Friday, September 28, 2012

My Lockout Dream

For the sake of argument, let's just accept for the moment that the season is lost (I know they're gonna get this thing worked out at some point, but that's why I said "for the sake of argument"), here is my dream for the second season-that-wasn't.

In January, following the entertaining and successful example of the NFL with its replacement referees, the owners decide they want to really teach the players a lesson and decide to hire replacement players from the Bikini Hockey League.

For one thing, I'm going to go try out for the Florida Panthers because I'm guessing no one in Miami plays hockey and even if some other Northerners have the same notion as me, at least I might not totally embarrass myself trying to skate in such a southern clime. And I might get to skate on an NHL ice surface, if even just for a tryout. Pretty cool, right?

Next comes the best part of all. If the NHL played an entire season (or more like a half-season in this case with October through December wiped out), the balance of power in the league would shift. No longer would Los Angeles, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington be great NHL powers. All of a sudden, the Canadiens, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Jets, and Flames would go from being bottom-feeders to dominant teams stocked with the best players in amateur Canadian hockey. Sure, Minnesota, Boston,  Detroit, and the Rangers might be able to ice competitive teams too, but the Great White North would undoubtedly be home to the top five or six teams in the replacement NHL. And one of them would win the Stanley Cup.

That's right, the great Canadian (Canadien?) curse of McSorley's Stick that has afflicted our northern neighbors for 20 years now ever since the debacle at the Montreal Forum where the "ghosts" (read, "trespassing criminals") led the Habs to the last Canadian Cup victory over the Kings would be broken not by a real NHL team, but by a bunch of nobodies.

You know that the people of Vancouver and Toronto (not to mention the others, but none of them seem as douchey) want so desperately for their NHL teams to be the ones who break the streak, but in this case nobody could really lay claim to their NHL team having done it. It would have been won in a charade of a season that no one would ever take seriously. Sure, it would be nice for the first amateur team in over a century to get their names on the Cup, but who are we kidding, it would be a horrible joke and a disgrace to hockey to let anyone from a tier below the NHL get their names engraved on the Holy Grail of hockey, even if there is no NHL team to award this coming spring.

So that's my dream. Canada's streak ends the year after the Kings' did, but it does so in such a way that no Canadian NHL fanbase gets to really take credit and in fact, the rest of us kind of get to snicker at them behind their backs forever.

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