Aw NHL Naw: our mini sticks are always curved for your pleasure

by Dan MacRae

Jarome Iginla has been traded from one professional ice hockey team to another professional ice hockey team. *Puts straw into juicebox* So what does this all mean?

It’s a trade that will make the Pittsburgh Penguins better (holy shit, did they really get Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas “Swedish Guy With The Most Canadian Name Ever” Murray all in a week’s time?), the Boston Bruins extra pissy (I hear they’re drowning their sorrows with Jagr bombs) (har har) and give Calgary Flames followers a sense of hope that rebuilding is finally going to happen.

Congratulations Flames fans! At least when you’re firmly in the basement you can feel something. No more pressing a curling iron against your forearm just to “like, know you’re still alive, man.” The first thing you get to feel: the realization that Ray Shero swindled you like a moustachioed silent picture villain.

It’s not a great deal for Calgary but it still qualifies as progress.


Sidney Crosby’s face exploded on Easter Saturday against the Islanders. (Like from a Brooks Orpik slap shot to the smilehole. Not from a Dempster’s allergy or Timbits poisoning or anything like that.) It looked maximum gross and it’s the sort of thing that’s going to get fetishized in meme form. Oh, and those memes are going to suck.

Crosby taking a puck to the mouth is one of those things that hockey fans point to and start barking shit like MAXIMUM TOUGH or THESE COLOURS DON’T RUN or SHUT UP DAD YOU CAN’T OUTPUNCH ME, etc. It’s fun to bask in the rugged rough n’ tumble none-more-tough mystique for a little bit, but really, all this “hockey is the toughest” shit has got to stop. Hockey’s a brutal game but there are more brutal sports out there: rugby, boxing, tennis with guns. Shit, there are loads of dudes and dudettes that play sports without health insurance. Slamball players? They were risking death every day as they bounced up a storm to earn enough dough to feed their kids. That’s danger, man.

Also, I’m sick of that “look at them basketball pusswads” or “those baseball wussbags are crybabies” nonsense that always pops up on Facebook where people dickswing about how long an injury keeps an athlete out of the lineup in hockey versus other sports: “YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WHEN JOHN KORDIC DIED? HE SHOWED UP THE NEXT SEASON AS A GHOST AND FUCKIN’ TOOK PROBERT TO SCHOOL!”

Taking time out to rehab an injury doesn’t make you a coward, it makes you someone who wants to make sure your skeleton isn’t fucked up forever. Calm the fuck down, hockey fans.


The NHL, the IOC and the IIHF are still in the process of sorting out whether National Hockey League players will be allowed to participate in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. (And also whether they’ll get access to the IBM Costumed Sex Pavilion open to all athletes, vendors, officials, execs and owners of drycleaners that can get genital fluids out of matador capes. BIG STAKES HERE, FOLKS!)

An Olympics without the NHL is supposed to be a terrifying proposition but there doesn’t seem to be anything scary about it.

If NHL players are able to compete in Sochi, that’s neat. If they don’t, we get a cool rogue 2013-2014 season, which players like Alex Ovechkin have sworn off playing in. That’s when shit could get all nutball crazycorn in a hurry. It won’t happen, but I like the fantasy of European players just pissing all over the leather chair of Gary Bettman and splitting to be celebrated as heroes at home before competing for national pride, followed by a return to the NHL in 2014-2015.

Another scenario if NHL players are barred from competing in Sochi: the men’s Olympic ice hockey tournament is settled Battle Royale style. A middle school class from each qualifying country is drugged on a field trip and forced to play for gold on a remote island. Special collars are attached to each player’s neck and will detonate if they refuse to compete. Weapons are available and totally sanctioned. A lighthouse is involved somehow. Make it happen, IOC. You could have the best Olympics ever if you let this happen.

As a Canadian, I have a deep rooted distrust of the IIHF, so it’s essential that I patriotically note that IIHF President René Fasel seems like a colossal knob and I assume he’s in the pocket of Skoda. YOU LOOK LIKE A BANKER THAT TEAMS UP WITH A SUPERVILLAIN UNTIL YOU OUTLIVE YOUR USEFULNESS AND HE THROWS YOU OUT A SKYSCRAPER WINDOW, RENÉ.

Dan MacRae isn’t so much a Ghost Dad as he is a Phantom Guardian. You can follow him on Twitter: @danmacrae