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If you're a collector, chances are you might grab a program whenever you attend a meaningful game to commemorate the occasion. Stanley Cup programs are likely one of those items to be found in a collection. For their upcoming fall auction, Heritage Auctions has a very unique Cup program available for bid: the 1926 Final between the Montreal Maroons and Victoria Cougars.
Aside from it being 86 years old, that program represents the final time a non-NHL team would play for the Cup. The NHL's Maroons would beat the WHL's Cougars three games to one. The WHL would fold after the season with the NHL buying up their players.
From Heritage Auctions:
To put into perspective the scarcity of this auction listing it took us no further than a quick peek at our past auction results database to turn up zero Stanley Cup Finals programs from the 1920's that have sold at major auction.
Originating from Game 1 of the 1926 series between the Victoria Cougars vs. the Montreal Maroons, the 5.75 x 8.5" program includes all 32 pages, with the front and back covers completely intact. Its only noticeable detractors are a few extremely light pencil marks that were erased from the top of the cover, and the binding glue that has deteriorated over time. Amazingly scarce and significant piece from an important era of professional hockey.
A few things stand out:
• Look at that beautiful Stanley Cup in its infancy.
• The price of a 2012 Stanley Cup Final program? You can get one at the NHL online store for $12.99 US. The price in 1926? Ten cents, and likely filled with the same amount of advertising.
• Sadly, Heritage only allows viewers to see the front page of the program, thereby not letting us turn to page 31 to find out what the "Free Seats" offer is all about. Surely you won't find that offer in any NHL game program in this current climate.
Bidding will begin on Oct. 6, with the auction process taking part over a two-day span later that month.
Are there any unique or memorable programs in your hockey memorabilia collection?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy