Salmon Arm’s Deb Archambault has a unique connection to the Stanley Cup.
Archambault’s great-grandfather, William Milton “Riley” Hern, was among the first names ever scribed into Lord Frederick Stanley’s cup.
Hern was born in Stratford, Ont. on Dec. 5, 1878. He started playing hockey at an early age, going pro during the 1901–02 season with the Pittsburgh Keystones of the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League. Playing as a forward and a goalie, Hern led the Keystones to several victories before moving on to play with the Portage Lakes Hockey Club of the International Professional Hockey League for three seasons.
In the 1906-07 season, Hern became the goalie for the Montreal Wanderers and led the team to the first Stanley Cup win in history.
The Wanderers would go on to win the Stanley Cup for three straight seasons, from 1906, 1908 and 1910, before losing to the Kenora Thistles in January 1907. Just two months later, the Wanderers reclaimed the cup and became the first team to ever have its players’ names engraved on it.
Hern and his teammates are among those who remain on the cup as their names were the only ones to be engraved inside the original bowl.
Residents of Salmon Arm got the chance to see the cup on Saturday, March 7, when it was on display at Salmon Arm’s Marine Park as part of the Rogers Hometown Hockey event.
Riley Hern died on June 24, 1929, and was inducted posthumously into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963.