The Gagarin Cup (Russian: Кубок Гагарина, Kubok Gagarina) is the trophy presented to the winner of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) playoffs, and is named after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space. The Cup was supposedly named after Gagarin because the last possible game of the inaugural KHL season would take place on April 12, the anniversary date of Gagarin's flight.
According to league commissioner Alexander Medvedev, the Cup was named after Gagarin because Russian citizens associate his name with the achievement of great accomplishments, and the man himself has been described as a symbol of the nation. Additionally, according to the founders of the KHL, his ascent into space serves as a metaphor for the contemporary Soviet breakthrough in hockey.
Another candidate for the namesake of the Cup was Soviet hockey legend Anatoli Tarasov, considered the "father of Soviet hockey". It was later decided that one of the four divisions would bear his name.