The great Prince of Wales Trophy engraving error: a hoax?

Last week, the Washington Capitals blog published this image of the Prince of Wales Trophy that was posted on Twitter by Chicago Blackhawks fan Brendan Millhouser, writing the following:

Looks like the person in charge of commissioning the plaque for the Prince of Wales Trophy, the NHL's award to the Eastern Conference playoff champions, had the same high hopes for the Caps that everyone in DC did. Or at least the same editorial prowess of the Washington Post Express staff. Check out this picture taken at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-day fan convention, distinctly showing the Capitals on the trophy in error.

So was the misprint to spite Philadelpha (sic)? Or is it channeling its inner Magic 8 ball, and foreshadowing next season's outcome?

The photo proved chuckle-worthy to some and made the rounds on social media; but the sheer outlandishness of the faux pas probably prevented many from buying into the goof.

It's nearly inconceivable ... OK, it's hard to imagine ... OK, this is the NHL we're talking about here, so it's possible that the engraving error to end all engraving errors may have actually happened. Our own Sean Leahy was trying to nail down a definitive word last week from the Hockey Hall of Fame on this strange story, to no avail. Monday, Philadelphia Flyers beat writer Sarah Baicker of CSN Philly is reporting that the engraving photo is a hoax, via the HOF:

So, we had to wonder: Are these photos truly an engraving error, or just a great example of Photoshop tomfoolery?

To get the answer, we went straight to the source and called the Hockey Hall of Fame, where the trophy is currently on display, and as it turns out, just like we thought, they're fake. "Like the Stanley Cup," said a Hockey Hall of Fame spokesman "the Prince of Wales Trophy hasn't been engraved yet. I can guarantee you those photos are doctored."

Jeez ... what a downer. Next you'll be telling us that Adam Deadmarch is a hoax.

Case closed? Mystery solved? We have a message out to the original photographer to see what his response is, and we'll update this post should we connect with him. But there's something bugging us about just how many darn photos there are of the trophy mistake. That's a long way to go for a Photoshop gag; but then again, what Blackhawks fan wouldn't want to kick that amount of sand in the Flyers' face?

Hoax or no hoax? Either way, our crap detector probably needs recalibration after this story.

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