Bet You Didn’t Know This: Stanley Cup Odds & Ends
Any sports fan likes to think he or she knows his or her favorite sport better than anyone else. But, every sport has all kinds crazy and little-known facts that can stump even the most dedicated of fans.
In this article, let’s take a look at some Stanley Cup facts you may not know. For example, did you know that Red Kelly has the most Stanley Cups victories of any player not to skate for the Montreal Canadiens (four victories with the Detroit Red Wings and four with the Toronto Maple Leafs)?
Which team do you think is the only one to win the Stanley cup during overtime of game 7? The Detroit Red Wings were able to do so twice – once in 1950 against the Rangers and then again in 1954 versus the Canadiens.
It sounds impossible, but who was the player who managed to win the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP before he won the Calder Trophy for best rookie? The Montreal Canadiens’ amazing netminder Ken Dryden played just six games during his first year, and then went on to be the starting goalie during their 1971 championship run. The following season, Dryden played nothing short of stellar – posing 39 wins, 8 losses, and 15 draws during what could be more technically declared his “rookie year.”
If that fact wasn’t enough to blow you away, here’s one that will really confuse you: there was one player who won more than 10 championships prior to his tenth birthday. Who do you think did and how did he do it?
Of course, you would conclude no one could win more than 10 championships before their tenth birthday. But, some of the more astute readers of this article may have concluded such an individual had a birthday on leap year. As a result, Henri Richard, who was born on February 29, 1936, won 11 Stanley Cup championships by the time he technically turned 10 in 1976.
Finally, this fun fact you might know. But, it’s worth discussing because of its notorious nature. During the 1980 playoffs, who was the player that knocked out the opposing team’s coach by whacking his head with his hockey stick? The answer: Tiger Williams, who was a Vancouver Canuck.
He knocked out Buffalo Sabres head coach Scotty Bowman in game three of the first round of the playoffs that year. Astonishingly, the incident went practically unnoticed because of a Sabres player who had fallen to the ice with an injury of his own. Williams claimed Bowman had been hurling insults towards Canucks players throughout the game and that he deserved the beating. And, there might be a few hockey fans that would agree with the action.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it.
-Dan “The Wisconsin Hockey Fan”