The 2004-2005 Hockey Season and the SPIRIT CHALLENGE CUP™ Team
During the cancelled National Hockey League (NHL) season of 2004-2005, Toronto amateur hockey players Gard Shelley and David Burt wrote to the Stanley Cup trustees and asked for the right to play for the Stanley Cup. When they were rebuffed by the NHL, Shelley and Burt retained Toronto lawyer Tim Gilbert of Gilbert’s LLP and applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to challenge the NHL’s control over the Cup.
The result was a triumphant settlement in which the NHL agreed to pay $100,000 per year for five years to support amateur hockey in Canada. The memorandum of agreement signed by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the Stanley Cup trustees Ian (Scotty) Morrison and Brian O’Neill states that the trustees may “award the Stanley Cup to a non-league team in any year in which the League fails to organize a competition to determine a Stanley Cup winner.”
Now Shelley, Burt and Gilbert are part of the SPIRIT CHALLENGE CUP™ team that is seeking to ensure that the Stanley Cup continues to be awarded every year, just as Lord Stanley intended.