January 21, 2011
Woe, to be Rob Niedermayer(notes). To be on your third team in three seasons. To have gone 50 games without a goal over the last two seasons; 55 if you count the postseason. To be forever known as "Scott's brother, you know what's-his-face."
To have unknowingly skated around for the Buffalo Sabres for at least three games with your own name misspelled on the back of your sweater ...
Uh-huh: He was Rob "Neidermayer" after a nameplate goof on the team's alternate jerseys that coincided with the end of the first half of the season.
As for the jersey mixup, Niedermayer has played for three straight games with his name spelled "Neidermayer" on his back. The Sabres got a new set for the second half and the mistake wasn't caught until Saturday. It will be fixed for tonight.
"I didn't even notice to be honest with you," a surprised Niedermayer said when told about the gaffe Monday. "I'll have to remedy that."
In fairness, "Niedermayer" has always been an unavoidable pitfall for transposed and incorrect letters; and it's far from the most egregious misspelling on a game-worn hockey sweater. That honor falls to the New York Rangers and Wayne Gretzky, as Paul Lukas of UniWatch recalled in a countdown of all-time jersey gaffes:
5. Wayne Gretzky, Oct. 30, 1997. You're the greatest player in the history of the sport, you're playing for the league's marquee franchise, and your name is synonymous with hockey, so you'd think they could at least spell it correctly. But you -- and whomever lettered your jersey -- would be wrong.
All hail Wayne Gretkzy, The Grate Won.
UPDATE: Reader Chris O. sends news of a second Sabres jersey gaffe:
When Marc-Andre Gragnani(notes) was stepping in the penalty box last night it appeared he was wearing his nameplate from the "slug" uniforms, rather than the new-throwback (but not the new, vintage, throwback third jersey) uniforms. It looked like he had the rounded, modern-looking text from the past few seasons rather than the traditional block lettering.
Checking out the text here, hard to argue with that.
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