The Night Before Hockey…


Twas the night before hockey, and all through the rinks,
Fans were all so excited, they couldn’t even think!
The stockings were hung in the player stalls with care,
In hopes that game time would soon enough be there.
The fans were nestled all snug in their seats,
Visions of toe drags dance and other dangly feats.
I in my helmet, friends in their toques
Painting our chests, like a couple of kooks.
From outside the arena, I heard such a noise,
I craned my neck o’er the crowd to see it was my boys -
There in the flesh, was the good old Finnish Flash,
At in his new Blueshirts jersey was the bearded Rick Nash!
They all walked off the bus and headed towards the ice,
Last of all Crosby, who stopped to talk to fans - so nice!
Now! Giroux, now! Toews, now! Stamkos and Horton,
On! Rinne, on! Datsyuk, on! Sedins, on! Perry and Thornton!
Skate across the blue line, and into the zone,
Pick your corners, careful not to get stoned!
Their skates freshly sharpened, the sticks newly taped,
Lids tightly strapped on, Patrick Kane wearing his cape!
They took to the corner, fighting for puck possession,
Showing off the proper forechecking aggression.
The passes extra crisp, the shots right on target,
Dekes going left and right, causing goalies to lose it,
The scribes in the press box write it all down,
All predicting who’ll take home the season’s crown.
Lord Stanley’s Cup, the players, their eyes on the prize,
Heating the ice with their competitive drive.
The intensity picks up, the slapshots getting harder,
The hits growing bigger, the goalies make saves with ardor,
Things are moving along now, no longer are they stuck,
#hockeyisback, so let’s get to it and drop the puck!

The cancellations continue.

On Thursday, the NHL finally gave up on their dream of having even one day of the 2012-13 season take place in 2012 (or maybe their dream of having the Mayan Apocalypse render this announcement unnecessary, since it’s December 21 on the other side of the world and the world hasn’t ended). The inevitable axe finally fell on December 31.

They didn’t even give us a chance to count down from 10.

Along with New Year’s Eve, the league also said goodbye to first two weeks of the New Year. From the NHL:

The National Hockey League announced today the cancellation of the 2012-13 regular-season schedule through January 14. The cancellations are necessary due to the absence of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL.

A total of 625 regular-season games – 50.8 percent of the season – were scheduled for October 11 through January 14.


There is good news and bad news about what the future holds for us:

The good news — and I’m really excited about this — is that this is likely the last post we’ll have to write during this lockout about the NHL cancelling a block of games. These posts, of which we’ve had to write nine now, are dry and depressing and always seem to happen right at the end of the day out East, when I’m eating a late lunch out West. As my lunch cools, uneaten, beside me, I can confidently say that I will not miss these posts in the slightest.

The bad news — and it’s really, really bad — is that these “block of games” posts will no longer be necessary because, if the NHL has to announce another cancellation, it will be rest of the season.

We’ve been on the highway to the danger zone for months, but people, we are officially in the danger zone. As Bill Daly said the other day, while the league has no official drop-dead date, if they did, it would likely be in mid-January, which is about how you’d categorize January 14. In short, the players and the owners likely have less than a month.

That’s horrifying. (Although it could be worse. Justin Timberlake and Madonna only had four minutes to save the world.)

So what sort of season are we looking at if they can beat the deadline? If the two sides can finally figure this thing out, John Shannon reports that the shortened season “would be a 720 game schedule, which is 48 games per team.”

If you can ignore the shitty jokes, there is some information to be had here. It’s nothing good. But uhm yeah.

The NHLPA will give its a members the option to vote for a disclaimer of interest—a renunciation of the legal right to benefit from the terms of a given trust—which essentially means that the leadership of the NHLPA would move to disband the NHLPA. This outcome helps the players in their negotiations with the NHL, as thisexplains, in that “antitrust laws prohibit owners from locking out employees who don’t belong to a union, with the punishment triple the wages lost during the lockout.” This, however, may backfire.

The NHL responded to the move in a few ways—first, according to ESPN, with “a class-action complaint in federal court as well as a Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the National Labor Relations Board,” and second, according to the Toronto Sun, by threatening to void every NHL contract currently on the books, creating even more massive and momentous chaos than already reigns, which is saying something. A source close to the NHLPA told the Sun,

"So, the NHL is asking the courts to declare every NHL player an unrestricted free agent. I wonder how Pittsburgh would feel with (Sidney) Crosby, (Evgeni) Malkin and (Marc-Andre) Fleury on the free agent market to sign with the highest bidder? What about Tampa with (Steve) Stamkos? Or Minnesota with (Zach) Parise and (Ryan) Suter? A word of caution to the NHL, be very careful what you wish for."

You know, we hear the KHL is actually a pretty good league, that offers reasonable accomada—what? Oh. Hmm.



This will show you who the assholes are pretty quick. I do like how the salary cap levels the field and it forces creative build of a roster. I used to love baseball. I gave up on it because the money disgusted me. Alex Rodriguez went to the Texas Rangers for $252 million and fuck that shit. I was done. Don’t even look up the Yankees payroll and then compare it to the income of some countries because you will vomit. Those motherfuckers have more money than God and just throw it at players.

Though, I weirdly feel that Crosby and Malkin would stick with the Penguins. I do think some players have a sense of what they mean to fans and like their organizations.  But that might be a short list in the end.