How Many Names Are on the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup has had nearly 3,500 names engraved on it in total. However, in 2023, there is less than that, as names are removed once the cup is full to allow space for future champions.

Winning a Stanley Cup is an amazing experience and one that every professional hockey player will remember forever. In addition to getting to celebrate with your team, you will also get to have your name added to the Stanley Cup to be remembered forever as a champion.

Keep reading to learn how many names are on the Stanley Cup, as well as the history of engraving the trophy, and who is eligible to have their name added.

Key Takeaways

  • The Stanley Cup has had nearly 3,500 names engraved on it in total, but currently has less than that due to bands being removed to make room for new names in the future once the trophy fills up.
  • Names have been engraved on the Stanley Cup as an annual tradition since 1924. Some teams did engrave earlier than that, but it wasn’t something that took place every year.
  • There are very specific rules and criteria about who can have their names added to the Stanley Cup, and teams are limited when it comes to how many names they can have engraved after they win.

How Many Names are on the Stanley Cup in 2023?

In 2023, the Stanley Cup has a little under 2,500 names on it. Included in this list are some of the best players, coaches, and staff members in hockey history. However, the number of names that have ever been engraved on the Stanley Cup is nearly 3,500.

The discrepancy here is because every now and then, older names need to be removed from the cup to make room for future champions, in an effort to keep the Stanley Cup a manageable size.

Every 13 years, once the cup is full of names, the top band is removed from the trophy. All of the other bands are moved up a slot, and the bottom band is blank for the next few champions to engrave their team and names.

The most recent band that was removed was in 2018, following the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup win. The band that was removed had the engravings of the champions from the 1953-54 season to the 1964-65 season.

Once removed, these bands are displayed and kept at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The History of Names Being Engraved on the Stanley Cup

When the Stanley Cup was first awarded, no names were engraved on the trophy. The first time a team engraved their roster on the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Wanderers in 1906-07, when they engraved the names of 20 team members.

For the next few decades, some teams would engrave their names, but plenty skipped out on it and decided not to add theirs. But as of 1924, the act of engraving the names of the winning team on the Stanley Cup has been an annual tradition.

Who Can Have Their Name Engraved on the Stanley Cup?

When it comes to engraving names on the Stanley Cup, there are actually quite a few rules that teams must abide by. 

For players, they must have played (or dressed as a backup goalie) at least half of the team’s regular season games or played (or dressed as a backup goalie) in at least one game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Also, the player must be on the roster when the team wins the Stanley Cup.

But since 1994, teams are allowed to petition the commissioner of the NHL to engrave a player’s name that was unable to play enough games to qualify, for reasons like injury or other unique circumstances. These exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to players, other important people with an active role on the team are eligible to have their name engraved, from coaches, to management, to owners, and support staff. Each winning team can add 52 names, so they often need to be selective of who gets the honor.

FAQs

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the names on the Stanley Cup, as well as their answers.

Has anyone had their name crossed off the Stanley Cup?

Yes, a few names have been crossed off the cup. Brad Aldrich, former video review coach for the Blackhawks, had his name crossed off after a sexual abuse investigation. Also, the former owner of the Oilers, Peter Pocklington, put his father’s name on the cup, which was removed.

It was crossed out because he had no official affiliation with the team or the league, and his name shouldn’t have been on the Stanley Cup.

Have there been any name spelling mistakes on the Stanley Cup?

Unfortunately, yes. Over the years, several players, and even teams have had their names misspelled on the cup. For example, Jacques Plante has his name spelled five different ways on the cup, and the Bruins, Islanders, and Leafs have all had their names spelled wrong.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide helped you not only learn about how many names are on the Stanley Cup, but also the history of Stanley Cup engravings and who can even have their name on the cup in the first place.

When was the last time your favorite team or player had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup? Let me know in a comment below.

About Kale
Being from Canada, hockey is essentially a way of life. I instantly fell in love with the game since I was being put on skates. From playing as a child (and the occasional street hockey game with friends today) to being a fan for over 20 years, I’m here to share my knowledge and passion for hockey. Email: [email protected]

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