The SHL has had a very successful inaugural season. Attendance has been strong in all eight cities, the on-ice play has been thrilling, and the fans are eager for more. Throughout the season, though, there has been a central mystery swirling around the league: What exactly does SHL stand for?
The league’s founders have been very cagey on the subject all season, saying only that “you’ll know before the end of the season.” On Friday, at a gala that doubled as a celebration of the league’s successful season, the answer was revealed: SHL stands for Serendipity Hockey League.
“It fits perfectly,” said SHL co-founder Leslie Mills, “because the whole league is serendipitous. We had the good fortune to come up with a great idea, and pick the right teams, and sign a bunch of great players and coaches, and it’s all gone better than we could have expected.”
The league is still expected to use “SHL” as its primary branding; however, a new logo with the words “Serendipity Hockey League” was unveiled at the gala, and will be made available on some merchandise.
Also at the gala, the league unveiled its first two trophies. The first one, the Congress Trophy, is awarded to the team that records the most points during the regular season. The name of the award is partially a play on the President’s Trophy (the equivalent award in the NHL), and also inspired by the bad that the dome atop the trophy bears a resemblance to the Capitol Dome in Washington, DC. At the gala, the Congress Trophy was presented to the Anchorage Igloos.
Next, the league revealed its championship trophy, which is named the Vandenberg Trophy in honor of Bob Vandenberg, who was slated to be the SHL’s first commissioner but passed away before the season started. The Vandenberg Trophy, which has already been nicknamed the “Vandy,” consists of a circle of crossed hockey sticks with pucks in between and a figurine of a goalie, in a pose similar to that on the SHL’s logo, in the center. Perched atop the crossed sticks is a bowl, somewhat similar to that atop the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The trophy will be awarded to the winner of the SHL Finals, which is scheduled to start next week.
“Wow, I can’t want to win the Vandy,” said Igloos captain Jake Frost. “That’s one good-looking and really shiny trophy.”