What Happens to the Rings when the Stanley Cup is full of Names?

What Happens to the Rings when the Stanley Cup is full of Names

We all want our name to stay alive and be remembered in history. The teams that win the Stanley Cup get the opportunity that the name of their entire roster gets written on the barrel of the Cup. This barrel has enough space for the names of thirteen teams. When this space is filled, what happens?

The Stanley cup’s body has five bands, and each band has space for 13 teams to be engraved on it, and each team can engrave 52 players’ names on it. Thus, when the Stanley cup bands are complete, and there is no more room to inscribe the following team players, then the oldest / top barrel is removed, a new bar is added to engrave the winning team’s names, and the old band is then put in the Hall of Fame Stanley cup.

Let’s break down the topic and find out the history of the Stanley cup engraving. Moreover, what happens to the rings when the Stanley cup is full of names?

A brief History of Rings and Engraving added to the Stanley Cup

Lord Stanley gifted the Stanley Cup in 1892. It was a simple 7 ½ inches cup made of fine silver with only one ring at that time. After 1902, the ring was full of names. In 1909, the Ottawa Senators added the second ring. Today, the Cup is 35 ¼ inches with about 34 ½ pounds.

Stanly Cup in Hockey Hall of Fame
Stanly Cup in Hockey Hall of Fame – Source: HHOF

The NHL started the standard engraving of the names in 1924, a tradition set by the Montreal Wanderers in 1907. They also started adding the rings almost every year now. The Stanley Cup was redesigned in 1948 and 1957 to its present form.

Although not for sale, the Stanley Cup’s cost is about $8,000 on the market. Its worth is much more in the hearts of the hockey players and the fans. Silversmith Carl Petersen had the duty of doing all the engravings in the past. The present engraver is Louise St. Jacques, who has a studio in Montreal.

What happens when the Stanley Cup is full?

When one ring on the Cup is filled with names, the officials take it off and replace it with another one. The redesign of the Cup was done keeping in mind that it would go to the hundredth year of the Cup, which was 1992, but it got filled a year earlier because of the Montreal Canadiens, who took extra space.

What happens when the Stanley Cup is full

After 13 teams have won the Cup, the officials remove the ring containing about 340 names and add another fresh ring. The rings have a circumference of about 35 inches. Up till now, three-barrel rings are retired:

  • 1927–28 to 1939–40 champions
  • 1940–41 to 1952–53 winners of the Cup
  • 1953–54 to 1964–65

The new ring, which is ongoing, will retire in the 2029-30 season. It started in 2017-18 when the Washington Capital won the Cup. So, the Washington Capitals became the first team to have their names on this ring.

The ring taken off contained names from the 1953-54 Detroit Red Wings to the 1964- 65 Montreal Canadiens. This ring also contained the names of sixteen Hall of Fame players and teams like the Maple Leafs, Red Wings, and Black Hawks.

On the other hand, the next ring, which will be removed in the year 2031, has the names of teams like the Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, and Maple Leafs, with some great Hall of Fame names like Montreal center Henri Richard and Boston’s Bobby Orr.

What Happens to the Rings?

When a ring gets filled up entirely with the names of the teams, the NHL officials take off the top ring. The ring is flattened out and displayed on a wall in the trophy room in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Stanley Cup Rings Bands
Stanley Cup Rings Bands

These rings are placed under the original Stanley Cup at a distance of a few feet.

How Long Does Your Name Stay on the Stanley Cup?

So, how long will your name remain if the rings do not stay forever on the Stanley Cup? We can estimate this. You will get the longest time on the Cup if your name is added to the ring in the first year that the ring was added, and you will get the least amount of time if you get a spot on the barrel in the last year before the ring is removed.

The names can stay on the Stanley Cup for about 52 – 65 years before the removal.

What are teams getting their teams removed from the Stanley Cup next?

The following teams that will be removed from the Stanley Cup are from 1965-66 to 1977-78. This barrel will be released in 2029-30. This removal is also an alarm for the teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs or Philadelphia Flyers to win a Stanley Cup in the remaining years, or they will no longer have their name on the Cup.

teams names removed from the Stanley Cup

But, even if the names of the players and teams that achieved so much and played such fantastic games are taken away from the Cup itself, they will be remembered and live in the hearts and minds of the hockey players and fans to come in generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the current dimensions of the Stanley Cup?

The below shows the current dimensions of the Stanley Cup.
Original Bowl (silver)
18.5 cm / 7.28 inches
29 cm / 11.42 inches
Current Version (silver and nickel alloy)
Full Stanley Cup
Height – 89.54 cm / 35-1/4 inches
Weight – 34-1/2 lbs – 15-1/2 kg
Height – 19.05 cm / 7-1/2 inches
Diameter – 28.57 cm / 11-1/4 inches
Circumference – 88.9 cm / 35 inches
Height – 15.87 cm / 6-1/4 inches
Height – 8.25 cm / 3-1/4 inches
Height – 46.35 cm / 18-1/4 inches
Diameter – 43.81 cm / 17-1/4 inches

Why is the Stanley cup given the nickname, Stovepipe cup?

The Stanley cup had a Stovepipe shape from 1927 to 1927 before the redesign of the cup in 1948. It’s because the old Stanley cup’s rings were smaller than today’s Stanley cup. Each ring had the space only for one team. This makes the shape of the Stanley cup long and narrow, and that’s how it gained the nickname – ‘Stovepipe cup’.

How many names are written on the Stanley cup?

Currently, the Stanley cup has 2394 names without including names on the retired bands. Once the oldest barrel is removed, a new one is placed to have space for new teams. Hence, in total, 3385 are written on the Stanley cup.


It’s an honor to engrave the Stanley cup with the winning team’s names, and this credit goes to St. Jacques, who also handles the vital job of restoring and maintaining the Stanley cup. And it is also an honor for the players and teams to engrave their names on the trophy, a way to remain alive in history.

Related Posts:

  1. What is engraved in the bowl of the Stanley Cup?
  2. How many Stanley Cups are there?
  3. 4 perks players get for winning the Stanley Cup
  4. The top 10 best NHL players to never win the Stanley Cup
Austin Taylor

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