The Stanley Cup is 126 years old and around 2,300 names have been engraved on the championship trophy. This week, the Stanley Cup will go under another metamorphosis as the top of five silver bands, bearing 340 names, will be removed and retired at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. This will be done to make way for the 2017-18 Washington Capitals.
Last year’s Caps team will become the first team engraved on a fresh bottom band, where 12 other future championship clubs will be honored over the next decade-plus. The engraving will be done by Montreal silversmith Louise St. Jacques. According to NHL.com’s Dave Stubbs, St. Jacques will disassemble the Cup on her workbench and engrave each member of the Capitals organization by stamping each letter, number, and punctuation mark into the silver with a small hammer.
The band that is being retired features champion teams beginning with the 1953-54 Detroit Red Wings and extending to the 1964-65 Montreal Canadiens. 340 names are engraved into that band and feature some of the greatest players of all time.
Among the names coming off the Stanley Cup this fall are 16 Hall of Fame players, winners of a combined 63 championships: Detroit’s Alex Delvecchio (three Stanley Cup titles), Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay (four each); Montreal’s Butch Bouchard (four), Bernie Geoffrion, Doug Harvey, Tom Johnson, Dickie Moore, Jacques Plante (six each) and Maurice Richard (eight); the Chicago Black Hawks’ Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Pierre Pilote (one each); Andy Bathgate of the Toronto Maple Leafs (one); and Bert Olmstead, who won four times with Montreal and another with Toronto.
The top band carries the names of some of the greatest teams of the NHL’s Original Six era (1942-67). The Canadiens are represented six times, having won five straight titles from 1956-60 and another in 1964-65. Also on the band are the Maple Leafs’ three consecutive Cup-winning teams from 1962-64; the Red Wings of 1953-54 and ’54-55; and the 1960-61 Black Hawks.
The retiring band features 12 teams instead of the traditional 13. The engraving of the 1964-65 Canadiens takes up twice the normal space for reasons unknown.
During Don Fishman’s day with the Stanley Cup on Saturday, reader Jen Golbeck took photos of each individual team on the top band of the Cup that will be retired. The photos are blurry, but are a last look at the engravings before they make a final stop in Toronto for retirement.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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