It’s crazy how many times the Stanley Cup has been lost or stolen

The Stanley Cup is arguably the most coveted trophy in professional sports. Originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, it now carries the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the former Governor General of Canada who donated it in 1892 as an award to Canada’s top-ranking ice hockey club. The first winners were an amateur team, Montreal HC, in 1893, but since its introduction to the league in 1926, it’s been the “Holy Grail” that every NHL player dreams about lifting.

its crazy how many times the stanley cup has been lost or stolen 11 photos 121 Its crazy how many times the Stanley Cup has been lost or stolen (11 Photos)

Via Wiki Commons/RasputinAXP

After the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup in 1962, the original bowl and collar of the trophy were retired and placed on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. In January 1970, the collar was mysteriously stolen and remained missing for seven years. On September 8, 1977, the police received an anonymous call telling them to check the basement of a Toronto dry cleaner for a very important piece of history. When the cops arrived, they found the missing silverware wrapped up in a brown package.

Via Wiki Commons/SimonP

The circumstances surrounding this theft differ depending on where you hear it, but the story goes that the Stanley Cup was part of yet another heist in December 1970. This time the entire Cup was stolen from the Hall of Fame, along with the Bill Masterson Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy. An unknown woman then attempted to bargain for its safe return, even threatening to throw it in Lake Ontario at one point.

Now here’s where things get a little shady. One story is that the trophies were found in late December abandoned on a police officers driveway. The other is that the stolen Stanley Cup was actually a replica, used as the presentation Cup, and that the real one was safe in a bank vault.

Via Wiki Commons/mark.watmough

The Hockey Hall of Fame really beefed up security after the thefts of the early 70s. But in 1977, the Stanley Cup was almost stolen again. Seven men were spotted near it with a large gym bag before an alert worker chased them out of the building. Police later discovered floor plans for the Hall of Fame and a list of equipment needed for the heist in their getaway car.

Via Flickr/Charles LeBlanc

Guy Lafleur, star forward for the Montreal Canadiens, inadvertently stole Lord Stanley’s Cup for a day in 1979. Following the traditional parade honouring the winners, Lafleur tossed the Cup in the trunk of his car and drove to his parent’s house. He put the trophy out on the front lawn invited his friends and family over to take pictures with it. While everyone was having a good time, the men responsible for the Cup’s safety were going crazy trying to find it. Lafleur returned it later that night, and was told never to do that again.

Via HockeyGods

Ok, this one’s not really the Stanley Cup… but in 2003, Lego created a replica one using 6,000 blocks and displayed it at a sports equipment show in Las Vegas to promote their new line of NHL merchandise. Only two of these Lego Cups were made, the other one as a gift to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. After the display Cup was stolen from the show, an Arizona man saw an article about it in the newspaper and called authorities to let them know that he had it, saying he had bought it for $50 while on business in Las Vegas. It was eventually returned to the company, and the man was rewarded with tickets to a game and a bunch of Lego NHL products.

Nowadays, a representative from the Hockey Hall of Fame, known as the “Keeper of the Cup”, accompanies it wherever it goes, so it’s unlikely that it will ever be in these kinds of situations again. His name is Philip Pritchard and he’s been looking after the Cup since 1988. He even has a Twitter account that you can check out here.

Who do you think is going to “steal” the Stanley Cup this year? Let us know in the comment section below!

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