Stanley Cup goes down in Canadian history

By Caroline O’Neill

The birth of the Stanley Cup, the ultimate prize amongst professional hockey players, was officially designated an event of national historic significance on March 17 at a ceremony led by Catherine McKenna, Ottawa Centre MP and Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“I am delighted that this symbol of hockey excellence, celebrating the National Hockey League’s greatest teams, players and rivalries, is now recognized as an event of national historic significance,” said McKenna, who is also the minister responsible for Parks Canada.

The Stanley Cup’s new title comes on the heels of an announcement that the Ottawa Senators will host the Montreal Canadiens in the 2017 NHL100 Classic outdoor hockey game in December at TD Place.

McKenna announced the special designation as the cup turned 125 years old this year.

Giving the Stanley Cup a new title is part of the government’s year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation and a push to showcase Canadian connections to international icons.

The designation was bestowed by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and symbolized by a plaque that describes the cup’s importance in Canadian history. The cup has been awarded exclusively to the year’s top National Hockey League team since 1927.

Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893, initially donated the cup to be awarded to the winner of the Dominion of Canada championship, an amateur competition, in 1892.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945 as an “honoured builder.”