The Stanley Cup Final in ice hockey (also known as the Stanley Cup Finals among various media, French: Finale de la Coupe Stanley) is the NHL’s championship series to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup, North America’s oldest professional sports trophy.
The Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893, originally a “challenge trophy.” The champions held onto the Cup until they either lost their league title to another club, or a champion from another league issued a formal challenge and defeated the reigning Cup champion in a final game to claim their win.
Starting in 1915, the Cup was officially held between the champion of the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the champion of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). After a series of league mergers and folds, it became the championship trophy of the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1926. Today, the championship round of the NHL’s playoffs is a best-of-seven series played between the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences.