Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals 2004: 44
The Stanley Cup Journal

A first look at the names of the 2004 Stanley Cup victors as they were being engraved onto the Stanley Cup.
A sheet of ice. Cleaned. Clear. Ideal for a game of hockey. Perfect for the dreams of those gliding across its glistening surface.

Amidst participants — some moving effortlessly while others scramble and sprawl — each imagines making the perfect play, executing the perfect pass or scoring the perfect goal. And with that dream, players dare imagine that one day, like the idols they mimic, they too will lift the Stanley Cup over their head in triumph; they too will read their name engraved into the Stanley Cup; they too will wear the championship ring emblematic of hockey supremacy.

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For seventeen years, the hands of Louise St. Jacques have methodically engraved the names of every Stanley Cup champion into Lord Stanley's Cup.
Imagine the honour of running your fingertips over your name engraved into the surface of the Stanley Cup, there to be viewed forever by generation after generation of hockey fans. Each name meticulously hammered into the patina of the Stanley Cup's gleaming body by Louise St. Jacques, a silversmith based in Montreal.

Louise St. Jacques of Boffey Promotions removes the bottom ring from the Stanley Cup in order to engrave the names of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"It takes ten hours over four or so days. You just can't engrave it all in one stretch," Louise reveals. "After a while, you start thinking about what you're doing and you start worrying about making a mistake. That's when I walk away. I might go away for an hour or I might go back the next day." Ten hours. That's the amount of time it took to engrave fifty-two names onto the one remaining spot left on the Stanley Cup. "It sounds tedious, but it's a great honour," St. Jacques smiles. "I love doing it and hope to do it the rest of my life. After all, it's the Stanley Cup." Working out of her shop alongside the cobblestone streets of old Montreal, Louise St. Jacques completed the task of hammering the submitted names of Tampa Bay Lightning players and staff into hockey's most exalted trophy on Friday, October 15.

After obtaining permission from the NHL to hold the event in spite of the lock-out, available Tampa Bay Lightning players quietly received their Stanley Cup rings on November 16.
Tampa's general manager, Jay Feaster, submitted the fifty-two names to be engraved on the Cup to the National Hockey League for approval. There is a strict set of rules used to qualify a player's acceptance. Then, the list is sent to St. Jacques, who has been engraving the names on the Stanley Cup since 1988. Louise removes the band being engraved from the Cup, then carefully measures the names to ensure that the letters will adequately fit on a line. The Lightning have taken the final spot remaining on the Stanley Cup. When the Cup is next won, the top band will be removed and permanently retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame, with each band below moved up one spot. A brand new band, ready for the next Stanley Cup champion, will be fitted at the bottom. The Stanley Cup will not increase in size or shape as a result.

The Tampa Bay Lightning players will receive magnificent championship rings, too. Adorned with a plethora of diamonds, the ring features the Stanley Cup with the Lightning's bolt logo across the trophy's base. On one side is the player's name. On the other, the results of the playoff conquests that led to the Stanley Cup. It's a magnificent piece of jewellery unique to the franchise, and one that will forever band together the players, staff and executives that comprised the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Click here for Stanley Cup engraving facts, firsts and faux pas.

Kevin Shea is the Hockey Hall of Fame's Manager of Special Projects and Publishing.

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