Week 4 by Pookie
November 3, 2004
Before the game, Mike O’Connell looked over the SPECTRE reports from the previous weeks and realized the Rangers were skating a retired player – Mark Messier. “That’s not fair,” he thought. And then it hit him. If the Rangers were getting away with it, what was to stop the Bruins from skating one of their retired players? A few quick phone calls later, O’Connell announced to Hal Gill that he was being sent down in order to open up a spot on D. “I mean, come on Hal,” the GM said to the 6’ 5” player, “if ever there was a player I thought wouldn’t actually become a regular in this line-up it’s you, so get outta here.” Skating in Gill’s place was none other than hockey’s greatest hero who’s name doesn’t rhyme with Blayne Blretzky or Blario Blemiuex, Ray Bourque.
Although he skated slower than molasses (but not slower than molasses in January, mind you; it was more like molasses in mid-to-late November) he was still better than every player on the ice wearing a blue shirt. Following the match, Dunham was asked if he was intimidated facing one of the greatest the game has ever seen. “Not really,” said Dunham, “I know I can’t stop the puck whether it’s Ray Bourque shooting or,” pointing to a roll of balled-up used tape, “that shooting, so I’m kinda outta luck one way of the other. Right?”
Overhearing this exchange, Sather quickly went to the rule book to see if the Rangers could legally skate wads of used tape.
November 4, 2004
The Sabres eked out this victory thanks to some fan interference. You see, what happened, was this: Outraged that the Bruins would try to lie to the hockey-going public – “Ray Bourque a Bruin?!? Nonsense! Everyone knows he was a lifelong Avalanche!” – hundreds of Avalanche fans threw projectiles of all shapes and sizes at the Bruins players as they took to the ice for skate around. The players, who never embraced the idea of kicking Hal Gill, a player much beloved for his ability to get things down from the high shelves in the dressing room, off the team in favor of an old, slow, boring Ray Bourque, decided they’d had enough. Gingerly skating around the tossed debris, bottle caps , towels , and rotten vegetables , the players returned to their dressing room, prepared to sit out as many games as it would take to O’Connell to send Bourque back to where ever it was he came from.
Meanwhile, J.P. Dumont netted a goal for the Sabres, who then left the ice.
When the NHL front office was informed of the result of the game, Gary Bettman issued a statement barring any teams from skating retired players. “I just hope this puts an end to this kind of chicanery once and for all,” Bettman said.
November 5, 2004
Never one to put an end to any kind of chicanery, Slats quickly found a way around the “No Retired Players” rule. Rangers fans were pleasantly surprised to see a fresh, new name in the line-up for their team: Jed Ortmeyer. Finally, the rebuilding could include players under the age of 37! However, when the team skated out they saw that Ortmeyer had a very familiar ram-rod posture and a suspiciously shiny bald pate. Not known for being the most astute fan-base, the Rangers fans might not have noticed anything untoward about the young player, if not for the fact that his bushy mustache and plastic nose came off his face anytime he removed his flimsy black glasses.
By the end of the first intermission, the NHL office had been informed of the dodgy move by Slats. The start of the second period saw Gary Bettman running onto the ice, shouting, “Hey! I know you’re Messier! Take off those fake glasses! I know it’s you!” He grabbed onto Messier’s – er, I mean, Ortmeyer’s – leg Van-Gundy-style and soon all heck broke loose. The game was called 4:37 into the second period, but the Panthers had already scored 14 goals on their first 14 shots.
November 5, 2004
In order to keep a repeat of the Rangers/Panthers game from happening, the NHL sent officials to every team to elucidate the “No Retired Players” rule. The official sent to the Ducks started his spiel but then realized he couldn’t think of any retired player from the Ducks any team would seriously want to skate, so he told the players they could have twenty minutes of free-play time provided there was no rough-housing inside. The official sent to the Penguins was confident he had made his message quite clear until he showed up for the start of this game. But upon seeing the line-up he stormed onto the Penguins bench and shouted, “I told you. No retired players!”
“But, sir,” spluttered Ed Olczyk, “Mario hasn’t retired! We keep telling him to, and he keeps telling us
he’s going to, but, every season, like clockwork, he’s back in the lineup taking up a spot a younger player could benefit from. If you can figure out a way to get rid of him, be my guest.”
Week 6, by Schnookie
November 19, 2004
Red Wings 35
Mighty Ducks 34
Once upon a time, Petr Sykora was strolling on an abandoned stretch of beach when he stumbled upon a curious golden lamp. The golden surface of the lamp was well polished, despite its being abandoned in the sand, and to Sykkie’s delight, he could see his reflection in it. He spent several long hours standing on that little empty spit of beach, gazing at his golden self, and thought, “Oh, I am truly a gorgeous man, with my long, long hair and my sexy, Eurotrash goatee.” Completely unselfconsciously, he hugged the lamp to his breast, cooing softly, “Oh, me, I love you so much.”
Suddenly his perfect moment of contemplative self-love was brought to a jarring halt by a thunderous “BANG,” and bright red and blue smoke erupted from the lamp. Sykkie dropped the lamp like he’d been burnt – although the spewing smoke was strangely heatless – and dropped himself to the sand in a whimpering fetal position as if he’d suffered a mild ankle injury and was trying to pass it off as a more serious one. After several heart-pounding minutes the faint hissing sound of the smoke pouring from the golden spout stopped, and Sykkie, shivering, peered through his fingers to find his previously abandoned beach now contained one other person: a man he would have sworn was Neil Smith.
“Um,” Sykora slowly uncurled and rose to his feet, shaking heaps of sand from his sheet of waist-length hair, “Aren’t you…”
“Neil Smith?” The man finished the question for him, “I am, more or less.”
“What are you doing on this beach?”
“I came out of the lamp,” he waved a hand at the fallen lamp, winking golden in the sand at this feet. “You summoned me, Petr Sykora, and now I must grant you three wishes.”
“Oh.” Sykkie tried to make it look like he was thinking for a minute, but failed.
“Are you wondering why I was trapped in that lamp, and why I’m obliged to grant you three wishes?”
“Well,” an eerie, diabolical smile crept across Smith’s face, “I had to sell a certain, heh heh, part of my… well… let’s just call it my ‘spiritual entity,’ back in 1994 in order to win that Stanley Cup. As it turns out, you actually get a couple of choices what Satan can do with your soul – I mean, spiritual entity component – once you’ve signed it over, and becoming a sort of genie was one of those options. I figured it would be more fun than eternal hellfire and so on.”
Sykora stared at him dumbly. “You sold your soul to Miroslav Satan?”
“No, you fool! I sold it to the Devil. And let me tell you, if you ever make that choice, being a genie is NOT a better choice than eternal hellfire. Do you know all the stupid wishes I’ve been asked to grant?”
A smile full of gleaming white, capped teeth crept across Sykora’s face. “Don’t worry, Mr. Smith. My wishes won’t be stupid.”
“Before you make them, I feel obliged to warn you that I’m not a good genie. I’m a Satan-created genie, which means you have to be very careful what you wish for, because I’m under eternal contract to make sure it’s granted in the most painfully ironical way possible.”
Sykkie blew out a loud breath of unconcerned disbelief, then launched right in.
“First wish,” he said without hesitation, “is that I’m lonely. I want a friend, a perfect companion who shares my every desire on Earth. Can you do that?”
This time it was Smith’s turn to snort audibly. “Can I do that?” he mimicked, “Can I do that? Of course I can!” He waved one hand, the gesture leaving a faint trail of red and blue smoke, then smirked, “In fact, I’ve already done it. Look behind you.”
Sykkie spun around, then emitted a shrill squeal of unmitigated delight at the sight of a chinchilla sitting in the sand.
“Oh my God!” he screeched, “Oh, this is the perfect friend! I will love him forever and he will love me forever, and we’ll never be apart, and we’ll take dust baths together, and we’ll chew on electrical cords together and we’ll have the best time together, and I’ll let him drive my car, and I’ll call him Petr Jr. and…”
He continued prattling on excitedly, failing to notice how disappointed Smith looked. It was clear from the genie’s expression that this wish was supposed to have been fulfilled with painful irony, but apparently Sykora was unconcerned that his soulmate was a South American rodent known for being fur-farmed.
Hours seemed to pass before Sykkie, now clutching the chinchilla to his breast, returned his attention to the genie.
“Second wish,” he said, “Is that I want to dress up as my favorite food for Halloween. Can I do that?”
“Are you serious? I mean, you only get three wishes, and it seems to me that you could just go to a costume shop and rent whatever it is you’re looking for…”
“I’m dead serious,” Sykora cut off the doubting genie, “I want to be my favorite food for Halloween someday. I think that would be a really cool costume.”
Raising his eyebrows as if to say, “Oh well,” Smith waved his hand, again leaving a wisp of red and blue smoke in its path. He then produced a small hand mirror from his suit pocket and held it up for Sykora to see.
“If you look in this mirror, you will see a Halloween in the future.”
“Oh my God!” The squeal again. “I see it! I see it! Oh my God, that is so cool! I’m going to be a piece of pizza! Look, PJ! Daddy’s going to be the coolest guy at the party!”
“Um, yeah, whatever.” Smith was clearly disappointed that diabolical wish-fulfillment was not, so far, on the docket. Sykora looked like a jackass in that pizza costume, but he was clearly delighted with it.
“Third wish!” Jumping up and down with excitement, Sykora tore his attention away from the mirror and back to Smith.
“I want to score 34 goals in a game someday.”
“No conditions you want to require?”
“Oh, I don’t know… a certain number of power play goals? Shorties? A game-winner?”
“Nope. Just 34 goals.”
“Out of curiosity, why 34?”
Sykkie again attempted to look like he was thinking hard, and again failed. An awkward moment of silence followed. Finally, he said with no small uncertainty, “It seems like a record, doesn’t it?”
“Yes,” Smith grinned evilly, “I would say 34 goals in one game is almost certainly a record.”
“Great!” Sykkie beamed, “Then that’s what I want.”
“Consider it done.” Then, with another thunderous BANG and a huge cloud of red and blue smoke, the genie and the lamp both disappeared.
Years later, Petr Sykora’s third wish was finalized, as he scored 34 unanswered goals for the Mighty Ducks. As the clock wound down to the final minute of the third period, Sykkie thought back to that genie and wondered where the part about painful irony was going to come in. Slowly his gaze wandered back to his own crease where Giggy stood like a taxidermied elephant, and, had he been anyone other than Petr Sykora, he may have felt the bottom dropping out of his stomach. Needless to say, the final sixty seconds of regulation saw Steve Yzerman score 35 goals of his own. It should have stung, Satan pulling a certain win away from the Ducks, but Sykkie got the last laugh, as he felt nothing but pure joy that he had scored 34 goals.