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As some astute collectors may have noticed, Ottawa Senators® forward Tim Stützle’s last name was spelled ‘Stuetzle’ in a few Upper Deck products that released early in the 2020-21 season. However, it will be spelled Stützle moving forward. Now, what happened with his name and umlaut dilemma?
At the beginning of each season, the NHL® sends Upper Deck a list of every player and how their names are spelled. We take that list and update our database to ensure that our cards have the correct spelling. As you probably could have guessed, this year’s list used the English spelling of Stützle’s last name, Stuetzle.
The correct German to English translation for an umlaut ‘u’ is to add an ‘e’, meaning ‘ue’ is the English equivalent to ‘ü’ in German. In year’s past, the NHL® has opted to use the English spelling of German last names; however, this year was a little different.
In a recent article with The Athletic, the rookie explained what happened with the name change on the back of his jersey:
“Pierre Dorion [Ottawa’s General Manager] came up to me and asked if I wanted my German spelling on my jersey. At first, it was not allowed and we were not able to do that. But right now, we were able to. In Germany, that’s my real name and I like that. And I think it’s great that I have the umlaut right now in my name.”
Following an exciting IIHF World Junior Championship tournament with his national team, Tim Stützle has decided to use the German spelling of his last name on his jersey and other team-related items. pic.twitter.com/jsp7IBL4mT
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) January 12, 2021
Unfortunately, with so many cards already printed and several 2020-21 products on the shelves by the time the announcement was made, Upper Deck was not able to go back and retroactively change Stützle’s last name to his preferred spelling.
Moving forward, we will be using the umlaut ‘u’ and dropping the ‘e’ on the young phenom’s trading cards.
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