The Lockout is OVER!
(pause for cheers)
Well, one is anyway. Yes, the NHL is making its triumphant return. You might have seen the new ads? My NHL? Some muscular guy sits on a bench in a candle-lit dressing room while a woman (resembling some kind of vestal hockey virgin) clothes him in his armour? I mean equipment.
Every hockey players dream, having a woman handle his equipment in the locker room. Anyway, clearly the NHL is giving up on the female fans with this campaign. Maybe the MY is short for mysoginist.
Anyway, I sent in a few suggestions that the NHL clearly ignored.
1. The outdoor playoff game in Dallas! The first game played in bathing suits.
2. The new PNE Midway game, Todd Bertuzzi’s whack-a-mole.
3. The Hockey Night in Canada challenge Part One: You chug a beer every time Bob Cole calls a shot 40-feet into the crowd a thrilling goal.
4. The Hockey Night in Canada challenge Part Two: You chug a beer every time the Announcers refer to Toronto as „My Leafs“ and/or the Canucks as „My Vancouver.“
Note: this could be especially bad for your liver if you continue to play during Coach’s Corner.
5. Add an expansion team to include those lovable little ragga-muffins from the Mastercard ads, „The Stouffville Clippers.“ On second thought, 10-year olds in the NHL?
- New teeth for Josh Berkholder, 10,000 dollars.
- A prosthetic leg for Janie Wilson, 45,000 dollars.
- Getting pasted to the boards in a real NHL rink?
6. Let Canucks goaltender Dan Cloutier put webbing between his legs. Alright, that one was just for Canuck fans.
But the league has made some concrete changes. One of the big beefs about the NHL is that it missed the chance to build bigger rinks a few years ago? It’s neat to see they’ve solved that problem this year by getting smaller players instead. Sidney Crosby, fresh from his stint as San Gamgee in the off-Broadway „Lord of the Rinks,“ is the new poster boy for the NHL.
This is somewhat ironic. Crosby’s fast, smart, can shoot and score, is unselfish and small. Pre-lockout, the kid would have been flatter than a rink-side ad within seconds of stepping on the ice. But the league needs to protect and nurture stars such as Crosby so its actually told the officials to enforce the rules!
(What a bizzare concept, eh? If Gary Bettman were God, Moses would have come down from the mountain with the 9 or 10 suggestions)
Anyway, this new-found regulation religion is good news. We’ve seen the penalty box parade all pre-season. It can be frustrating, but it looks like the refs will keep it up this time. I actually find that frustrating. That it’s taken a lockout, ticked-off fans and a small-statured superstar to change things.
If the refs had simply called the rules before, we’d have seen better hockey. Todd Bertuzzi’s behaviour would have been WAY ABOVE the acceptable and allowable limit for violence instead of just a teensy weensy bit. That might have even kept fans in Nashville and Columbus interested enough to keep TV ratings high. Maybe we could have avoided this lockout.
And this time, a free book to anyone who can guess WHICH lockout I’m talking about.