The Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup, emblematic of ice Hockey supremacy in North America, was donated in 1893 by Canada's then governer general, Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston. Originally awarded to honor Canada's top amateur team, it eventually became the championship trophy of the professional National Hockey League. Stanley Cup playoffs have been held continuously since 1894, although in the 1918-1919 season the finals were halted by the worldwide influenza epidemic. Oddly, Lord Stanley himself never saw a Stanley Cup game.