Monday, 3 September 2012

Spelling Counts

Occasionally, I find myself aghast at what I see on people's uniforms. I'm not talking about some of the ridiculous names or puns that fans wear on their jerseys because, honestly, if you want to blow your money on some joke that you wear, be my guest. It's your money, after all. But I was scanning through some pictures today and I came across a few names that really looked off. It turns out that the equipment managers - men and women who do incredible work behind the scenes - occasionally make mistakes as well. We're all human and I can't fault anyone for making a mistake, but when you're under the bright lights of the big league, you probably don't want to make too many gaffes.

Bryan Hextall was a very good player for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1970s. He lit the lamp, he played hard, and he was generally a big part of the offence for the Penguins during his time in Pittsburgh. Normally, you don't see too many mistakes on a uniform of one of your star players, but a March 14, 1971 photo from the Pittsburgh Press shows Hextall wearing a singular "L" on his jersey.

If Hextall can be missing a letter, then why can't one of the greatest players to ever have played the game have his name messed up? The New York Rangers were Wayne Gretzky's last NHL stop in his illustrious career, and he certainly had made a name for himself long before arriving in the Big Apple. But the Rangers had some problems arranging the letters in his name.

Perhaps there's something in the water in the state of New York. The Buffalo Sabres had some trouble spelling Rob Niedermayer's last name. Granted, Niedermayer can be difficult to spell, but it's not like the Sabres couldn't have looked up Rob's brother, Scott, and found the spelling of his name as either a New Jersey Devil or Anaheim Duck. What's worse, though, is that Rob had his name spelled incorrectly on both his home uniform AND his road uniform!

Of course, some players suffer on more than one team. Nicklas Grossmann actually had his name spelled incorrectly his entire time with Dallas before finally having it corrected in Philadelphia! He actually played a few games with his misspelled name in Philly as well before it was permanently changed to the double-N "Grossmann".

I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I remember most vividly. If there are others and you know of where to find the image showing the mistake, hit me with it in the comments! And just remember that we're all human, and we all make mistakes!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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