Despite the warming weather, it’s still sweater season for millions of hockey fans worldwide until Lord Stanley’s Cup finds a new home this July, slightly later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And as the quest for the cup enters its final phase, with the 16 teams in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs whittled down to two finalists, the drama on the ice reaches a boiling point.
Players literally leave blood, sweat, tears and some teeth on the ice while figuratively putting their hearts and souls on the line in an attempt to achieve dreams that took root in boyhood. Fans shell out thousands of dollars on tickets, beer, snacks and apparel. And one artisan engraver prepares to etch 52 new names into immortality.
To help people get pumped for the drop of the puck in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, WalletHub assembled the best collection of Stanley Cup stats and fun facts that we could find. Check them out in the infographic below, followed by a Q&A with a panel of experts about the business of hockey.
3 Stanley Cup Facts for 2021:
- $15.9M – Highest NHL salary for the 20-21 season (Auston Matthews), compared to $43M+, highest salary in the NBA (Stephen Curry).
- 2.95M – Average viewers for the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars (least watched Cup clincher in two decades).
- 56 – Number of games during the 2021 NHL season (down from the usual 82 games).
For a closer look at the business of professional hockey, we posed the following questions to a panel of experts. Meet our panel and check out their responses below.
- What are the biggest challenges facing the business of professional hockey today?
- What should the NHL invest in for the Stanley Cup to gain more traction and reach the level of popularity of other major sporting events such as the Super Bowl?
- What is your pick for the 2021 Stanley Cup?
- With sports betting now federally legal, how will the Stanley Cup finals be affected?