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Fun on Friday: Raise That Silver Cup!

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On Wednesday night, I got to watch a bunch of guys skate around an ice rink with a silver cup hoisted over their heads. My beloved Tampa Bay Lightning won their second straight Stanley Cup championship with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadians.

If it seems like we just did this – well – we did.

Here’s a fun fact for you. The Lightning won the 2020 Stanley Cup just 282 days before earning their second. That’s 40 weeks. So, it’s theoretically possible that a child conceived on the day the Bolts won the 2020 Cup was born the day they won the 2021 Cup.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge Lightning fan and have been since the day they came into the NHL. So, I’m pretty thrilled with back-to-back championships. It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. I think the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win (and in true hockey player form, I will fight you over this). To win it two times in a row – well yeah – that’s twice as hard.

In order to hoist the Cup, you have to win four best-of-seven series. Think about that for a minute. In football, you have to win, at most, four games. In baseball, you have to get through a five-game series and a couple of seven-game series. The NBA also requires winning four seven-round series, but, real talk here, it’s just basketball. The Stanley Cup playoffs is the most grueling and arduous tournament in sports.

Just how arduous is it? What kind of sacrifices do hockey players make to win a Cup? I’ll give you an example.

During Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Montreal Canadians, Lightning forward Alex Killorn blocked a shot. It broke his fibula.

Ouch.

Now, you would think that would be that — done for the playoffs Nope. Killorn had a rod surgically placed in the broken bone hoping he’d be able to play. He was actually on the ice in warmups for Game 4 — with a broken leg. He ultimately wasn’t able to play in that game. But after the Lightning ended it in Game 5, Killorn said he was planning on trying to play if the series went to a sixth or seventh game.

With a broken leg.

By the way, after the Lightning beat the Habs in Game 5, Killorn hoisted the 35-pound Stanley Cup over his head and took it for a little skate.

With a broken leg.

Why are hockey players willing to endure so much just for the opportunity to lift a silver cup over their heads?

Because the Stanley Cup is priceless. Getting your name etched on that iconic trophy is the ultimate dream of every kid who ever laces up the skates and picks up a hockey stick.

By the way, the Cup itself has a monetary value as well. It’s just that nobody can pin down exactly what that is. The best estimate I’ve been able to find is around $600,000.

The Cup itself is pure silver and the rest of the trophy is formed out of a silver/nickel mix. That gives it value in and of itself. Silver has long been coveted for its beauty and scarcity. I wouldn’t recommend melting the Cup down though. It’s is even more valuable when you factor in the intangibles.

The name of every player to ever win the Cup is carved right into it. Obviously, the trophy would become ridiculously tall if they keep all the rings attached, so the bottom one is removed once the top one is full. The old rings are kept at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Nevertheless, nobody will ever forget Erwin Murph Chamberlain won the 1946 Cup with the Montreal Canadians. It’s carved right there on the trophy.

For those keeping score at home, the Stanley Cup is the fourth-most valuable trophy in sports. For instance, the value of the Lombardi trophy pales in comparison. It’s not even in the top-10. This makes sense because hockey is greater than football. The Super Bowl trophy is estimated to be worth about $10,000. Of course, that’s nothing to sneeze at. The Lombardi trophy is nearly 2-feet tall and made from sterling silver. By the way, sterling is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper.

But if you want to find the most valuable trophy in sports, you have to go to the world’s most popular sport – soccer. The honor goes to the FIFA World Cup trophy. It’s made of 18-karat gold.

Still, I’d rather have the Stanley Cup. Why? Because hockey > soccer. I mean seriously, with all due respect to the soccer fans out there, how many soccer players would play a few days after having a rod surgically implanted in their leg?

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. I dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The opinions expressed are my own. They are 100% correct – but not necessarily shared by anybody else here – including Peter Schiff. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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