Clarkson Cup

The Clarkson Cup (French: La Coupe Clarkson) is an ice hockey trophy, which since 2009 has been awarded to the winner of the Canadian Women's Hockey Championship. Like the Stanley Cup, it was created by and named after a former Governor General of Canada: Adrienne Clarkson.

Clarkson Cup
Caroline Ouellette with Clarkson Cup on March 27, 2011
SportIce hockey
Given forCanadian Women's Hockey Championship
Local nameCoupe Clarkson  (French)
First award2006
First winnerCanada women's national ice hockey team
Most winsLes Canadiennes de Montréal (4)
Most recentCalgary Inferno

Though initially awarded in 2006 to the Canadian national women's hockey team, it was intended to be awarded to the top women's club in Canada. From 2006 to 2008, it was not awarded, owing to a number of rights issues between Clarkson, Hockey Canada, and the artists responsible for making the trophy.[1] Beginning in 2009, the Clarkson Cup has been awarded, as intended, to the top women's club team. It is viewed as the Stanley Cup of women's hockey.[2][3]



When the 2004–05 NHL season was cancelled because of lockout, the Stanley Cup was not awarded for the first time since the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic. In February 2005, Clarkson proposed that, since the Stanley Cup was to be awarded to the best professional hockey team of the year (even though there were Canadian teams in the American Hockey League, which plays for the Calder Cup), it should be awarded to the best women's hockey team because they were still playing. That idea was brought to Susan Fennell, the Commissioner of the National Women's Hockey League (and also Mayor of Brampton). In a media interview, Fennell commented that while the women had great respect for the Stanley Cup, it belonged to men's hockey, and that the women actually did have a cup of their own, but simply one with no name. Fennell then came up with the idea that the Governor General should consider lending her name to the women's hockey championship cup, as Lord Stanley had done years before for the men's hockey championship. Clarkson was thrilled with the idea and later met with Fennell at Rideau Hall, where it was agreed that the women's hockey championship trophy would be named the Clarkson Cup.

Originally, the NWHL Championship Cup was to have a new name placed on it. However, On September 14, 2005, Clarkson announced the creation of a new trophy for women's hockey.

The Clarkson Cup is made of silver and was designed by Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit. Canadian silversmith Beth M. Biggs was commissioned to make the Clarkson Cup. She designed and built the sterling trophy and collaborated with three Inuit artists: Okpik Pitseolak, Therese Ukaliannuk, and Pootoogook Qiatsuk. The Inuit artists designed some of the decoration on the trophy. There are images of the goddess Sedna (one of the most powerful figures in Inuit tradition), Arctic animals, ancient masks, and the flowers of the provinces and territories of Canada. The actual cup portion of the trophy is not much bigger than a large coffee mug.

Early problems

The trophy was awarded to the Canadian national women's hockey team on July 10, 2006, with the expectation that Hockey Canada would take over the trophy and how it was to be awarded. However, complications arising due to the rights to the trophy (Clarkson wanting full rights to the trophy from the artists in order to turn the trophy over to Hockey Canada, while the artists wanting Hockey Canada to instead license the Cup in order to collect royalties from its use) and the splintered top level of women's club hockey at the time resulted in the trophy not being awarded for three years.

At the time of the creation of the Clarkson Cup, there were two top professional women's hockey leagues in Canada: the National Women's Hockey League in Eastern Canada and the Western Women's Hockey League in Western Canada (with one team from Minnesota) — the latter being formed from two former NWHL teams (the Calgary Oval X-Treme and Edmonton Chimos) due to travel costs, with no interleague championships to determine a true national champion. Though the two leagues were expected to merge in 2007 (with the five-team WWHL being absorbed into the 11-team NWHL as a new "western division"), logistics differences (due to playoff scheduling) made the merger impossible — the WWHL playoffs were finished before the Esso Women's Nationals, while the NWHL playoffs had yet to begin (and would not conclude until after the Nationals and the world championships). The NWHL folded at the conclusion of the 2006–07 season, with the Canadian Women's Hockey League taking its place. Though the CWHL and WWHL agreed on a format that would determine a national champion (to be decided with each league sending its two best teams to the Esso Women's Nationals, with the intent that it would be split off as a separate tournament from the senior women's tournament in the future), the Clarkson Cup remained unavailable — the Abby Hoffman Cup would be awarded in its place until the Clarkson Cup became available.

2009 to present

In March 2009, Clarkson and the artists behind the Clarkson Cup settled their licensing dispute, allowing the trophy to be presented. The inaugural Canadian National Women's Hockey Championship was held later that month, at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario, featuring an identical format to that used for the Esso Women's Nationals the previous year for club teams. The Montreal Stars, champions from the East, prevailed over the Minnesota Whitecaps in the finals of the championship, which also saw the Brampton Canadettes-Thunder and the Calgary Oval X-Treme participate. Clarkson was on hand to present the trophy to the Stars upon their victory. Like the first Stanley Cup champion of 1893, the first Clarkson Cup champions come from Montreal.[4]

On August 6, 2010, the "Clarkson Cup" trademark application that Adrienne Clarkson filed on July 21, 2006, matured into a registered trademark.[5]


The trophy consists of a Loving cup with the coat of arms of former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.

The pedestal is engraved with hockey masks and base engraved with flowers of each province in Canada.

There are several bands attached that have the names and years of each winning team.


The championship game is not played in the home town of any of the CWHL teams, but at a neutral site.

EditionDateLocationWinning teamLosing teamScoreNotes
2006July 10Westin Harbour Castle HotelToronto, Ontario
Due to rights issues, the Cup was not award from 2006 to 2009. Instead the Abby Hoffman Cup was awarded in its place.
2009March 21K-Rock CentreKingston, OntarioMontreal StarsMinnesota Whitecaps3–1[6]
2010March 28Elgin Barrow ArenaRichmond Hill, OntarioMinnesota WhitecapsBrampton Canadettes-Thunder4–0[7][8]
2011March 27Barrie Molson CentreBarrie, OntarioMontreal StarsToronto CWHL5–0
2012March 25Gale CentreNiagara Falls, OntarioMontreal StarsBrampton Thunder4–2
2013March 23Markham Centennial CentreMarkham, OntarioBoston BladesMontreal Stars5–2[9]
2014March 22Markham Centennial Centre – Markham, OntarioToronto FuriesBoston Blades1–0 (OT)
2015March 7Markham Centennial Centre – Markham, OntarioBoston BladesMontreal Stars3–2 (OT)
2016March 13Canadian Tire CentreOttawa, OntarioCalgary InfernoLes Canadiennes de Montréal8–3
2017March 5Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, OntarioLes Canadiennes de MontréalCalgary Inferno3–1
2018March 25Ricoh Coliseum – Toronto, OntarioMarkham ThunderKunlun Red Star2–1 (OT)
2019March 24Coca-Cola Coliseum – Toronto, OntarioCalgary InfernoLes Canadiennes de Montréal5–2


A bolded year denotes a Clarkson Cup win.

Appearances Team Wins Losses Win % Years of appearance (in Clarkson Cup Finals)
8 Les Canadiennes de Montréal[lower-alpha 1] 4 4 .500 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
3 Worcester Blades[lower-alpha 2] 2 1 .667 2013, 2014, 2015
3 Calgary Inferno 2 1 .667 2016, 2017, 2019
3 Markham Thunder[lower-alpha 3] 1 2 .333 2010, 2012, 2018
2 Minnesota Whitecaps 1 1 .500 2009, 2010
2 Toronto Furies[lower-alpha 4] 1 1 .500 2011, 2014
1 Kunlun Red Star 0 1 .000 2018
  1. Les Canadiennes totals include five appearances as the Montréal Stars.
  2. Worcester Blades totals includes three appearances as the Boston Blades.
  3. The Markham Thunder totals include one loss as the Brampton Canadettes-Thunder and one loss as the Brampton Thunder.
  4. The Toronto Furies totals includes one appearance in 2011 prior to taking on the Furies moniker, then known as Toronto CWHL by the league and occasionally Aeros.

All-time leaderboard

All-time leading scorers (2009 to 2015)

Caroline OuelletteMontreal22121830
Hilary KnightBoston1110818
Emmanuelle BlaisMontreal1871118
Sabrina HarbecMontreal1251015
Dominique ThibaultMontreal157714
Tessa BonhommeCalgary, Toronto1841014
Jayna HeffordBrampton143912
Julie ChuMinnesota, Montreal2311112
Gillian AppsBrampton1310111
Kate BuesserBoston96511
Noemie MarinMontreal225611
Kelli StackBoston73811

All-time leaders in shutouts (2009 to 2015)

Charline LabontéMontreal4
Jenny LavigneMontreal3
Geneviève LacasseBoston2

See also


  1. Clarkson Cup in limbo over ownership rights. Toronto Star, 31 October 2007
  2. "Clarkson Cup". Hockey Hall of Fame. 2017.
  3. Andrew Podnieks (24 March 2009). "Montreal wins first Clarkson Cup". IIHF.
  4. IIHF, "Montreal wins first Clarkson Cup", 24 March 2009
  5. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), "Clarkson Cup" a/n:1310154 r/n:TMA773887 Canadian Trade-marks Database
  6. CBC Sports, "Montreal Stars win women's national hockey championship", 28 March 2008, Canadian Press
  7. IIHF, "Minnesota wins Clarkson Cup", 28 March 2010
  8. PucksWorld, "Minnesota Whitecaps: Clarkson Cup Champions", 27 June 2010, Bruce Peter
  9. CBC Sports, "Boston defeats Montreal to win Clarkson Cup", 23 March 2013, Canadian Press
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