Help me destroy this Mark Messier hockey card

I love hockey cards. Back in the pre-internet days of the early nineties, hockey cards were my main source of information about the NHL. I used to pore over the back of my cards for hours, comparing players’ goals, assists, and points and wondering what in the world a “PIM” was. Since my family didn’t have cable, Hockey Night in Canada was the only time I could watch hockey on TV, so hockey cards were my window into a league that wasn’t just the Toronto Maple Leafs.

When I got a Vancouver Canucks card, I was thrilled. Hockey Night in Canada didn’t often feature the Canucks: I saw Doug Gilmour and the Leafs far more often than I saw Trevor Linden and the Canucks, except when one of the local channels carried a game or the playoffs rolled around. I treasured my Canucks hockey cards and for a long time they were my biggest connection to my favourite team.

On the weekend, I tried to relive my childhood by buying a grab box of over 200 random hockey cards. It was a lot of fun opening up the box and sorting through the cards. It brought me back to when I was a kid, particularly that little thrill of excitement when I discovered a few Canucks cards: a Henrik Sedin and a couple Roberto Luongos. The box even had a couple Luongo cards from when he was with the Florida Panthers.

I was getting to the end of the box when I found one more Canucks card, but instead of the thrill of excitement, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

It was a Mark Messier card.

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‘Lockout Man’ is a parody song for troubled times, by troubled men (VIDEO)

A few days ago, an acquaintance asked me how long the NHL lockout would last. I told him the same thing I’ve been telling a lot of people: in my mind, the Winter Classic is a drop dead date. The owners don’t want to miss it and they’ll work to make sure they don’t. Unfortunately, wanting something reduces your leverage, and Gary Bettman is too skilled a negotiator to lose a labour battle over one game. If the game threatens a deal he believes is fair, he’ll cancel it in a heartbeat, like those guys that say “I can quit smoking whenever I want,” then throw the pack in the garbage to prove the point.

“I think it’s gonna be a long, long time,” said my acquaintance.

In the sad, silent moment that followed, my mind immediately turned to Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, which features the same line. From there, the idea for “Lockout Man” was born. And, since there are no NHL preseason games eating into my free time, this video was born shortly thereafter:

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