July 1 is huge for two reasons.
On the one hand it’s Canada’s birthday. The old hag is 142, but keeps herself in pretty good shape through the use of a special anti-aging cream made of pumice, walrus blubber and crushed Timbits (no one south of Moose Jaw got that feeble joke).
It’s also special because it’s the opening of the free agency market, which is a time when all the NHL’s GMs drive home the point of how meaningless our lives and work are in relation to a sixth line journeyman center who makes more in one year than we (those of us terminally unemployed, at least) make in a lifetime.
Money is tossed around so recklessly you’d think it was a strip joint during a nuclear strike (I’m referring to the drink specials that would likely occur during such an apocalyptic scenario, of course. Nothing else).
You likely kept close tabs on the events of the past week at first, but soon realized Buster really needs a walk and junior has been sitting in that bathwater for three days now, so it’s probably high time to take the little prune out (I’m guessing he’s hungry and, possibly, angry as well).
Never fear. I’m here to catch you up on some of what you might have missed. This isn’t an exhaustive list, mind you. I didn’t account for every free agent out there, just the ones tasty enough to ridicule. And I did it in quiz form. Why, you may ask? Partly because I think you’re up for the challenge and partly because I have an addiction to parentheses (seriously).
On to the quiz. Hint: the correct answer is always (c), unless (b) makes more sense, then go with that.
The addition of Ryan Smyth translates to a lot more ______ for the L.A. Kings.
(d) Cream rinse
Dany Heatley is demanding a trade from the Senators because ______.
(a) He wants more playing time
(b) He feels the new coach doesn’t like him
(c) He feels red makes him look fat
(d) He’s still looking for his missing tooth and evidently it’s not in Ottawa.
Hal Gill was added to Montreal’s roster for his ability to ______.
(b) Kill penalties
(c) Block shots
(d) Reach things on high shelves
The Sedins ______.
(a) Re-signed in Vancouver
(b) Cannot grow facial hair
(c) Share a bed
(d) Can only be sold in pairs
Alex Kovalev ______.
(a) Was tabled and signed a Senators offer
(b) Likes what the Senators bring to the table
(c) Hasn’t seen the size of the Senators table
(d) Will be playing with tables as linemates
Jonas Gustavsson is ______.
(a) A highly coveted Swedish goaltending prospect
(b) Nicknamed Monster
(c) The host of Swedish Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
(d) Not big on IKEA furniture
Andrew Raycroft ______.
(a) Was recently signed by the Vancouver Canucks
(b) Is playing for his third team in three years
(c) Apparently has incriminating photos of Mike Gillis
(d) Has proven the west coast evidently has no access to television or the Internet
Brian Burke ______ .
(a) Believes in building championships through three-goal scorers who can fight most androids
(b) Has infused a sense of pride in Leaf Nation not seen since the first draft of The First Testament
(c) Needs some offensive help, much like Mars needs oxygen
(d) Has a rare medical condition that will kill him instantly if he smiles
Marian Hossa signed in Chicago ______.
(a) Because he likes the young talent on the Blackhawks
(b) As a replacement to Martin Havlat
(c) To haunt Detroit
(d) To be closer to Oprah
The biggest free agent name left out there is ______.
(a) Saku Koivu
(b) Joe Sakic
(c) Sergei Zubov
(d) Marc Andre Jean-Luc Sebastien Heffenmeister IV
The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, brings you Loose Change every second Tuesday. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.