When Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, was Governor General of Canada, he donated a trophy—known originally as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup—for Canada’s best amateur hockey club. It became known as the Stanley Cup.
Lord Frederick Stanley of Preston, Canada’s Governor General from 1888 to 1893, saw his first hockey game on Feb. 4, 1889, and like so many of us, he was hooked.
Three years later, he donated a trophy to be awarded to the best hockey team in the country. The gold-lined silver bowl was 18.5 centimetres tall and cost $48.67. On May 15, 1893, the first Cup was awarded to a Montreal team (quelle surprise!)—the Montreal Athletic Association.
Among early winners were the Winnipeg Victorias, Montreal Wanderers, Kenora Thistles, Vancouver Millionaires and Ottawa Sen...