When some alien race arrives here in the distant future and digs up the artifacts of our long-extinct civilization, I hope they don’t find the Stanley Cup. I’d hate for us to be remembered by the unfortunate etchings on that ancient punch bowl. Not to mention the germs.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL has a story today about how Lord Stanley’s Cup is rife with typos, including a reference to the New York “Ilanders” and enough other misspellings and wacky etching mistakes to shock a second grader. Oh, the shame.
Over the years words like “Ilanders” (Islanders), “Leaes” (Leafs) and “Bqstqn” (Boston) have found their way onto the cup, while more than a dozen players and coaches have had their names butchered. Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante had the misfortune of having his first name spelled four different ways in the span of five years.
Fun fact: The original Stanley Cup was a punch bowl purchased in London for about $50 in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston. The NHL eschews laser etching these days in a nod to tradition, which is why the lettering looks like it’s been carved by Tom Hanks with a rusty nail on that island in Castaway.
Well, all I can say is good luck this year with Dustin Byfuglien.
But here’s my favorite part:
One cup quirk isn’t actually a mistake, but a victim of an unfortunate change in popular lexicon. Frank Selke was an assistant manager for the Maple Leafs when they won the cup in 1945. His title is abbreviated as “ass man.” Says Philip Pritchard of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, “We don’t tell a lot of people about the ass man,” he says. “Players love the story, though.”
Oh, and that’s the lovely Hayden Panettiere in the photo, apparently thinking the Cup’s etchings are in braille.