The Stanley Cup was first presented in 1893 as the championship trophy of Canadian hockey. After the formation of the NHL for the 1917-18 season, the Toronto Arenas became the league's the first winner of what is now the most famous trophy in sports. The 1927-28 Rangers were the NHL's first U.S.-based team to win it, downing the Maroons three games to two in a series played entirely in Montreal. Of note was the Rangers' 44-year-old coach, Lester Patrick, coming off the bench in Game 2 to replace the injured Lorne Chabot in goal.
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Wearing his then-revolutionary face mask, goalie Jacques Plante backstopped the Canadiens to a still-unbroken record fifth straight Cup. The series, a sweep of Toronto, also marked the end of Rocket Richard's Hall of Fame career. He hung up his skates with an NHL career record of 34 goals in Cup final competition.
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Philadelphia Flyers, 1974
After the NHL expanded from its Original Six to 12 teams in 1967, the new St. Louis Blues reached the Stanley Cup Final each year from 1968-70 only to be swept each time. Four years later, Bobby Clarke's famed -- or is it infamous? -- Broad Street Bullies became the first expansion team to win the Cup, beating Boston in six.
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The Isles' fourth straight Cup, earned with a stunning sweep of Wayne Gretzky's up-and-coming Oilers, set a still-unbroken record of successive titles for a U.S.-based team.
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Patrick Roy backstopped Montreal's last (to date) Cup and extended the franchise's record total to 24. The Canadiens remain the last Canadian team to win the championship.
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New York Rangers, 1994
Mark Messier, Mike Richter, and Conn Smythe-winner Brian Leetch led an epic playoff march that snapped the Rangers' record 54-year Cup drought. It ended with an emotional Game 7 victory over Vancouver in New York's roaring Madison Square Garden.
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After 42 years, including a desolate stretch from 1966-83 during which they were derided as The Dead Things, Detroit was finally led to the Cup by its dynamic captain, Steve Yzerman. Goaltender Mike Vernon earned the Conn Smythe after the Red Wings' sweep of the Flyers.
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Brett Hull's controversial "foot in the crease" goal in triple OT of Game 6 vs. Buffalo made the Stars, a franchise that had migrated from Minnesota, the first southern-based U.S. team to win the Cup.
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Backed by the brilliant goaltending of Conn Smythe-winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Ducks downed the Ottawa Senators in five games and became the first California-based team to win the Cup.
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Patrick Kane's dramatic overtime goal in Game 6 vs. Philadelphia snapped Chicago's 49-year Cup drought, which was the longest to date. The Blackhawks' championship made for an emotional return of the chalice to the city where Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita had broken a 23-year schneid in 1961.
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