Growing Up With the Washington Capitals

I’ve finally figured it out. I now know why, when you look at the listed height of an NHL player, it always looks wrong.

“There is no way that guy is six feet tall! On skates, maybe.”

And you know what? Depending on the measurement device, you’d be right.

For years, NHL teams have given away Player Growth Charts, complete with a star player and a bunch of one-inch delineators that your kid can stand next to and say “Someday, the top of my head might touch Zdeno Chara’s chin… off the ice, of course.”

So it figures that the NHL also markets Official NHL Peel and Stick Growth Charts with team logos and colors (by Trademarx, the makers of wall decals for collegiate and NHL teams). My son got a Washington Capitals Growth Chart from the NHL Store a while back as a gift. We stuck it to the wall and used it instead of writing on the door jamb in the kitchen. It’s pretty great, except for one thing:

It’s so friggin wrong, it says my son is over an inch shorter than he is. And my son is only three feet tall to begin with. He’s three years old.

How can one botch something as simple as a ruler? In the digital age, it’s pretty easy to take even the simplest of drawing program (even something made by Microsoft!) and make a ruler with it. Simple, that is, if you remember not to add your 1/32” thick measurement lines to the 1” space you created. So every inch of this thing actually measures  1.03125”. Over three feet, that’s an increase of 1.125”. If this is the ruler they used to determine Mathieu Perreault is 5’10”, it would mean he’s really 5’7”. That explains it.

Or course, it also means Chara is only 6’5”. So long intimidation factor!

So remember: take the NHL’s height measurements with a grain of salt and save your $18.99 and get yourself a $.50 tape measure to track your kids’ growth.

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