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Uploaded By: PRESIDENT on April 16th, 2014

The O'Brien Trophy / The O'Brien Cup

The National Hockey Association of Canada

The O'Brien Cup / Trophy was donated to the National Hockey Association in 1910 by its' name sake Canadian Senator Michael J. O'Brien in recognition of his son J. Ambrose O'Brien, who was credited with the formation of the National Hockey Association. The trophy was to be emblematic of the championship of the league.

On December 2, 1911, the NHA officially designated the trophy as the league's championship trophy

The Cup was fabricated using silver from an O'Brien mine.

The Cup has been awarded under four definitions. From 1910 through 1917, it was awarded to the NHA champion. In 1921, the Cup was transferred to the NHL and awarded to the NHL champion until 1927. From 1928 until 1938, it was awarded to the Canadian Division champion. Starting with the 1938–39 season, it was awarded to the NHL playoff runner-up. In 1950, the Cup was retired and has not been awarded since. In total, the Cup has been awarded in 41 seasons to twelve different teams.

J. Ambrose O'Brien had Hockey in his blood. He participated at all levels of the game - as a player, financier and founder. He almost single-handedly organized the National Hockey Association and helped launch one of the most famous teams in NHL history - the Montreal Canadiens.

When the NHA was suspended in 1917, the Cup was held by the Montreal Canadiens. It remained in their care until 1921. In November 1921, it was announced that the Cup would be given over to the National Hockey League to be awarded annually to the NHL champions. NHL president Frank Calder arranged with Ambrose O'Brien a new deed of gift. The Cup, which Calder had secured following the death of Montreal President George Kennedy, was then presented to the NHL champion Ottawa Senators. Upon the donation of the Prince of Wales Trophy to the NHL in the early 1920's, a decision was made by the league executive to retire the O'Brien Trophy. However in 1928, the O'Brien Trophy officially was awarded to the Canadian team with the most points. From 1928 onwards, one year after the NHL expanded to two divisions in 1926, the Cup was awarded to the winner of the Canadian Division, while the Prince of Wales Trophy was awarded to the winner of the American Division. It would be awarded under this definition until the end of the 1937–38 season.

The significance of the O'Brien Trophy was again altered in 1939, when it became the award handed out to the losing Stanley Cup finalist. Of note, the trophy was not formerly awarded between 1939 and 1943. It wasn't until 1944 that the teams from that five-year period had their names inscribed on the trophy. The O'Brien Trophy was officially retired by the NHL at the end of the 1949-50 season.

The Montreal Canadiens have won it the most, having won the Cup eleven times. The Toronto Maple Leafs have won it the second most, a total of eight times, six as the Maple Leafs, once as the St. Patricks and once as the Torontos. The Detroit Red Wings have won the Cup the most times of any American team, having won it five times.

The Cup is now in the collection of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario and is on display with other historic trophies in the entrance to the Panasonic Hometown Hockey exhibit.

All Time Winners
1950 New York Rangers
1949 Detroit Red Wings
1948 Detroit Red Wings
1947 Montreal Canadiens
1946 Boston Bruins
1945 Detroit Red Wings
1944 Chicago Blackhawks
1943 Boston Bruins
1942 Detroit Red Wings
1941 Detroit Red Wings
1940 Toronto Maple Leafs
1939 Toronto Maple Leafs
1938 Toronto Maple Leafs
1937 Montreal Canadiens
1936 Montreal Maroons
1935 Toronto Maple Leafs
1934 Toronto Maple Leafs
1933 Toronto Maple Leafs
1932 Montreal Canadiens
1931 Montreal Canadiens
1930 Montreal Maroons
1929 Montreal Canadiens
1928 Montreal Canadiens
1923 Ottawa Senators
1922 Toronto St Pats
1921 Ottawa Senators
1920 Ottawa Silver Seven
1919 Montreal Canadiens
1918 Toronto Arenas
1917 Montreal Canadiens
1916 Montreal Canadiens
1915 Ottawa Senators
1914 Toronto Blue Shirts
1913 Quebec Bulldogs
1912 Quebec Bulldogs
1911 Ottawa Senators
1910 Montreal Wanderers

Sourced from Credited to Alex Laney.


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