This Halloween, A Trick Would Be A Treat

Hat trick or treat

Seriously, I wouldn’t even care if it was Brad Marchand notching a trick against the Canucks.

Ok, actually that’s not true. I would definitely care. What I don’t care about, it seems, is the NHL. Trying to find something that engages me enough to put stylus to screen has been a chore. It’s gotten to the point that for some reason I’m even paying attention to some stupid chocolate bar tournament in the Irrational Post.

How stupid is it? Well, they didn’t even include Coffee Crisp. And where’s the Kit Kat, or the Oh Henry or the Mars? This is like the AHL version of a chocolate bar tournament. Is there some candy bar lockout I haven’t heard of?

Anyway, now that you know how low I’ve had to sink this week, let’s find out what else is in the Graphic Comments Halloween grab bag as we review This Week In Hockey…

We’ll start with last week’s big announcement that the NY Islanders were moving to Brooklyn, or as @TheStanchion so aptly put it:

See, even Wyatt Arndt, a guy so heavily invested in his hockey fandom that he’s running a Fake Hockey Season during the lockout, is starting to lose interest. That’s how bad this is, folks!

As for Islanders fans, they weren’t very impressed either. We managed to survey all six of them, and it turns out the "big" announcement was actually the biggest among many recent disappointments for the Islanders’ faithful:

The wrong Brooklyn

I guess NY Islanders fans actually took Mike Milbury’s advice. Tennis anyone?

The Islanders’ move from Nassau County to Brooklyn will put two teams within the physical bounds of New York. So if New York can support two teams (three if you count the Devils just across the river in New Jersey), some might wonder why the Greater Toronto Area couldn’t support another NHL franchise. The fact is, the southern Ontario market could easily support another team, but the Maple Leafs simply won’t allow anyone else to milk their cash cow.

And if you think that’s going to change any time soon, I’ve got a bridge to sell you:


Last week was also the expiration of the NHL’s deadline for reaching a new CBA deal in time to salvage a full 82 game season. The deadline was completely artificial, and set as part of the NHL’s last offer, but I won’t hold that against them. I’ve always been a fan of deadlines, artificial or otherwise, because there’s nothing like a time crunch to get the creative juices flowing and that’s when innovative solutions tend to materialize.

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I don’t think it was just the deadline that was artificial but also any intent on the part of the NHL to actually reach a solution so soon. And that, is about as unhelpful as you can get:

Artificial deadlines are useful

So, the deadline came and went. We’ve had no talks since and none are planned. We’re back to another round of finger pointing and more posturing.

In essence, we’re reached a stalemate. But this isn’t chess. Though if it was, I think the NHL might be playing that 3D version of chess they played on Star Trek. After all, I have previously pointed out that Bettman is likely a Klingon from around Uranus.

But I digress.

The point is that this stalemate is more like a marriage after seven years:

Stale mate

And you know what happens when somebody gets the seven-year itch? There’s a third party getting screwed.

Speaking of which, I’m reminded of an apocryphal story about a guy finding his wife having sex in a hotel room, realizing that it’s with Dominik Hasek and then going out for a drink with him, which brings us back to the chess theme:

Stale mate

Maybe there’s a message in here for the players and the fans who are getting screwed by the NHL during the lockout. At the very least, drinking should be involved.

As the deadline to save a full season schedule was passing, ensuring the third lockout during Gary Bettman’s tenure as NHL Commissoner, over at NBA headquarters David Stern announced he was retiring. So while the NBA got a retirement, we’re stuck with the same old, same old:

Re and re


Finally, the weekend started with a lot of bluster and there were signs that a major storm was brewing, but by Monday it had fizzled out:

A mighty wind

In related news, I undersand Ryan is dressing up as a waffle for Halloween.