As you all probably know, Salavat Yulaev captured the Kontinental Hockey League's championship with a 3-2 win over Atlant Mytishchi, winning the postseason tournament four games to one. With the victory came the Gagarin Cup, the KHL's version of the Stanley Cup.
As you can see, both prizes have their virtues. Which one is cooler? Glad you asked.
The Gagarin Cup is cooler because …
• It was named after an astronaut, while the Stanley Cup was named after a Freemason.
• It has little hockey pucks around the top that list the names of its winners, just like your beer league trophy.
• It weights 40 pounds while the Stanley Cup weighs only 34.5 pounds; though, in fairness, much of that extra 5.5 pounds can be attributed to KGB listening devices.
• It looks like something your elf would have quested to find in a Dungeons and Dragons RPG.
• There are KHL logos on all sides, including the bottom of the trophy, which means there is slightly less advertising on the Gagarin Cup than on most European uniforms.
• They've taken the Stanley Cup idea of putting champions' names on rings at the base of the trophy, the hope being that in 60 years the Gagarin Cup will be roughly 25 feet tall.
• Gary Bettman does not hand out the Gagarin Cup.
The Stanley Cup is cooler because …
• The Gagarin Cup will inevitably appear in a parade with giant missiles on display. The Stanley Cup also appears in parades with giant missiles on display.
• The Stanley Cup had been in Mario's swimming pool. The Gagarin Cup has been in Aleksey Morozov's foot bath.
• The NHL's Cup Raise video looks like this. The KHL's lasts roughly 0.8 seconds.
• The Stanley Cup has partied with more strippers than if Charlie Sheen had been the bassist for Mötley Crüe.
• The Stanley Cup is not made of the melted down silver and bronze medals captured by shamed Russian national teams in international tournament losses.
• The Stanley Cup is annually hockey's greatest prize; a Holy Grail steeped in history, handled by immortals and only captured through sacrifice and valor in the wars of attrition that are the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And Alexander Svitov just won the Gagarin Cup.
Verdict: The Gagarin Cup. Wait, we're not at a renaissance festival? The Stanley Cup.