Stanley Cup Rings Finally Earning Respect

Jean Beliveau 1972-73 Stanley Cup ring Believe it or not, the championship ring tradition in the NHL isn’t very old–and collectors are willing to pay big bucks for vintage bling.

Jean Beliveau paid sixty bucks for his 1959 Stanley Cup championship ring when he helped the Montreal Canadiens win it all. That same ring recently sold for $69,000.

But the history of championship rings isn’t an old one. Sometimes winning team members had to pony up the money themselves before relatively big money entered the game in the mid-1970s.

Vintage Cup rings are a hot seller in Canada–when they can be found. The Montreal Gazette explored a unique part of NHL history in a story this week and uncovered one tasty nugget–a winning Stanley Cup team’s bonus was once…a turkey.