Illustrated guide to the Stanley Cup's greatness (Infographic)

The Stanley Cup is sometimes referred to as the hardest trophy to win in major North American professional sports.

We took at look at several facts about the Cup. Hope you enjoy. 

Original graphic by Amber Matsumoto.
Original graphic by Amber Matsumoto.

Since the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997 and 98, no team has emerged from the NHL’s two month playoffs as back-to-back winners.

How hard is it to win the Cup? Some of the best players on the San Jose Sharks should know.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, both 36, played a combined 2,778 NHL regular season games and 315 playoff games before making their first Stanley Cup Final this season. Both Thornton and Marleau are two of the best, and most consistent, hockey players of the last 15 years. 

The Cup has more folklore than most other championship prizes because the same trophy that partied with the 1994 New York Rangers and rested in the bottom of Mario Lemieux's swimming pool will be hoisted by the Pittsburgh Penguins or Sharks this postseason. The Cup doesn’t get replaced, and that’s part of what makes it special.