HFBoards

HFBoards (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/index.php)
-   National Hockey League Talk (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/forumdisplay.php?f=60)
-   -   NHL Custody of Stanley Cup (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=14713)

hillbillypriest 09-27-2003 06:26 AM

NHL Custody of Stanley Cup
 
Today's National Post has a story that suggests that the NHL's stewardship of the Stanley Cup may be in doubt, since the trustees to the cup who transferred its rights to the NHL in 1947 may not have had the authority to do so.

Unfortunately, I do not have a link to this story, since a quick search of the post website did not have it. However, it can be found on p. 3 of today's edition. The story goes on to mention that Lord Stanley created the trophy in 1892 and only left verbal instructions for its use. His conditions were that it was to be a challenge cup awarded to the champion amateur hockey club of the Dominion of Canada. Lord Stanley gave the cup to two trustees, that gave them sole authority over the cup, and also set out a one-paragraph "Deed of Gift" that indicated his wishes. Then in 1947, the trustees signed a memorandum of agreement with Clarence Campbell that delegated to the league "full authority to determine and amend from time to time the conditions of competition for the Stanley Cup".

Therein lies the question. Did the trustees that assigned the rights over the conditions exclusively to the NHL have the authority to do so given the conditions of their trusteeship from lord stanley?

To me, this is a very important question that's importance cannot be underestimated. I have been very sceptical of the possibility of the players association being able to form a viable league (if it came down to it). However, one of the obstacles to the new league (and there are many), is that the players themselves would have an emotional attachment to the right to challenge for the Stanley Cup. If the NHL did not control the right to award the cup, this would change considerably. In addition, despite the well documented profile problems of hockey in the US, one of the more interesting news features I saw in the last couple of years was a report - I believe I saw it on a major U.S. network - where they asked men and women in the street of US cities to name pro-sports trophies. The vast majority came up with the Stanley Cup right away. Clearly it is an important symbol all over the world, and so a new league that was able to award the cup to its champion would seem to me to have a huge leg up on legitemacy that it would not have if it awarded a new trophy without the same history.

My question for discussion - how strong is the case for NHL retaining control of the cup? Would this change in the event of a long lockout? Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

HBP

discostu 09-27-2003 07:18 AM

HBP,

Another very relevant find. If I have a chance, I'm going to see if I can track down that article. It looks like it could be an interesting read.

If the NHL doesn't have exclusivity over the cup, then I'm sure other leagues will challenge it, most notably is the WHA.

I'm sure that Bettman's going to be throwing his lawyers on this case right away, and usually things like this generally end up in the favour of the side that shells out the most in legal fees. It'll be interesting to follow though, as the potential is there for the NHL to lose it's greatest symbol.

Kevin Forbes 09-27-2003 09:06 AM

I think it would be interesting to allow the Stanley Cup be a challenge cup, obviously not the same as intended, but at least to allow the WHA and possibly other teams from other leagues (maybe even Europe?) to challenge the NHL champion for the Stanley Cup.

Douggy 09-27-2003 09:10 AM

If the Stanley Cup became a 'Challenge Cup' what would stop any group of 20 beer-leaguers from going for it?

Aerolanche 09-27-2003 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Douggy
If the Stanley Cup became a 'Challenge Cup' what would stop any group of 20 beer-leaguers from going for it?

Well, obviously you would have to make some sort of rule that the level must be professional - not semi-pro or beer league ;).

That would be sort of interesting, not that any other league has a chance in the universe to take out the champion of the best league in the world - the National Hockey League.

hillbillypriest 09-27-2003 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Douggy
If the Stanley Cup became a 'Challenge Cup' what would stop any group of 20 beer-leaguers from going for it?

I don't think the "beer league" scenario is likely, and I also don't think that the NHL is in any real danger of losing control of the Stanley Cup so long it continues to operate on a more or less continuous basis. Where I would think that there might be a sliver of an opening for the Cup to be available to be awarded to the champion of a different league is if the NHL was not operating, as in the case of a prolonged lockout.

Having had a chance to think about the Post article for a bit longer today, I'm starting to feel that it is probably a good thing if the NHL does not obtain clear title to the Stanley Cup. Given that it was apparently deeded on the understanding that it would be awarded to the champions of Canadian hockey, it is perhaps a good thing for the protection of an ongoing consideration of Canadian issues as the league evolves. The NHL being a custodian of the Stanley Cup should be conditional on the NHL having consideration to the Trophy's heritage rather than have it be the NHL's absolute property that it can do with whatever it wants.

This is very interesting...

Lard_Lad 09-27-2003 01:11 PM

Question: if the Stanley Cup isn't property of the NHL (and it doesn't appear to be), whose property is it? Assuming Lord Stanley never really relinquished title to it, just offered it for use as a symbolic championship, it presumably belongs to his successor. The current Baron Stanley is Sir Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, who according to his Burke's Peerage entry is a 41-year-old banker. More interestingly, he seems to have an interest in sports, and sits on the board of a few different sports organizations. Wonder what'd happen if someone convinced him to reassert his family's ownership of the Cup?

Of course, that's the *original* Cup, not the replica that's actually handed out. The legal status of the replicas is another question...

Blackjack 09-27-2003 01:39 PM

I'm sure the replica is property of the NHL, but that wouldn't really matter becuase if the NHL lost the rights to the cup, they wouldn't be able to call the replica "The Stanley Cup" anymore.

degroat* 09-27-2003 04:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lard_Lad
Of course, that's the *original* Cup, not the replica that's actually handed out. question...

Not true.. the *original* Cup is the one that is handed out and the one the players get. The replica is the one that travels to events such as the NHL draft and events like that.

Lard_Lad 09-27-2003 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by degroat
Not true.. the *original* Cup is the one that is handed out and the one the players get. The replica is the one that travels to events such as the NHL draft and events like that.

Nope, the original cup (just the bowl, without a base) sits in the "Lord Stanley's Vault" display at the Hall of Fame, along with the 'retired' rings of the cup base, and as far as I know never leaves. Probably with good reason, because I recall it looking pretty aged and fragile when I visited. One of the replicas may be considered more 'real' than the other(s), but none of them is the 1892 version.

Epsilon 09-27-2003 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lard_Lad
Nope, the original cup (just the bowl, without a base) sits in the "Lord Stanley's Vault" display at the Hall of Fame, along with the 'retired' rings of the cup base, and as far as I know never leaves. Probably with good reason, because I recall it looking pretty aged and fragile when I visited. One of the replicas may be considered more 'real' than the other(s), but none of them is the 1892 version.

This is exactly correct. The Stanley Cup that is given out to the NHL champions is authentic for the most part, but the bowl and top piece is a replica of the original 1892 Stanley Cup, which is sealed inside a glass case at the Hockey Hall of Fame. There is also a full-replica version of the Cup which sits in the HHOF when the "real" Cup is being awarded to the champions.

Lord Stanley 09-28-2003 04:38 AM

hehe All these cups it must be confusing for the guys at the HOF to remember which one is which. Anyhow about the story I think it was originally in The Hockey News in the sept 2nd edition. It was a very interesting read.

monkey_00* 10-08-2003 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by forbesy
I think it would be interesting to allow the Stanley Cup be a challenge cup, obviously not the same as intended, but at least to allow the WHA and possibly other teams from other leagues (maybe even Europe?) to challenge the NHL champion for the Stanley Cup.

I think in theory you have a great idea........but instead of using the Stanley Cup for a tourney like that just make up a brand new trophy altogether and even name it the Challenge Cup OR use that World Cup of hockey trophy that Team USA won a few years back in Montreal when they defeated Team Canada.

Bicycle Repairman 10-12-2003 04:48 PM

Someone help me out here, but isn't the trophy inscribed with "Dominion Challenge Cup" for the Amateur Hockey Champions of Canada, and was colloquially known as "Lord Stanley's Cup" originally?

I imagine the NHL has the trademark rights to "Stanley Cup" though. Makes the whole issue fuzzier.

Nationalist sentiments notwithstanding, I doubt there's a groundswell of public support for wresting control of the fabled punchbowl from NHL hands.

LPHabsFan 10-13-2003 09:19 AM

I remember reading the article so I'll do my best to do a short and sweet summary.

Basically it says that the NHL does NOT own the right to the NHL. After the passing of Lord Stanley, the cup was entrusted to two trustees I think. Those trustees in turn gave the cup to the NHL. The whole argument is that those trustees had no right to give the cup to the NHL. It also mentioned that no judge in their right mind would ever think of taking it away from the NHL.

MojoJojo 10-16-2003 03:10 AM

There is an old saying that posession is nine tenths of the law. There is a good deal of common law precedence awarding property rights based on which party has actually been using, maintaining, improving, etc the property (usually land) in dispute. I think Lord Stanley's successor would have to prove that the cup was somehow stolen or taken from him unlawfully. The most obvious example of a plaintiff winning this kind of suit are cases involving artwork stolen by the Nazi's. Even if Stanley can demonstrate that the cup was stolen, after 60 years it will be difficult, especially since the first question will be why did he wait so long to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his (and its not as if he didn't know where its been all this time).

Anyway, if the Stanley cup was still an amateur challenge cup, hardly anyone would care about it. Its glory stems from its history, a significant chunk of which is intertwined with the NHL.

hillbillypriest 10-16-2003 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MojoJojo
There is an old saying that posession is nine tenths of the law. There is a good deal of common law precedence awarding property rights based on which party has actually been using, maintaining, improving, etc the property (usually land) in dispute. I think Lord Stanley's successor would have to prove that the cup was somehow stolen or taken from him unlawfully. The most obvious example of a plaintiff winning this kind of suit are cases involving artwork stolen by the Nazi's. Even if Stanley can demonstrate that the cup was stolen, after 60 years it will be difficult, especially since the first question will be why did he wait so long to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his (and its not as if he didn't know where its been all this time).

Anyway, if the Stanley cup was still an amateur challenge cup, hardly anyone would care about it. Its glory stems from its history, a significant chunk of which is intertwined with the NHL.

Yeah but...

What if there was an extended lockout and the NHL is in operation to allow the Stanley Cup to be awarded? Couldn't this change the dyanamics a bit and weaken the NHL's moral claim to hold onto the trophy? Couldn't it be argued that the trustees that were charged with upholding Lord Stanley's wishes to have an annual challenge cup awarded to the champions of Canadian hockey would be delinquent in their duties if they allowed the NHL to deny the challenge for the cup in a particular year? Again arguably, this seems to amount to the NHL basically saying Stanley's wishes be damned - the cup is ours to do whatever we want.

Not saying that you are wrong by any means, I just think that the questions raised about the legitemacy of the transfer to the NHL raises some interesting questions that don't have clear answers, particularly if the League shuts down for a fairly long stretch. For example, while I would think that 99.99% of Canadians strongly support the idea that the NHL champions should hoist the Stanley Cup, even when the winning team is based (most of the time) in the United States, do I hold the same view if a corporate entity whose board of directors is dominated by Americans decided to wind up the league, sell the assets to the highest bidder and split up the proceeds amongst themselves? Maybe not.

HBP


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:39 AM.

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com, A property of CraveOnline, a division of AtomicOnline LLC ©2009 CraveOnline Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.