Lord Stanley, the former Governor General of Canada who more than a century ago purchased a silver cup measuring 71/2 inches high by 111/2 inches across for the sum of $48.67.

In 107 years of existence, the Cup has been dropped, kicked, drop-kicked, lost, found, dinged, scratched, bent, misplaced and (inevitably) replaced.

The original bowl atop the existing trophy is a carefully constructed copy. The original was retired in 1969 because it had become too brittle. It now sits in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. A second version of the existing Stanley Cup remains in the Hall year-round.

Initially, players scratched their names onto the original bowl with a knife or nail.

The Cup has appeared in various forms -- from its long, cigar-shaped form in 1939; to its two-piece form with a barrel- shaped base and removable bowl/collar in 1948; to its modern one-piece form that debuted in 1958.

The current trophy stands a half-inch shy of 3 feet tall, weighs 341/2 pounds and carries 2,016 engraved names.


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