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At the end of every NHL season, one team takes the title as the league’s Stanley Cup champion. The players on the team are presented with the Stanley Cup. But is that all they receive? Do Stanley Cup winners get a ring? What is the history of Stanley Cup champion rings? Who gets a Stanley Cup Ring, what are they made of, and how much are they worth? We’ll look into the specifics of Stanley Cup Rings in this article.
Stanley Cup winners do receive a specially-made “Stanley Cup Ring” that honours their team’s championship win. Stanley Cup Rings are highly valuable, jewel-encrusted rings that are awarded to the Stanley Cup-winning players. Team management, coaches, and other employees in the organization also receive the same rings. The practice of awarding rings to Stanley Cup winners dates back to the 1890s, but it only became a firm tradition over the last handful of decades.
What is a Stanley Cup Ring?
Stanley Cup Rings are special rings that are made for players and members of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals-winning team.
The NHL’s annual championship playoff is called the Stanley Cup Finals. The team that wins this Finals round of the playoffs takes the Stanley Cup – the NHL’s trophy for the top team of the season.
The Stanley Cup-winning team is presented with the trophy by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after it wins the championship series. Players also receive a day with the Cup, when they are able to take the trophy anywhere they would like for a single day in the off-season.
But Stanley Cup winners receive more than just the Cup trophy itself. They also receive a Stanley Cup Ring which they get to keep permanently.
The very first team to award its players with Stanley Cup Rings was the Montreal Hockey Club, which did so in 1893. This long defunct hockey club’s 1893 Stanley Cup-win came in the very first year of the championship.
Stanley Cup Rings were not given out again until 1927, when the Ottawa Senators of the NHL won the Stanley Cup.
It wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s that Stanley Cup Rings became a somewhat common supplement to the Stanley Cup win itself. But even then, teams continued to occasionally to give their winning players gifts other than rings – some teams gave their players silverware, a watch, a special meal, or a television set, for example.
But as of the 2000s, Stanley Cup-winning teams are expected to give their players Stanley Cup Rings.
The Stanley Cup Rings are designed specifically for each team in its championship year. They are, of course, produced after the team wins the Cup, because the rings are quite expensive to make.
What Is a Stanley Cup Ring Made Of?
The most recent Stanley Cup Rings are made of 14-karat white and yellow gold. They often contain hundreds of diamonds as well as sapphires and rubies – teams may prefer certain types of coloured gems depending on the team’s primary jersey and logo colours.
Most often, the winning team’s logo is featured in the centre of the ring. Sometimes it will be designed with a gem that matches the colour of the team’s logo.
Small details can also be included in the ring’s design, such as numbers that are meaningful to the team and team-related iconography.
For example, the 2019 Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues team received rings that featured the score of each of the team’s four Finals victories on the inside of the ring. The Blues playoff push also rallied behind the song “Gloria” by Laura Branigan, which received a reference on the ring.
The 2018 Stanley Cup-champion Washington Capitals team included a small image of the White House on their rings, given their home location of Washington, D.C.
How Much Is a Stanley Cup Ring Worth?
The price of an average Stanley Cup Ring from the 2000s onward is typically valued at above $20,000.
The rings generate such a high price because of the gold and hundreds of diamonds that go into each ring. But they are also valued for their status as a limited memorabilia item.
In most cases, there are rarely more than 100 or, at most, a few hundred authentic Stanley Cup Rings made for each winning team. They also seldom hit the sales market, because the players and members of the organizations keep the unique championship ring as a memento.
Usually, a more affordable version of the ring is made available for fans of the winning team to purchase.
When the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup in 2015, they offered an “Ultimate Fan Ring” for $5,800 and a “Regular Fan Ring” for $285. These were replicas, however, and each version featured fewer diamonds than the true rings handed out by the organization.
Who Gets a Stanley Cup Ring?
While rigid rules govern which names get engraved on the Stanley Cup, Stanley Cup Rings are handed out somewhat more freely. In fact, there are always more rings given out than names that get engraved on the Stanley Cup.
The players on the team that win the Cup, of course, receive Stanley Cup Rings. But teams will often give rings to players who didn’t meet the qualifications to get their name on the Stanley Cup.
This would include players who didn’t appear in a Stanley Cup Finals game but who were on the team’s roster – either as a healthy extra, or as an injured roster player.
The team’s coaching staff, its upper management, and ownership group will all receive rings. Often, equipment staff, scouting, and other members of the organization can receive rings if the team commits to funding enough of them.
Stanley Cup Rings are an additional honour given to players who win the Stanley Cup. These rings are quite valuable and are often made of gold with hundreds of diamonds and other gems. A new ring is designed for each team that wins the Stanley Cup. These rings are given out in a higher number than names that will appear for a championship team on the Stanley Cup trophy.
Will The Stanley Cup Run Out of Space?
Each year the winning teams player names are engraved on a new the top band of the cup -- so will the cup keep getting bigger and eventually run out of space? Check out my recent article: Will the Stanley Cup run out of space which answers all the key questions.