The strange tale of the Prince of Wales engraving error (and one fan's quest to prove its existence)

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About a week ago, a Chicago Blackhawks fan Brendan Millhouser posted photos on Twitter that featured an error so difficult to believe … that no one actually believed it. During a Blackhawks fan function, Millhouser noticed a stunning error: the Prince of Wales Trophy’s 2009-10 winner was incorrectly engraved as the Washington Capitals. Here are shots of his findings, the second of which is zoomed in to the Capitals error.

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(Both photos via Brendan Millhouser)

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After days of back and forth that even included a Hall of Fame spokesperson calling it a “fabrication,” it turns out that Millhouser was right after all. Here is more from that Puck Daddy story.

Hockey Hall of Fame spokesperson Kelly Masse told Puck Daddy on Wednesday that for a brief moment this summer, and at the Blackhawks Convention, the Washington Capitals were listed as 2009-10 Eastern Conference champions on the actual Prince of Wales Trophy.

“It was not Photoshopped. It was a real picture,” she said. “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.”

Millhouser must certainly feel relieved to see his findings proven accurate. To be honest, the error initially seemed almost unthinkable – how could someone engrave the name of a team who didn’t even make it past the first round? And why would the Hockey Hall of Fame deny the mistake?

Apparently Kelly Masse explained that there are two copies of the trophy, so the spokesperson who called Millhouser’s findings a “fabrication” didn’t realize that the other Prince of Wales Trophy included an error. As far as why the error happened in the first place? Here’s Masse’s explanation.

“My guess is that not all trophies were engraved at one time. I think that they wanted to engrave the trophies that were going to Chicago as fast as they could,” she said.

“The Washington Capitals won the President’s Trophy [for the League’s top regular-season point total]. I think the engraver made a mistake and [mixed up] Prince of Wales and President’s Trophy.”

Well, there you go. The Prince of Wales Trophy did, indeed, incorrectly include the Washington Capitals on that day in July. In a day and age in which Photoshop can make the improbable look real (or just as likely, the respectable seem foolish), Millhouser was telling the truth.

Does that make him the Boy Who Didn’t Cry Wales?

Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

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Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below:

Stamkos close to game shape, but return might be weeks or months away

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) competes in the hardest shot competition at the NHL hockey All-Star game skills competition Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Steve Stamkos began to practice again on Tuesday and he was back out there on Wednesday and Thursday, which some might interpret as him being close to returning. It seems premature to say that definitively.

“It could be weeks. It could be months,” Stamkos said of his timetable, per ESPN. “That’s the tough part.”

The problem isn’t getting back into game shape after undergoing vascular surgery in early April. He feels he’s already close to reaching that objective. The issue is that Stamkos is on blood thinners, which prevents him from taking any contact. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be on blood thinners.

For what it’s worth, Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy underwent the same surgery and was out for two months and the original timetable provided on April 4 for Stamkos was one-to-three months. So based on that, it sounds like it would be surprising if he returned anytime soon.

Bergeron, Kesler, Kopitar named Selke finalists

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron celebrates after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Will Patrice Bergeron join Bob Gainey as the only players to have ever won the Selke Trophy four times?

That’s a distinct possibility after the Bruins center was named as a finalist along with Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar.

The Selke Trophy honors the league’s top defensive forward and for three of the last four years, that distinction has gone to Bergeron. However, Kesler and Kopitar have been popular with the voters of this award as well.

Kopitar has finished second in the voting in each of the previous two campaigns while Kesler won back in 2011, though he finished outside of the top-five in each of the last three years prior to the 2015-16 campaign.

Among the trio, Kesler excelled this season on the draw with a 58.5% success rate, which was good for second in the league among forwards who took at least 200 faceoffs. Bergeron was up there too, winning 57.1% of his draws while Kopitar posted a 53.5%. Meanwhile, Bergeron ranked seventh in the NHL with 67 takeaways compared to Kesler’s 39 and Kopitar’s 43. Where Kopitar stood out was in plus/minus as he finished second in the league at plus-34. Kesler was plus-five and Bergeron was plus-12.

Kopitar similarly led the trio with a 57.4% Corsi For versus Bergeron’s 55.9% and Kesler’s 52.9%.

Capitals get Orpik back for series opener

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Washington. The Capitals won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik missed half of Washington’s first round series, but he’s back in time for the opener against his former team.

Orpik last played on April 18 and was regarded as questionable going into tonight’s contest against Pittsburgh. He’s expected to be paired with John Carlson throughout the contest.

Washington’s other projected pairings are Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen as well as Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt.

Orpik was limited to 41 games during the 2015-16 regular season, but when he did play he averaged 19:48 minutes per contest. He also recorded 125 hits and 102 blocked shots despite missing half the season. The 35-year-old blueliner got his start with Pittsburgh and played in 703 regular season contests with them and an additional 92 postseason contests. This is his second season with Washington.