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Get to know the Stanley Cup, Washington D.C.'s newest bling

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Get to know the Stanley Cup, Washington D.C.'s newest bling

Every hockey fan has heard rumors about post-finals win antics or wondered what goes on behind closed doors as the famed Keeper of the Cup stands watch.

But what’s there to know about the Stanley Cup trophy itself?

To start, it’s got quite the legacy as the oldest trophy in major league sports. The illustrious Lord Stanley of Preston commissioned the original silver and nickel bowl-shaped trophy in 1892 for the $1,326 in current dollar value. He initially called it the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup; passing it between amateur, then semi-organized, then professional teams until its retirement due to fragility.

If you want to see the original Stanley Cup, you’ll have to travel to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, where it’s rested since 1970. Nowadays there are two active versions, called the authentic, or Presentation Cup, and the display. Philip Pritchard, who works for the Hockey Hall of Fame, has been Keeper of the Cup for over a decade, safeguarding the trophy with his distinctive white gloves.

The silver-cast authentic cup, signified by the Hall of Fame insignia on its base, was created in secret by Carl Petersen in 1963 and revealed to the public three years later. It carries five active bands. The most recent includes 2006 to 2017’s champions, with a new band scheduled to be added this year for the 2018 to 2030 season. When the cup is disassembled to add and engrave the new ring, the 1953-1965 band will be removed and retired.

Per recent years, a team typically submits 52 names to be engraved. This includes players with at least 41 active games, coaching staff, owners, and managers. After this season’s additions, there will be 3,229 names engraved on the Cup. Of those, 1,331 are players, 12 of these are names are women, and 11 are repeats of Montreal’s Henri Richard, who played with the Canadiens from 1955 to 1975.

Since 1994, winning teams give each of their members a Cup Day where the possessor is free to take it anywhere and do anything with it – hence the crazy stories. Of the tall tales we know to be true, the Cup has visited 25 countries, three dogs have eaten out of it, and at least one baby has been baptized in its bowl.

The display version, made in 1993, stands at the Hall of Fame whenever the authentic cup is not available due to travel or, well, its presence during the Stanley Cup Final.

The last time the Cup traveled to Washington wasn’t too long ago. As part of the NHL’s 100-year traveling exhibit on the league’s history, it stopped by for a brief viewing period during the Capitals’ season opener.

Many fans joked that we would never see the real thing again – but clearly, we lucked out.

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The Capitals are looking for a rare sweep of the Buffalo Sabres

The Capitals are looking for a rare sweep of the Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres do not rank high among the Capitals’ most hated rivals, but when you look back at the history of these two teams, Washington has struggled against the Sabres more than you may think.

In the Caps’ first two seasons they faced Buffalo 10 times. Washington lost nine of those games and tied one. In fact, the Caps managed only two wins total in their first 32 meetings.

Even when Washington advanced past their initial struggles as a franchise, success against Buffalo has been hard to come by. In their 43 seasons as a team, the Caps have only managed to sweep the season series with the Sabres three times in 1988-89, 2012-13, 2016-17.

On Saturday, however, the Caps can make it four.

Buffalo visited Washington twice in December with the Caps winning each game. On Saturday, Washington heads to Buffalo for their final meeting of the season. (1 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

Games notes

Hagelin debut

Carl Hagelin will make his Capitals debut Saturday.  He suited up for the first time with his new team on Friday after getting trade by the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. He practice on the fourth line with Nic Dowd at center and Chandler Stephenson on the wing.

The newly acquired Nick Jensen will not be available for the game.

End of the road

Saturday’s game will be the sixth and final game of a season-long six-game road trip. Washington has already earned three wins guaranteeing them at least a .500 finish. A win Saturday will give them four out of six and turn a respectable road trip into a very good one.

Watching the standings

With two points, Washington can pull even with the New York Islanders. The Caps have 75 points while the Islanders sit in first place with 77. New York has a game in hand on Washington and they play later Saturday night, so a tie in the standings on Saturday afternoon could prove to be short-lived.

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Capitals send best wishes to now former teammate Madison Bowey

Capitals send best wishes to now former teammate Madison Bowey

Madison Bowey was traded to the Motor City earlier today as well as a second round draft pick for defenseman Nick Jensen and a fifth round draft pick. Washington promptly re-signed their new addition to a four-year, $10 million dollar contract.

After hearing the news about their teammate's departure, memebers of the Caps' took to social media to give their best wishes.

View this post on Instagram

good luck brother !!gonna miss u champ!!2

A post shared by Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) on

Bowey, a Stanley Cup champion, was a vital member of the 2018 Capitals' squad in their pursuit of the Cup.

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