This is the 13th in our summer series where we are drawing hockey cards at random from a box and then writing about them.
Like every NHL fan these days, we have recently found ourselves discussing which free agents we’re hoping our team will acquire. A few days ago, we had this terrible exchange:
Pookie: It’s a bleak scene out there. Of course, it’s a pretty bleak scene in the Devils dressing room. I’m going to try and let go and let Devils. It’s not like I love the current incarnation so much I don’t want the “chemistry” (HA!) messed with. As long as Marty, Paulie and Zach are still there, I’m cool with it.
Schnookie: It’s so weird that we finally had a team devoid of malcontents, and they SUCKED.
Schnookie: Oh crap. I forgot about the obvious signing. Crap crap crap crap crap. HOLIK. There’s NO WAY we get him, right? We have too many defensive centers. And we have one with size in Zubrus. Tell me we’re not getting him. We don’t have anywhere to go with Brylin! Where would we put Holik? We have size in Travis, too! PLEASE tell me we’re not getting him. I’ll take ANY other FA. I’ll take DARCY TUCKER.
Pookie: It’s a bleak scene out there.
So there you go: in the grand game of UFA-signing “Death Is Not An Option”, Darcy Tucker beats Bobby Holik. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Now that we’ve drawn Tucker from our PBS dispenser (and really, is this a sign?), maybe it’s time to consider some other “Death Is Not An Option” UFA pairings. (And it should be noted that we’re getting these free agent names from this site; if any of these guys aren’t available, don’t blame us.)
Darius Kasparaitis v. Richard Matvichuk Okay, neither of these guys are actually NHLers anymore, and honestly, we don’t have any idea where Kasparaitis even is these days. But during last year’s training camp we saw, with our own eyes, Matvichuk turn to a fellow Devils d-man and say, of a simple drill he was failing to master, “Does this seem ass-backwards to you?” No, Matvichuk, we’re afraid you’re the only one who thought playing defense was ass-backwards. Which is why we called you “Matvisuck”. Yeah, we’re 12. What of it? On the flip side, Kasparaitis was, in his heyday, a dirty player with some serious off-ice issues. Because death isn’t an option — and only because death isn’t an option — we’re going with Matvichuk. He didn’t complain when Lou buried him on the IR two years ago, and didn’t complain when he spent last season drawing his paycheck in Lowell. But only because death isn’t an option.
Wade Brookbank v. Miroslav Satan This is a battle of Devils powers — the Power of the Less Talented Brother (in this case, the rare and exotic less talented older brother) pitted against the Power of “Wouldn’t Be Funny If Satan Was A Devil”? Since we, and we can only assume Lou as well, have never thought it would be funny if Satan was a Devil and are frankly well sick of hearing that old trope, we’re going to give Brookbank the edge here. We’re a little concerned that there could be anyone less talented than Sheldon Brookbank let alone his own brother, but as we said, death is not an option.
Wade Brookbank v. Geoff Sanderson This is a battle of extreme Devils powers — the Power of the Less Talented Brother pitted against the Power of the Less Talented Cousin. In one corner we’ve got the aforementioned older, less talented brother, and in the other corner we’ve got Sanderson, who is, according to wikipedia (which is never wrong), the Brookbank cousin. He isn’t, though, less talented. In fact, he’s considerably more talented, a fact that should disqualify him from this contest. However, he’s totally washed-up. It’s a tough call, but turning to an existing brother/cousin dynamic in the Devils system (Mike and Mark Pandolfo), we’ll go with Wade here. Because seriously, Mike is a billion times better than Mark, right?
Brendan Shanahan v. Gary Roberts v. Chris Chelios Lou is very uncomfortable with players older than he is, so we’re not too worried about any of these guys.
Brad Isbister v. Raitis Ivanans This is a dream match-up for anyone who’s ever played the “I’m going on a picnic” game using NHLers names (and we know you all have). It’s so hard to choose just one “I” name. Surely Lou’s got cap space for both these guys, right? And room in the press box for them when it’s time to actually play hockey?
Todd Fedoruk v. Jesse Boulerice Hey, we just chose two “I” guys, surely we get a pass on this one! No? Well, then, we choose death. It’s a bleak scene out there.