The NHL needs the Stanley Cup.
But does the Stanley Cup need the NHL?
When Lord Stanley donated the silver bowl 130 years ago, it didn't belong to any league or organization.
He simply wished that the Cup "be held from year to year by the leading hockey club in Canada."
By the time the National Hockey League was born in 1917, the Cup had been passed around for nearly a quarter of a century, and vied for by assorted champions and challengers.
Trevor J. Adams says that founding spirit is betrayed if the Stanley Cup sits idle during the NHL lockout.
He's the author of "Long Shots: The Curious Story of the Four Maritime Teams That Played for the Stanley Cup" (Nimbus Publishing), a story that goes back to hockey's pre-NHL era.
Adams argues that if the NHL ends up canceling this season, other teams deserve a crack at the Stanley Cup.
"That would certainly be closer to what the original trustees intended than to have the Cup unawarded while millionaires bicker amongst themselves," he says.
We invited Trevor J. Adams to make the case for an independent Stanley Cup.
Photo: A few lucky kids get up close and personal with the Stanley Cup at the 2009 Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Game in Toronto (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images).