March 1894 play-off competition for the coveted hockey award known as Lord Stanley’s Cup began. Montreal and Ottawa played for the first championship honors. Montreal took home the trophy.
The original trophy was purchased by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston. He then donated it to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.
In 1926, the playoff format took the order that remains in place today and the National Hockey League has been the permanent forum.
The teams with the most Stanley Cup titles since 1927 include the Detroit Red Wings (9) and Toronto Maple Leafs (11), with the Montreal Canadiens (24). Larry Robinson holds the record for playing in the most Stanley Cup games (203 for Montreal and 24 for the LA Kings).
The Stanley Cup competition remains the oldest in professional sports in North America.