TORONTO -- The Stanley Cup is going to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.

The Cup will accompany the Arizona Coyotes on their charter plane Saturday for their 15½-hour, 8,000-mile flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia.

It will spend a week appearing at events, including two preseason games between the Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings at Rod Laver Arena in the 2023 NHL Global Series – Melbourne.

“It’s never been below the equator, which is pretty amazing, especially in today’s world,” said Phil Pritchard, vice president of the Hockey Hall of Fame, also known as the “Keeper of the Cup.”

By “amazing,” Pritchard means it’s amazing the Cup hasn’t been there already, even though the NHL has never been there before, either.

The Cup is more than the NHL’s championship trophy. It’s an ambassador for hockey.

It has traveled to 31 countries in the Northern Hemisphere -- to Afghanistan to visit troops, to China and Japan for NHL events, even to Mexico and the Bahamas.

Hockey is played in many other places around the world. The International Ice Hockey Federation counts 83 national associations, including Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa in the Southern Hemisphere.

The game has a modest presence in Australia, with 6,150 players and 20 indoor ice rinks, according to the IIHF. The men rank No. 35 in the world, the women No. 31. But it has a history there that dates to the early 1900s. The country has been a member of the IIHF since 1938. It has a semi-professional league.

The Hockey Hall of Fame has several Australian hockey artifacts on display and in its archives, from the original Goodall Cup, the oldest hockey trophy in use outside North America; to an Australia sweater worn in the lead-up to the 1960 Olympics, the country’s lone ice hockey appearance in the Winter Games; to sticks decorated with Aboriginal art.


Pritchard has seen Australia compete internationally but has never been Down Under himself. He’s excited to see his daughter, Brady, who attended the University of New South Wales in Sydney and is living in Melbourne, and he’s excited to chaperone the Cup with colleague Howie Borrow.

“I want to see the reaction of the people and meet the people and take the opportunity to talk to people,” he said.

He hopes the Global Series helps hockey grow in Australia.

“I think it’s going to be very, very exciting for the fans that are down there and even for those that aren’t familiar with the game,” he said. “I think they’re going to see a game that is really fast, really exciting, and hopefully we create some new hockey fans from it.”

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The original Stanley Cup is on display in Lord Stanley’s Vault in the Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto.

“DOMINION HOCKEY Challenge Cup,” it says on the bowl.

Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada, donated it in 1892 to award to Canada’s top amateur ice hockey club. Professional teams began competing for it in 1906, and NHL teams began competing for it exclusively in 1926.

The “Presentation Cup,” created in 1963, is the one awarded to the players after an NHL team wins a championship today and the one that will travel to Melbourne. The “Permanent Cup,” a replica created in 1993, goes on display in the Great Hall when the Presentation Cup is away.

The original Goodall Cup is on display in the World of Hockey Zone just down the steps from the Great Hall.

What might be considered the first ice hockey game in Australia was played July 17, 1906, in winter in the Southern Hemisphere. It was at the Melbourne Glaciarium, an indoor ice arena that stood from 1906-57 on the south bank of the Yarra River, across the water from the site where the Coyotes and Kings will play at Rod Laver Arena.

A team from the Australian state of Victoria tied a team from the American warship USS Baltimore 1-1, according to the July 18, 1906, edition of The Argus newspaper in Melbourne.

“The lightning pace of the game exceeds that of all other games,” the newspaper wrote. “It is grass-hockey, with wings added to it. The dash, the precipitancy, the quick vicissitudes and the incessant motion of the game last night speedily aroused the crowd of spectators to enthusiasm.”

The first ice hockey association in Australia formed with four teams at the Melbourne Glaciarium in 1908, and Victoria defeated New South Wales in the first Inter-State Series there in 1909. John Edwin Goodall, a player from the Melbourne area, donated a cup as a trophy.

The Goodall Cup went to the Australian state champions with a few interruptions over about 90 years. The semi-professional Australian Ice Hockey League formed in 2000 and adopted it as its championship trophy in 2002, the way the NHL once adopted the Stanley Cup.

“To have the Goodall Cup that’s been around since almost the turn of the last century, they’ve obviously had a lot of hockey experience,” Pritchard said.


The original Goodall Cup was replaced with a replica in 2009, when it was awarded to the state champions again for one year to mark the 100th anniversary of interstate competition. The replica has been awarded to the AIHL champions since, the way the Presentation Cup is awarded to the NHL champions.

The Melbourne Mustangs defeated the CBR Brave 1-0 on Aug. 27 to win the Goodall Cup this season. They played at O’Brien Icehouse, where the Coyotes and Kings will practice next week before moving to Rod Laver Arena.

Pritchard thinks it was 2016 when Ice Hockey Australia sent the original Goodall Cup to the Hockey Hall of Fame for preservation.

It looks a little like the Stanley Cup.


Ringing around the base are shiny silver plaques with the years, team names and player names of the champions.

“I think what’s amazing about it is, we really begin to find out how many people from Australia come to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame,” Pritchard said. “Maybe they come to visit to Toronto, and then they come to the Hockey Hall of Fame and see the Goodall Cup, and they go, ‘Wow, that’s from Australia.’”

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Pritchard pulled on his white gloves inside the Hockey Hall of Fame archives outside downtown Toronto earlier this month. He opened a plastic bag and pulled out the prize of the Australian collection.

It was a tattered green and gold No. 17 Australia sweater worn by player-manager Rob Dewhurst leading up to the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California.

Australia struggled. It went 0-2 in the first round, losing to Czechoslovakia 18-1 and the United States 12-1, and then it went 0-4 in the consolation round, outscored 57-8. But that’s beside the point.

Marking the 50-year anniversary of the team in an article Feb. 21, 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald called the surviving members Australia’s answer to the Jamaica bobsled team that debuted in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Jamaica crashed and failed to finish, but inspired, anyway.

“There was no fairytale ending,” the newspaper wrote, “but most of them left California with a new sense of pride, and a new sense of their place in the world, which was in the grip of the Cold War.”


Basil Hansen, one of the players, told the Morning Herald the team was at its peak in 1956, when the Winter Games were in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy (and the Summer Games were in Melbourne). But it didn’t have enough money to make the trip and had to wait until the United States helped four years later.

By then, most of the players were 30 or older, “and for hockey that’s getting a bit over the hill,” Hansen told the newspaper.

“We were very, very amateur,” Russell Jones, another player, told the newspaper. “We weren’t going over there to win anything. We went over there to learn. It’s going to be difficult for an Australian team to get there again.”

You never know, though.

“Whether they can do it again, that remains to be seen,” Pritchard said. “But let’s pick up the fan base and see how it goes.”


The Hockey Hall of Fame has two Australia jerseys on display: one worn by Lliam Webster when the country won the 2003 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Division III, Group A, in Mexico City, and another worn by Greg Oddy when it won gold at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in Division II, Group B, in Newcastle, Australia.

It has a Nathan Walker jersey on display. Walker was born in Cardiff, Wales, but grew up in Sydney, first played hockey there and is considered the first Australian to play in the NHL. He has 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists) in 111 games for the Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and St. Louis Blues, including 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 56 games for the Blues last season.

It has a few other Australia jerseys in its archives; a patch and two ties from the Australian Ice Hockey Federation; and a jersey worn by Matthew Harvey when the CBR Brave won the Goodall Cup in 2018.

It has a stick and a goalie stick with Aboriginal artwork by Jim Ridgeway of the Biripi Tribe. The symbolism for the first is, “You will never miss a shot using this stick.” For the other, it’s, “The puck will never get past this goalie stick.”


Pritchard held the Australia sweater from 1960 with some of the other Australian artifacts spread out on a table.

“We try to change our displays every six to nine months, so some of this will get back up,” he said. “In an Olympic year, this (sweater) goes up for sure, because the people come in and see that and just can’t believe it. It’s amazing to see.”

What will amaze people in the future?

Pritchard will keep something from the NHL’s first event in the Southern Hemisphere, and he hopes to collect more Australian hockey artifacts.

“I’m hoping down there I meet the right person,” he said. “Who knows? That’s usually how it happens on the road.”

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