Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Around The Rink

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

To end the calendar year 2008, this edition will solely feature what I imagine could be the New Year's Resolutions/New Year's Needs for all 30 NHL clubs.

Anaheim: Relocation to an area of North America whose fan base is a captive
audience during the Winter months; Look into getting a more representative
sample of celebrity fans other than Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Snoop Dogg.

Atlanta: To find about seven more talented forwards and defenseman to
complement Ilya Kovalchuk; short of that, lighter fluid and a book of matches
for a public bonfire for those hideous third jerseys.

Boston: Not to let the Curse of Gord Kluzak and Cam Neely hit the team when it
is finally giving long-suffering fans a real reason to give a damn again.

Buffalo: Hire a disgraced Sallie Mae executive to teach the franchise how to
creatively stash away enough money to get Chris Drury, Danny Briere, J.P.
Dumont, Dmitri Kalinin and Jay McKee back.

Calgary: Provide an all-expenses paid, one-way vacation to the South Seas for
Iron Mike Keenan after Game 82.

Carolina: Check waiver wire, minor leagues and Europe, then call Paul Holmgren
to see how many more former Philadelphia Flyers team can stock on roster.

Chicago: Bribe Mother Nature with bratwurst and Air Jordans to ensure it's not
50 degrees and drizzly on New Year's Day.

Colorado: Work up courage to quietly take Joe Sakic aside and strongly suggest
that he retire immediately; take Joe's measurements at said meeting for bronze
statue to be placed outside Pepsi Center.

Columbus: Relocation to Winnipeg.

Dallas: Hold a parade of shame for Sean Avery's departure with open
convertibles at Dealey Plaza; assassinate him, label it a "conspiracy" and
blame everyone from the Commies to the CIA.

Detroit: Do everything possible to keep Marian Hossa beyond this season; sign
Chris Chelios to 10-year, $50 million contract which legally binds him to play
until he's 56.

Edmonton: Shift expenditures away from goal-scoring forwards and into Rogaine
for Kevin Lowe.

Florida: In an effort to further draw in fans from all across the entire span
of South Florida, place new arena in middle of Everglades.

Minnesota: Repeat this mantra over and over until it sticks: We are ruining
the league with choking defense. We are ruining our players by teaching how to
play choking defense. We will never win unless we learn to score.

Montreal: Encourage fans to stuff the ballot boxes for the All-Star game
because it's the franchise's birthright to steal the spotlight for their 100th

Los Angeles: Get Tom Cruise to find some "psychiatric help" for team. Players
will be so busy trying to figure out what the hell an operating thetan is that
it'll take the shame away from all the losing.

Nashville: Work on making all the financial shenanigans between the team, city and
league a lot less conspicuous and less able to be dug up by mid-level accidental
investigative reporting.

New Jersey: Corneal and retinal transplants for upper management so they can
see the true wages of winning three Stanley Cups with stifling defense and
goaltending in the masses of empty seats at each home game.

New York Islanders: Lather, rinse. Repeat about 400,000 times or more as
necessary. Use that soap that mechanics or people who stuff newspapers at the
Inquirer have, because the stains ain't coming off too easily.

New York Rangers: Check to make sure rest of 19-year-old prospects are not
doing pot/coke/steroids/other illegal drugs and not stash them on teams in
foreign countries that don't have enough money for medical equipment; remind
selves that they can't win by trying to score exactly two goals a game.

Ottawa: To remember you have to fill the other nine forward spots with people
other than Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson; remember that they can win 20 games
this season but if six of them are against Toronto all is forgiven.

Philadelphia: To manufacture deals to return R.J. Umberger and Patrick Sharp;
Briere's departure by injury or trade; shiny new head coach; to make
sure the next time the kids get restless and ready to party, to let them know
they can afford to have the girls imported instead of going out and stealing
them from penniless frat guys trying to score with their girlfriends.

Phoenix: For Wayne Gretzky to man up, fall on his sword and admit that nothing
he will ever do can change what is essentially a perpetually just-below-.500

Pittsburgh: To teach Sidney Crosby to act more like a man on the ice,
including but not limited to getting him to understand that punching a player
from behind in his groinal region is not a good idea; moreover that someone
will record it live, post it to any video-compatible web site and fan the
flames of hatred for you and the organization.

San Jose: Must beat Ducks. Must beat Red Wings. Must convince Joe Thornton to
shoot more.

St. Louis: Even if they go out and play a bad game, treat 'em all to a viewing
of Paul Blart: Mall Cop and a group hug. Looks like they really need it.

Tampa Bay: Contraction, then hit the beach and the strip clubs.

Toronto: Promise to muzzle and/or punish general manager Brian Burke for every
time after the eighth occasion his remarks get him in trouble with the
Canadian/American/international media/other 29 clubs/owners/NHL

Vancouver: Find out if Steve Moore's family put a hex on the team; find better
colors for jerseys; find better jerseys.

Washington: Make enough room on the bandwagon for all the fans who suddenly
want to Rock the Red; protect owner Ted Leonsis from Russian mafia shakedown;
tell fans not to wait until the series is over to hit Jeff Carter in the head
with bottles.

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