With the 2015 Stanley Cup due to be presented any day now I went back through time to look at what each club was wearing when they clinched Lord Stanley’s brilliant Mug. This graphic goes back to the beginning of the National Hockey League in 1918 while the Stanley Cup has been awarded since 1893.
*You’re more than welcome to use this graphic on your site as long as you link back to this post. Please don’t link directly to the high-res image as that can end up costing us quite a bit of money in server fees. Thanks!*
Nerdy stats are below the image and you can click the image for higher resolution (just please read that note above) to see the details including correct team patches for that year. The uniform depicted is the one the team was wearing as they clinched and were awarded the Stanley Cup.
NOTE: We have since updated this graphic to include 2015, see that new version at the bottom of this post!
I really want to make this into a poster, that’d look just great on my office wall.
Warning, below be some nerdy facts and stats. It’s quite possible I’m the only one who’d find these at all interesting:
First it should be noted that this *is not* a quick and easy way to find out if a home team or a road team won the Cup over the course of the league’s history. Teams have gone through periods where they wore dark at home, then white at home, then dark at home, and anything pre-1960 is the wild west — teams wore whatever, whenever.
As you’ll see in the graphic, the first Stanley Cup patch was worn during the 1989 final between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens when both teams wore the patch on their shoulder. In 1990 it was moved to the front where it has remained ever since. The New York Rangers, due to the position of their jersey wordmark, opt to wear the patch on the shoulder — they’ve done this twice, once in 1994 and again in 2014.
The last club to win a cup while wearing a special patch other than the Cup Finals was the 2000 New Jersey Devils who were wearing the league-wide “NHL2000” patch as they raised the cup. The 1998 Detroit Red Wings are the last to win while wearing a team-specific patch, on their shoulder was a patch in support of three members of the ’97 cup winning team who were injured in a car accident and unable to participate that season. Other patch winners include the 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins (25th anniversary + a memorial patch), the 1980 New York Islanders (1980 Olympics), the 1976 Montreal Canadiens (Olympics, again), and then the Detroit Red Wings in 1952 (City of Detroit 250th) and 1943 (patches in recognition of World War II). All of these patches are shown on the main graphic above.
Three Stanley Cups were won by teams wearing an alternate jersey: the 1932 Toronto Maple Leafs were forced to wear their plain white “clash” jersey as their opponent, the New York Rangers only wore a blue shirt at the time; in 1967 the Leafs again won the Cup while wearing a special uniform in commemoration Canada’s centennial year (they adopted them full-time for 1968 and 1969); and the 1999 Dallas Stars won the cup wearing their green-and-black star shaped alternate uniform in Buffalo, like the Leafs the team adopted these jerseys full-time for the following season.
The last eight Stanley Cups were presented to teams wearing a black or white uniform. The last team to wear anything else while winning the cup was the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes who wore red at home when they beat the Edmonton Oilers. Prior to the Hurricanes you’d have to go back another six years to the 2000 New Jersey Devils. This streak could end if the Chicago Blackhawks win it in six or the Tampa Bay Lightning win in seven later this week.
This one’s kinda bizarre… during the 21st century (2001-2014) the only teams to win the cup while wearing white jerseys are northern-based while the only teams to win while wearing dark jerseys are southern-based. Weird and wild stuff, kids. If Tampa Bay wins game six this trend is guaranteed to continue in 2015.
Every team to win the cup since 1994-95 has either had black somewhere in their colour scheme or been the Detroit Red Wings. This continues in 2015.
No NHL team has ever won the Stanley cup while wearing a jersey with a yellow base – the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Calgary Flames were close each having won Cups while wearing a jersey with yellow trim. Neither purple nor teal have ever been worn at all (as base or a trim) in a Stanley Cup final let alone while winning. Again, this is the case in 2015.
Despite the fairly high amount of teams which wear it as their primary dark colour, no team has won the cup while wearing a blue jersey in 25 years, the 1990 Edmonton Oilers are the last to do so. Before the Oilers it’s back the 1982 New York Islanders and then way back to the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs. Tampa Bay can end this drought if they win the Stanley Cup as they can only win it in 2015 now wearing blue.
About those Oilers… their star of the 1980s, Wayne Gretzky, won four Stanley Cups in his career all with the Oilers and never in road colours. The Oilers only road cup win came in 1990, two years after his trade to the Los Angeles Kings. Going the other way, his counterpart Mario Lemieux has never won the cup (as a player or an owner) while at home. The Blackhawks haven’t won the cup at home since 1938, another streak they look to break in Game 6.
Let’s just keep sticking with the Oilers, they dominated the second-half of the 1980s while the New York Islanders took care of the first half. What do these two have in common? They’re the only clubs in the league to wear blue and orange, creating this bizarre stat — of the eleven cups presented between 1980 and 1990, *nine* of them (81%) went to teams wearing blue and orange; of the 84 cups presented between 1918-1979, and 1991-2014 NONE went to a team wearing those same colours.
Most Stanley Cups won by Team/Jersey Colour (last win)
Canadiens reds: 17 (1986)
Maple Leafs white: 7 (1962)
Canadiens white: 6 (1993)
Red Wings white: 6 (2008)
Red Wings red: 5 (1998)
Maple Leafs blue: 4 (1967)
Senators barberpole: 4 (1927)
Oilers white: 4 (1988)
Bruins white: 4 (2011)
Most Stanley Cups won by Colour Overall (last win)
White: 39 (2013)
Red: 25 (2006)
Blue: 11 (1990)
Black: 10 (2014)
Barberpole: 4 (1927)
Burgundy: 3 (1996)
Green: 2 (1999)
Orange: 1 (1975)
I’ll definitely be posting an update to this graphic once the Cup is awarded this year. Stay tuned for that.
UPDATE! Here’s 2015 now with the Chicago Blackhawks in red!
UPDATE AGAIN (June 12/16) — Here’s 2016! (click)