The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. 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?
Basically, enough is enough. There's a critical mass in most everything in life and the innate ability to recognize when you've indeed reached that point is as important as knowing the precise time to let go of a hand grenade.
NHLPA IV is set to open soon and frankly, I think the franchise is already dead.
Most times dramas like that work optimally as trilogies. It worked for Lord of the Rings and it worked for the original Star Wars series (sidenote: Star Wars XII: The Rise of the Action Figure was, in my opinion, when George Lucas officially jumped the shark). You really have to be willing to quit while you're ahead.
You probably remember the original NHLPA I: The Evil Empire versus The Embezzler. In that classic (filming started in 1967), the National Hockey League battled the original version of the PA in a timeless David versus Goliath tale.
The Empire, and its band of hundred-year-old cronies tried to force its own form of martial law on the embattled peoples of Skatesville. From the turmoil emerged a hero of the people, organically created from years of repression and insufficient dental coverage.
He was known simply as The Eagle and he would lead his brethren Â– a la Moses in that flick where he crossed that Biblical pond Â– to a better tomorrow. Little did they know The Eagle was secretly plotting against his own people.
Admittedly, it was a dastardly thing to do but, without that delicious plot twist, we would not have had a sequel.
That, unfortunately, is where the foundation started to crumble. Let's see: you have an organization in disrepair, badly in need of being revamped and rebuilt, so you bring in someone to restore honor and honest faith to the peons that pay the dues.
Essentially you need a new hero. Hmmmm. His screen name? Bob Goodenow. Come on, seriously? GOOD-e-NOW?? That's hackneyed with a capital Q. Did Elmo write the screenplay?
This whole second film Â– The Evil Empire versus Mr. Pighead Â– was about an epic battle that never actually occurred. It was the appetizer without the meal, like seven gruesome hours of legal foreplay.
In the end the new hero is run out of town because his sword wasn't sharp enough and he held his breath way too long. It became the trilogy's comic relief, involuntarily.
In rides the tail-end of this three pack, with a return to the basic (workable) premise of man-of-the-people against the men-in-suits, a Luke Skywalker with really bad hair.
He was cast from the ashes of Pighead, theoretically stronger and more sage than either of his predecessors. He was better, stronger, faster, smarter and this time, Internet-friendly. He was the new hero of the information age.
Sadly, NHLPA III: Rise of The Lurker, stumbled in pre- and post-production delays, ran horribly over-budget and ended up being edited and cropped so severely it pretty much turned into a documentary.
The film's premise of a bourgeois hero, Phase Two never found its legs. In the end it played way too much into the Â‘Net Geek sensibilities (the fatal flaw being an appalling lack of email decorum? Come on.). The Eagle must be rolling over in his grave (or at least, terribly uncomfortable in his cell).
Now, inexplicably, we are Â“teasedÂ” with the premise of NHLPA IV: Who Is IronFist? While you'll be bombarded with all this fabricated insider buzz about his working knowledge of sidebars and reprimands and his impeccable pedigree, realistically what can you expect from this new Man of the People?
Â“He wants to restore honor and valor to the Association and to His People. He wants to re-align the troops for another attack on the Empire. And this time, it's serious.Â”
The new epic begins Tuesday.
Sounds like straight-to-video to me.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on thehockeynews.com.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org