Recently, newly acquired Blackhawk, Robin Lehner, received his Bill Masterton Trophy from the NHL, acknowledging him as this season's player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey." He had a heck of a season, overcoming his health issues at the start of the season and eventually finishing third in Vezina voting. However, in what would seem their haste to complete the job, the engraver inscribed the trophy as "Robin Lehner, New York Rangers." That's great...if only he hadn't played with the New York Islanders.
You had one job...🤔 pic.twitter.com/fmzYQWKuFf— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) August 10, 2019
That got me thinking about errors on trophies. What bigger trophy to profile than Lord Stanley's mug itself? Throughout it's history, the Stanley Cup has gone through many changes but one annual tradition has held since 1924. Those involved with winning it get their names forever carved into one of the silver rings (technically the Montreal Wanderers were the first on the Cup in 1906-07 but those champs put their names inside the base of the bowl). There are about 3,000 names on the Cup by estimate (it's an estimate, don't @ me). As the rings fill with 52 names of the annual winners (except the 1998 Red Wings who have 55), each 13th season a new ring gets added and the oldest one is removed, flattened, and placed in reverence at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
So Lehner isn't the only victim of errors on their award. Since there have only been four people in history assigned with the daunting task of engraving the greatest trophy in all of sports, it comes as no surprise that sometimes errors can happen. Here is fairly extensive list of Stanley Cup errors (some with photos, although I don't own any of these images), many of which are quite interesting.
1937-38: Pete Palangio of the Chicago Blackhawks has his name on the cup twice, once spelled as Palagio and a second time it is engraved correctly.
1941-42: Turk Broda, the great Leafs goaltender, is listed on the Cup as "Walter Broda" (his actual given name) and then again as "Turk Broda". Contrary to legend, these aren't long lost brothers or identical twins that switched out in goal when the other got tired or let in a few softies.
1946-47: Leafs Gaye Stewart is misspelled as "Gave Stewart". What did they give him? Cup Error Legend status, that's what.
1951-52: Both the Red Wing's coach, Tommy Ivan, and Hall of Fame center Alex Delvecchio have their names incorrectly spelled as "Tommy Nivan" and "Alex Belvecchio". A two-for-one team special.
1956 - 1960: Why the block of years? The Canadiens won the Cup five times in a row! HOF goalie Jacques Plante has his name on each entry spelled differently each time. That's right! J. Plante, Jacques Plante (the correct one), Jac Plante, Jacq Plante, and Jaques Plante all appear on the Cup. To make matters worse, his teammate Dickie Moore is also listed as D. Moore, Richard Moore, R. Moore, Dickie Moore, and Rich Moore. Though some would consider each of those acceptable, it does highlight a lack of consistency with names that were repeated time and time...and time...and time again.
1962-63: It's not just a player issue anymore. The Stanley Cup Champion "TORONTO MAPLE LEAES" is forever engraved on the Cup.
1971-72: Again a team name gets botched as the Boston Bruins are immortalized as the "BQSTQN BRUINS". I can see that mistake as an "O" and "Q" are very similar. Maybe the engraver lost site of the tail on the "Q".
1974-75: The Canadiens are again the subject of an error, this time forward Bob Gainey, who is now known as "Bob Gainy".
1983-84: In an act of defiance, Oilers owner Peter Pocklington had his father Basil's name etched into the Cup. The problem? Basil had nothing to do with the team. Once the NHL learned about the "oversight", they ordered that his name be removed. But how do you remove a etching on metal? You don't. You just cover it up with 16 "X's".
2001-02: Manny Legace, the goalie for the Red Wings, becomes only the second player to have his name corrected from a misspelling. It had originally said "Manny Lagase" and was later fixed, again drawing attention to the error and looking a bit muddled on the surface of the Cup ring.
2005-06: Eric Staal became the next victim as his name was inscribed after the Carolina Hurricanes hoisted the Cup. Staal became "Staaal" and it too, was later corrected.
2009-10: The Blackhawks raised the Cup for the first time in many years. When Kris Versteeg's brother made the confident prediction that Kris' name would be spelled wrong, the jinx was on. Sure enough, the "S" and "T" were transposed. Versteeg became "Vertseeg". He later became the fourth player to have their error corrected on the Cup.
2015-16 and again in 2016-17: My beloved Penguins hoisted the Cup to close out the 15/16 season for the fourth time in their history. After the Cup had been engraved, many speculated that Evgeni Malkin's name had incorrectly been misspelled as "Fvgeni Malkin". The Penguins later released alternate angle photos of the Cup showing that the rumors may have been caused by lighting and glare on the shots. They didn't, however, address the fact that Marc-Andre Fleury has an accent mark over the "C" and not the "E", nor is there a hyphen. It happened again the following year in their back-to-back titles. The "E" again looks like an "F" and now the accent mark over the "C" in Fleury's name became dual accents. Error? I don't know. But weird nonetheless.
(Pardon me for any typos)