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Call it a rookie mistake by a member of Team Air Canada.

A new employee, believing he was doing a favour, accidently shipped the Stanley Cup directly from Newark, N.J., back to its home in Toronto on Sunday.

The intended destination was a charity event in Vancouver.

Hockey Hall of Fame employee Mike Bolt, who takes the Cup across North America and beyond, noticed that the baggage tag on the cup's unmarked case had both a Vancouver and Toronto designation.

Thinking the issue had been dealt with in New Jersey, Bolt arrived in Vancouver and heard his name over the airport's public address system.

"Air Canada's paging me, so I'm thinking they're giving me special treatment or bringing [the cup] around to another door or something," Bolt told the CBC's Tom Harrington, "except they were telling me that the package didn't arrive."

Air Canada said in a statement to CBC News: "We were in contact with the handler throughout after this was made known to us. At all times, the Cup was securely in our possession because it was an oversize piece of baggage.

"Everyone makes mistakes."

Bolt, who said Air Canada was apologetic, is hoping the airline can make amends.

"It'd be nice to see Air Canada make a small donation to the Vancouver Canucks Foundation or the charity that the money would have gone to," he said.

He added that the Hall of Fame, being a non-profit organization, is out a few dollars.

For the record, the Stanley Cup made a subsequent trip to California unscathed.

"I can't believe they'd lose something like that," said a male traveller at the Calgary International Airport.

The Stanley Cup is on the road 250 days a year and has been sent to such far-flung locales as Afghanistan and Moscow.