In the world of professional sport, the NHL occupies an almost unique position with its long tradition of engraving the name of each member of a Stanley Cup winning team on the trophy.
But as the senior of the great team sport trophies on this continent, which were first awarded in 1893 and passed on forever from one winning team to another, she stands alone. The NFL, MLB, and NBA commission new trophies from Tiffany & Co. each year, with the championship team retaining that season’s trophy.
The CFL has followed in the footsteps of the NHL with their Gray Cup, with the names of the winning team members engraved on the base of the cup, but most other sports around the world simply list the winning entry – either team or individual – and leave it at that.
But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any one-off winners like Brad Aldrich of the Chicago Blackhawks who brought shame on themselves and their sport.
Chicago is aiming for a revision of a tarnished trophy
Adler is out
Once the most powerful man in the hockey world, Alan Eagleson’s fall from grace was both quick and breathtaking. The former agent of Bobby Orr and the first executive director of the NHL Players’ Association was sentenced to six months in prison in 1998 for fraud and embezzlement. Eagleson subsequently resigned the honor and became the first member of a North American professional sports hall of fame, under pressure from former players who questioned his continued inductance into the Hall of Fame as a builder.
The Calciopoli scandal in Italian football erupted just before the 2006 World Cup, and while a number of teams were punished for match-fixing, Juventus arguably paid the highest price. Italy’s most successful domestic club, Juve, had two of its Serie A championship titles dropped and relegated to the second division. A similar scandal had broken out in France more than a decade earlier when Olympique de Marseille owner Bernard Tapie was accused of bribing opposing players to help his club win the 1993 French championship, UEFA decided to play the Champions League The team’s victory in the same year cannot be deleted, although Marseille was banned from the competition for the following season.
With two World Series rings, a string of Gold Glove awards, and the first player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as the Toronto Blue Jay, Roberto Alomar is arguably the most accomplished athlete working for Canada’s major league franchise plays. But his name and the number 12 jersey, which he wore with honors throughout his MLB career, were removed from the team’s level of excellence at the Rogers Center earlier this year. He is on the banned sports list following allegations of sexual misconduct and a subsequent investigation that revealed a breach of league guidelines.
Banishing the Banisher
Nearly 100 years after Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned eight members of the Chicago White Sox for their role in throwing the 1919 World Series, the first baseball commissioner himself was professionally expelled. Despite overseeing the game of baseball for nearly 25 years, no black player could compete in the major leagues until 1947, three years after his departure, and his legacy included “documented racism,” according to an official MLB historian. Landi’s name and image have graced the American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards for more than 75 years, but last year 89 percent of the Baseball Writers Association of America members voted to redesign the awards and every trace of it Remove Landis.
Hall of Shame
The International Tennis Hall of Fame made history in 2016 when it expelled former Grand Slam double winner Bob Hewitt after being convicted of rape and sexual assault the year before. Hewitt, a South African who won a career grand slam in both men’s and mixed doubles, was the first member of this hall to be banned, and both his badge and any references to him have been removed.