November 09, 2014
Why Renaming The NHL Trophies Is A Terrible Idea
The push is on again to have the National Hockey League rename it's major trophies.
This story seems to surface every year or so. And it seems that is largely due to Colin Campbell's presence in the NHL headquarters. He seems determined to have NHL trophies renamed and calls it a long-term passion of his.
I think the idea sucks. Art Ross was an instrumental figure in hockey history. Georges Vezina was hockey's first great goalie. These two trophies in particular should stay. I would definitely argue the same for the Conn Smythe, Jack Adams and King Clancy awards, too.
Other trophies are named after owners or administrators, and while I agree it is perhaps unfortunate, it is too late to change it. Connor McDavid wants to to win the same trophy that Wayne Gretzky won. And if fans really don't know who Hart, Norris, Selke, Calder or Byng were, then the NHL should do a better job celebrating its history.
Here's the question I would like to ask Colin Campbell - You wouldn't dare change the name of the Stanley Cup, so why change the other trophies. Lord Stanley had significantly less to do with hockey than all the other non-players, By Campbell's reasoning this should be the first trophy to be renamed.
Of course that will never happen. But there seems to be a fair amount of support to rename the individual awards. If the NHL really does go this route, I hope they have the decency to outright retire the existing trophies and bring in a new one.
Then in another 100 years they can rename the Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux Trophies because nobody will have heard of those two ancient players by then.