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10-16-2003, 03:37 PM
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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.


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