I am all for the media coverage that goes into NHL hockey. I learned during the lockout year that, yes, I do in fact need to talk about hockey throughout the year. So even when the season is done, the trophies have been awarded, and the players aren’t even in town, I still have this silly desire to find out about all things hockey.
All that said, how cool would it be if you didn’t know who was going to be playing for your team next year? It would be like the WWE on skates. Soap Operas on ice. Man it would be cool. I can already think of a few of the storylines.
Storyline 1- Opening night of the NHL season, Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens. The fans have filled the seats, the Go Habs Go and Go Sens Go chants are drowning out the loudspeaker. The lights come on, and wha, no, oh my god, Alexei Kovalev is wearing a centurion on his chest. The Habs fans are stunned as the Sens fans start a chorus of “Kovie, Kovie, Kovie.” Sens win 8-1.
Storyline 2- Opening night at Madison Square Garden. The camera pans to the inside of the Rangers locker room. Blair Betts is sitting in his usual stall, when none other than Donald Brashear walks in. Betts jumps to his feet to protect his head, as Sean Avery jumps between them to stop a fight. All of a sudden Torts runs into the room and the screen goes black. We’re not sure what happened. Are they both okay? Are they both going to be healthy scratches? Meanwhile, during the game Zherdev gets run at. All of a sudden the Brashear-Betts duo comes running down from the locker room and jumps on the ice. Chaos ensues, and we are treated to the new “Legion of Doom.”
Storyline 3- Jason Spezza lines up for a faceoff. He’s got Daniel Alfredsson on his right side, but no one on his left. He looks around, wondering, hoping for something, when all of a sudden the arena goes black. The silence is overwhelming until the loudspeaker starts playing “The Heat is On.” Anticipation fills the air and the house lights go up to reveal Dany Heatley on his left side. Fans aren’t sure what to do until Heatley points to the ceiling, where an elaborate fireworks display spells out: “I’m Sorry.”
Storyline 4- Jay Bouwmeester probably could have provided the most drama to start the season. There could be a Bouwmeester Watch. Everyone would be wondering where the coveted defencemen had gone. Every TV station across North America would be tuned into different arenas. The Internet would be abuzz with rumours about where he might be, when all of a sudden the Calgary Flames take the ice, with Bouwmeester leading the charge.
Storyline 5- Where in the World is Marian Hossa has become one of the most popular search terms for this blog. So why not a popular game before the season? In Detroit, fans would be clamouring for a look at Hossa in the hopes he finally decided to stay longer. Meanwhile, in Chicago, still reeling from the loss of their RFA’s, the fans are downtrodden. They’re in their seats, waiting, watching, when all of a sudden the glare of a dark visor blinds a fan in Section 302. The excitement nears a fever pitch when someone screams: “Look, that’s a number 81″ and Hossa comes charging onto the ice. Not just for one game, but for 12 fricken years.