Many argue that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy in team sports to win. It takes a team two gruelling months of intense hockey to become the last team survival. Obviously the team who wins gets to fulfill their childhood dreams and team’s aspiration of glory, but what else do they get for winning this trophy?
What do players get for winning the Stanley Cup? In addition to the personal and team glory a player will get to have their name on the cup, a special Stanley Cup ring, a personal day with the Stanley Cup at a place of their choosing, and a cash bonus.Embed from Getty Images
1) Name Engraved on the Cup
When a player grows up playing hockey they dream of winning the Stanley Cup. One of the most amazing things about winning the Stanley Cup is that you get your name engraved on the trophy.
Other leagues such as MLB, NFL, and NBA make a new trophy for each season. Not the NHL! The Stanley Cup has a deep history and each team who has won the Stanley Cup gets to have the players names engraved on it.
So a player who wins gets their name engraved alongside their heroes and Hall of Famers that they dreamed of being when they were kids.
Players are like kids when looking at the Stanley Cup. They search for all of their favourite players when they grew up, and then they look at their names only a few panels away!
2) Stanley Cup Ring
Each player on the team (and many of the people within the organization) will receive a special commemorative Stanley Cup ring.
There is not a standard ring that a player receives as no two championship rings are alike. Instead, each team is responsible for designing and producing their own rings. And, these rings are over-the-top.
Take for example the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup ring:
On each of these rings are the following:
- 15 Round Sapphires
- 16 Custom cut Blue Sapphires
- 20 Princess cut Sapphires
- 282 Total Diamonds
- 10.6 Carots
Each of the rings are designed around a St. Louis Blues theme and include:
- Player’s name and number
- Play Gloria (the rally cry song)
- Engraved Results from the winning games
- Laila (engraved name of inspirational fan)
- St. Louis Arch and Blues Logo
3) Personal Day with the Cup
An amazing tradition is that each player on the team is allowed to have a personal day with the cup at the place of their choosing.
Most players choose to take the Stanley Cup to their hometown or where they grew up. Since hockey is an international sport the Stanley Cup does a lot of travelling during the summer months. It will make stops in spots all over Canada and the U.S. as well as across the ocean to European countries like Sweden, Finland and Russia.
There are amazing stories of what players do with the Stanley Cup. Here are a few:
- Martin Broduer got all his old friends together to play street hockey and the winning team got to parade the Stanley Cup around together
- Mario Lemieux through a huge party at his house, where the Stanley Cup ended up going swimming
- Peter Forsberg was the first player to take the cup overseas to Sweden – now it has been all over including the Eiffel Tower and Red Square
- New born babies in the cup bowl or even being baptized in it
- Small town parades with the Stanley Cup
4) Bonus Money
A player’s contract they sign with the club is paid out during the season – not including any bonuses they get for individual or team accomplishments, like winning the Stanley Cup.
The team is not paying them any money for the playoffs, however the NHL does set aside a cash pool of money to be divided amongst the teams in the playoffs. The pool of money is divided between the teams in the playoffs based on how far they make it.
So a team losing in the first round will get a smaller portion than a team who wins the Stanley Cup.
Here are the playoff pools of money for some different past and future playoff years:
- 2016-17 and 2017-18: $15 million
- 2018-19 and 2019-20: $16 million
- 2020-21 and 2021-22: $17 million
For the each player winning the Stanley Cup they will receive about $200,000 of that amount. For many players that would be a pay cut from the normal amount they make per game during the regular season.
But, in the end, no player is thinking about the money they win from the Stanley Cup. They want to win the cup to get their name on there and be immortalized in the hockey world!
Their dream as a kid was always to win the Stanley Cup and to get their name on it.