Aside from all the Ilya Kovalchuk news, there’s one burning question swirling around the NHL: Which team, the Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers, is more embarrassed right now?
Chicago Blackhawks fan Brendan Millhouser discovered at his Stanley Cup-winning team’s annual fan convention on July 31 that the Prince of Wales Trophy, given to the NHL’s Eastern Conference champion each year, had the Capitals engraved on it, instead of the real champs, the Flyers.
Millhouser took pictures of the trophy and posted them online, but nobody believed him at first. Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia took interest in the matter and contacted the NHL Hall of Fame, but a Hall of Fame spokesman confirmed that the image was a "hoax."
"I was getting frustrated as a fan, but I'm a cynical guy myself," Millhouser told Yahoo Sports. "I had my family look at the pictures for me, [saying] 'Can you guys tell me I'm not crazy?' But it's not like I thought someone put the Capitals on there on purpose."
It wasn’t until RockTheRed.net, a Capitals blog, took interest in the story that the NHL Hall of Fame revealed that it had indeed made a mistake in the Wales Trophy’s engraving.
"It was not Photoshopped. It was a real picture," Hall of Fame spokesperson Kelly Masse told Yahoo Sports. "What happened was that it was incorrectly engraved, and the Hall of Fame people with the trophy realized it in Chicago. When they got back from Chicago, they got it properly engraved."
So why did the Hall of Fame reverse its original position?
"The person that was speaking with the media thought they meant the trophy at the Hall of Fame that day," Masse told Yahoo Sports. "When the Prince of Wales Trophy is traveling, there's a secondary trophy here for the fans to see at the Hall. That one has not been engraved yet. The one that was in Chicago was engraved."
It sounds like the NHL Hall of Fame was just embarrassed — as were Capitals fans everywhere, who probably just want everyone to forget that their team lost in the first round of the playoffs after finishing the season with a league-high 121 points.
As for the Flyers, they’re probably just upset that their miracle Stanley Cup appearance didn’t catch the viewership of the sport’s holiest institution, the Hall of Fame.
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