USPS Announces New Hockey Issue

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp, or stamps, honoring the centennial of the National Hockey League this fall. Advance information from the USPS and Canada Post imply this could be a joint issue with Canada, which just issued six new stamps featuring NHL star players.

The issue, which was previously unannounced until September 28, will be formally dedicated in an October 20 ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Little Caesars Arena, of the Red Wings, in Detroit, Michigan. The Washington Capitals play at Detroit that evening.

Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan will be joined at that event by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra for the stamps dubbed “The History of Hockey.”

The USPS did not release stamp images at the time of the announcement and did not indicate it was an official joint issue with Canada.

On September 27, Canada Post issued six NHL centennial stamps that it said concluded its five-year series honoring the professional hockey.

In the 1800s, the sport truly began to take shape in Eastern Canada. By the late 19th century, the game had grown popular in the United States.

American Malcolm Greene Chace became interested in the game and assembled a group of players from various universities. In 1896, a team from Yale, which included Chace, faced Johns Hopkins University in the first college hockey game. Soon, professional leagues formed in North America. And today, women’s hockey is thriving.

The National Hockey Association began play in 1910 and evolved into the National Hockey League in 1917.

In 1924, the Boston Bruins became the first American team to join the National Hockey League.

The Stanley Cup dates to 1892, 125 years ago and was at first awarded to the champions of Canadian amateur hockey. By 1915, the Stanley Cup was being awarded to winners of various top tournaments. From its inception until 1928, the Cup was only awarded once to a U.S.-based team: the 1917 Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.

Starting in 1927, the Stanley Cup became the trophy awarded to the NHL champion.  The New York Rangers of 1928 were the first U.S.-based team to receive the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup 11 times, more than any other U.S.-based team. Of the original six NHL teams, Montreal has 24 cups, followed by Toronto (13), Detroit (11), Boston and Chicago (6 each), and the Rangers (4).

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