Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Getting Your Name Engraved

As we saw yesterday, each team has a 3.3% chance of winning the Stanley Cup each year with the current number of teams in the NHL. Of course, there are 22 or so players on each team, and the business of the NHL means that any of the 660 full-time NHLers could potentially have their name engraved on the side of the trophy. Trades, free agency, and waiver moves all come into play when teams are building for their respective runs at glory. To have your name engraved more than once is even harder, especially when it happens in successive years. Again, the percentages plummet when looking at people who have had their name added for a third time. The hardest trophy to win in sports eludes some players for their entire careers despite their greatness. Today, HBIC looks at those who have accomplished the feat, who has been added more than once, and those engravings where spelling and double-checking should have been done.

Perhaps the most impressive statistic on the Stanley Cup is how many times someone appears. The answer to the trivia question is Henri Richard. Richard, the Pocket Rocket, had his name scratched into the silver-and-nickel alloy a record eleven times as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Jean Beliveau and Yvon Cournoyer sit second all-time with their names inscribed ten times each. Red Kelly has his name on the Stanley Cup the most times without ever having been added as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Kelly's name appears eight times as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings.

Scotty Bowman holds the record as the coach who has had his name on the Stanley Cup the most. Bowman has his name on the Silver Chalice a record nine times while coaching the Detroit Red Wings, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Montreal Canadiens to Stanley Cups. Hector "Toe" Blake is second with eight instances, all with the Montreal Canadiens. And perhaps the strangest engraving came compliments of the 1906-07 Montreal Wanderers who opted to engrave their names inside the Stanley Cup.

While there have been a total of 2111 names added to the Stanley Cup before the Penguins have their names added this off-season, human error has factored into a few names appearing as something different than the actual player's name. There has also been one named removed from the Stanley Cup, which will be explained below.

  • The 1937-38 Chicago Blackhawks see Pete Palangio's name appear twice on the Stanley Cup. The first instance is spelled correctly, but Pete appears a second time as "Pete Palagio".
  • The 1940-41 Boston Bruins have Pat McReavy's name appearing as "Pat McCeavy".
  • The 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs have Turk Broda listed twice. The first instance has him under his nickname of Turk Broda, while the second instance has him listed under his given name of Walter Broda.
  • The 1944-45 Maple Leafs had Frank J. Selke in their management group as the assistant general manager that season. When his position was engraved beside his name, Selke became the Leafs' proctologist as his title was abbreviated to "Ass Man". Arc Campbell was listed as "Ass Train". Not sure how one goes about getting that job, but that's an interesting position with the club.
  • The 1946-47 Maple Leafs employ the services of Gaye Stewart as a player that season. After winning the Stanley Cup, Gaye Stewart's name is engraved as "Gave Stewart".
  • The 1951-52 Detroit Red Wings have multiple mistakes on their engraving. Head Coach Tommy Ivan sees his name appear as "Tommy Nivan". Winger Alex Delvecchio has his named engraved as "Alex Belvecchio".
  • Jacques Plante, as a member of the Montreal Canadiens from 1956-60, wins the Stanley Cup in five consecutive years. And in five consecutive years, his name is spelled differently. It appears as "J. Plante", "Jacques Plante", "Jac Plante", "Jacq Plante", and "Jaques Plante".
  • The 1962-63 Toronto Maple Leafs became the "Toronto Maple Leaes" on the Stanley Cup.
  • Apparently, you can't spell Boston without a couple Qs. Or so it was thought in 1971-72.
  • The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens had a player in the witness protection program. Bob Gainey, currently the Habs' GM, had his name spelled as "Robert Gainy".
  • The 1980-81 New York Islanders decided to drop the "S" for their engraving. Yet the previous year's spelling was right next door as this was the second Stanley Cup in a row for the Long Islanders.
  • The 1983-84 Edmonton Oilers had a name on the Stanley Cup that was slightly out of place. Owner Peter Pocklington included his father's name, Basil Pocklington, in the information given to the engraver. The NHL caught the name, and had it covered up by 16 Xes as the elder Pocklington was, in no way at all, affiliated with the Oilers.
  • The 1995-96 Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup with Adam Deadmarsh playing the wing. To his surprise, his name appeared as "Deadmarch". "He was almost in tears," said Philip Pritchard of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The NHL went back and corrected the name error.
  • The 2001-02 Detroit Red Wings won a Stanley Cup in part due to the efforts of goaltender Manny Legace. The only problem? His name appeared as "Lagace" before being corrected.
  • The 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes saw Eric Staal hoist the Stanley Cup. However, his name appeared as "Staaal" on the trophy before it was corrected.
  • The 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings saw engravers mangle Tomas Holmstrom's name as they attempted to correct his name.
Of course, this year's winners have names like Ruslan Fedotenko, Petr Sykora, Alex Goligoski, and Mathieu Garon, so the work of the engravers doesn't get any easier. The good news is that the NHL has only employed four engravers since they started putting names on the Stanley Cup. The first engravers comprised of Carl Peterson, followed by his son, Arno Peterson with the help of Fred Light Sr. The second engraver was Doug Boffey, owner of Boffey Silversmiths of Montreal. The current person assigned to the NHL is Louise St. Jacques. She took over Boffey's engraving business.

And we thought it was tough just pronouncing the names of players!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

**Many thanks to Reed Albergotti for his work with the pictures. All photos credited to him!**

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best part about this year is that 'Satan' will be engraved on the cup.