April 12, 2010

1893 Stanley Cup Ring

This is one of the original Stanley Cup rings.

It belonged to Billy Barlow of the Montreal AAA (Amateur Athletic Association). The AAA, also known as Montreal Hockey Club, were the first winners of the Stanley Cup back in 1893 - that's 24 years before the NHL even existed!

This ring resides on display at Hockey Hall of Fame. The only other 1893 ring known to still exist sold in 2009 at auction for about $60,000. It belonged to George Lowe.

I'm still trying to find much information about Mr. Barlow. Apparently he was a spectacular skater, blessed with agility and nimbleness unlike most of that era. He was instrumental in the Montreal's final win of the season over Ottawa to secure the Stanley Cup's inaugural championship. The following year Barlow was credited with scoring the first Stanley Cup-winning goal in history in the final playoff match of 1894. He actually scored twice in that game and was heralded as the top player of that.

You can read the actual newspaper account of the first Stanley Cup championship at Library and Archives Canada's website. Robert Lefebvre of Eyes On The Prize also has a good feature.


Judith Barlow said...

I am the grandaughter of Billy Barlow an I would like to correct the the photo of my grandfather in the photo. He is the player seated to the extrem right with his left hand holding his hockey stick.

Judith Barlow
Pointe-Claire, QC.

Pam Millar said...

Billy Barlow was my Great Grandfather. I have been a huge hockey fan since I was a little girl. I used to wear this ring when I was at my Grandmothers and pretend that I had won the Stanley Cup. She donated the ring to the Hall of Fame when it opened in Toronto. Now I cheer for the Leafs in hopes that one day, while I am still alive, they will win the cup. High hopes but I will never give up on them.