The Stanley Cup is the trophy awarded every year to the team that wins the playoffs in the National Hockey League. It is the oldest award being played for in North American professional sports. The Stanley Cup was donated by Lord Stanley, a Canadian Governor General. Unlike the trophy for all other major sports, the names of the winning team, its players, coaching staff and management are engraved on the trophy every year, and remain a part of the cup until the individual "ring" of names is retired after 80 years. The Montréal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 times, more than any other team. When it is not at a game or with a winning team it is at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
One of the unique traditions is that every player on the winning team is allowed one day with the Cup. As such the Cup has had numerous misadventures, such as:
- being drop kicked into a lake (fortunately the lake was frozen)
- left on the side of the road after a tire change (it was found when the team returned)
- removed from an airplane due to weight restrictions, and thus spent the entire night in a baggage area
- used as a flower pot
- on two occasions, dented after attempts to kick it into a pool (the Cup has no buoyancy)
- numerous times used as a punch bowl for alcoholic beverages, several times used as a baptismal font, and once having dog food served in it