September 29, 2010
The Stanley Cup has had a long, sad history of misspellings and mistakes during its annual engraving. Like when the New York "Ilanders" won the Cup in 1981, or when Adam "Deadmarch" was listed as a champion with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996, before the Cup was corrected to read Adam Deadmarsh.
Add Kris Versteeg's(notes) name to that dubious history, as the former Chicago Blackhawks winger discovered his name was misspelled "Kris Vertseeg" on the Cup before being corrected. From the Toronto Star:
"It's kind of funny. I may never be one of the biggest names in the game but now it'll go down in history as one of the misspells on the Stanley Cup so I'll take it," said Versteeg, who was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs from the champs during the off-season.
"It's just a perfect example of my life. Just something crazy and quirky that's always happening to me."
Versteeg said his brother predicted something would go wrong with the family name when the winger celebrated with his family in Lethbridge, Alta., this summer. "We were all sitting as a family around the Stanley Cup in the living room looking at all the misspelled names. My brother was like, ‘I guarantee they spell our name wrong,'" Versteeg recounted with a chuckle.
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times had the photo above on Inside the Blackhawks, showing the initial misspelling of Versteeg's name. We're actually going to have to give the engravers a pass on this one, as they were clearly still in shock over etching Marian Hossa's(notes) name on the Stanley Cup three lines earlier.
Like the vast majority of Cup goofs, this one was caught early and corrected, as Versteeg told the Star they simply "punched" the correct letters over the original spelling. And in the grand scheme, a couple of transposed letters isn't as bad as, say, listing a team that didn't even make it out of the first round as a conference champion. There are engraving errors, and then there are engraving errors ...
In closing, we'd like to offer the theory that the Cup simply rejected Versteeg's name because it sensed he was a Leaf. Again, just a theory.