Michal Neuvirth and Chris Stewart ( Bill Wippert / NHLI via Getty Images)
Valentine’s Day is upon us and it’s time to show that special someone – or that special team – how much you love them. Here are some heartfelt gifts for a few NHL teams that could use some lovin' right now.Cheering for a hockey team can feel like being in love sometimes. Sure, it's a mostly one-sided relationship, but there are a lot of similarities, too. You can't wait to see your favourite team on a Saturday night. You love it when you can see your favourite players in person. You really, really hate it when they let you down, but damn it, you're always willing to give them another chance. Until that one day they maybe let you down too much, and you finally decide to end things. Some romantic relationships are rockier than others, and the same goes for certain fan-team relationships. But sometimes, a thoughtful gift is all it takes to smooth things out. With that in mind, here are some thoughtful Valentine's Day gifts to smooth things out for these 10 NHL teams. Detroit Red Wings Gift: A Rihanna serenade It’s going to cost the Detroit Red Wings a lot of money to keep perennial Jack Adams Trophy-worthy coach Mike Babcock. Why not go for broke and pay Rihanna to serenade ‘Babs’ with her song 'Stay'? Babcock’s kept everyone guessing this season as to his intentions for 2015-16, yet he’s still managed to guide his current squad to a surprisingly successful performance. The Wings have won nine of their last eleven and have third place in the Atlantic Division all sewn up. If Babcock’s got a wandering eye, he’s pretty darn good at keeping others from noticing. Here's a little excerpt from Rihanna's 'Stay.' "I threw my hands in the air, said, 'Show me something,' He said, 'If you dare, come a little closer.' Round and around and around we go Oh now, tell me now, tell me now, tell me now you know." Is she talking about love, or a contract negotiation? Minnesota Wild Gift: A promise ring Devan Dubnyk has helped turn the Minnesota Wild around since he was acquired from Arizona via trade last month. He’s only been officially tagged for one regulation loss in 12 appearances, and he’s racked up a .942 save percentage and 1.48 goals-against average to go with four shutouts. That's even better than Minnesota hoped for when they acquired him. It's also probably got Edmonton Oilers fans gnashing their teeth to see their old netminding flame (drafted 14th overall in 2004) finally finding happiness with someone else. Devan, Minny, you guys have been good for each other, but this relationship is still young. Why don’t you start with a promise ring (i.e. a short-term contract) and see where this goes? There's no need to rush in. Edmonton Oilers Gift: A Ralph Wiggum “I Choo-choo-choose you” Valentine Hope springs eternal in Edmonton this time of year, as fans give up on this season and set their sights on the future and another high pick at the draft. Still, it's got to be hard for Edmonton fans not to feel like Ralph Wiggum from 'The Simpsons' at Valentine's Day, quietly sobbing while everyone else enjoys their playoff races. The lottery is only a few month away, and with Edmonton’s luck, they stand a decent chance of leapfrogging Buffalo and snatching the top pick. Will they choo-choo-choose Jack Eichel this year, or Connor McDavid? San Jose Sharks Gift: A 3D-printed ‘left shark’ figurine The San Jose Sharks are far more co-ordinated than the now-infamous ‘left shark’ from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance. Still, a little reminder of that hapless dancing fish might inspire them to avoid another first-round flameout in the post-season this year. They’ll need to make it to the post-season first, though. Tampa Bay Lightning Gift: An engagement ring If you like it, then you'd better put a long-term contract on it. The Lightning need to get hitched in the worst way to Steven Stamkos. The guy is a premiere goal scorer and the driving force behind a Lightning squad that’s the toast of the Eastern Conference. He’s a perfect fit it Tampa Bay, with 50-goal potential every year and all the intangibles you want out of a captain and face of the franchise. Time to commit for life – or eight years, as that’s all the Bolts can offer under the current CBA. Will he be costly? Definitely, but the Lightning aren’t going to find a replacement for Stamkos in this lifetime. Toronto Maple Leafs Gift: Drake’s new album '#IfYoureReadingThisItsTooLate' What better gift for the flaming tire fire that is the Toronto Maple Leafs than the ominously-named surprise album from Drake, the city's most famous rapper? “If you’re reading this, it’s too late” could describe so much in Leaf Land these days. That David Clarkson contract? It’s in ink, and it ain’t going away. How about this week’s report from the Globe and Mail on the Leafs’ imminent rebuild? That probably should have started earlier, but according to the report, Leafs’ ownership has finally decided it’s too late to save their roster. Or read no further than the NHL standings, where the Leafs continue to free-fall to the bottom of the league. It’s too late for a lovely Valentine’s Day in Toronto. Columbus Blue Jackets Gift: A spa day The Columbus Blue Jackets could use a little T.L.C., so why not send them for a relaxing day at the spa? Columbus leads the league in man-games lost this season at more than 300 already. That poor health has essentially torpedoed their high hopes for this season that came following their playoff appearance last year. Nathan Horton’s debilitating back injury headlines the injured list, but key cogs like Sergei Bobrovsky, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov have also spent far too much time on the IR. Winnipeg Jets Gift: Chocolates, flowers, dinner and a singing telegram Go all-out this Valentine's Day for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, who set hearts aflutter this week with the Evander Kane-to-Buffalo deal. We haven’t seen an in-season deal like that in years. Cheveldayoff has taken heat in the past for failing to make moves involving NHL roster players, but he shut those critics up in a big way with the Kane deal. It was a complex trade that will have amateur GMs debating its merits for the next decade. But even if some parts work better than others, Cheveldayoff will probably come out looking smart at the end of all of it. Buffalo Sabres Gift: Tickets to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ The Buffalo Sabres get roughed up on a near-nightly basis, and that’s exactly how management wants it. GM Tim Murray has made no bones about his intent to be bad this season, and his squad has been every bit as bad as he probably hoped it would be en route to securing the best shot at Connor McDavid this summer. As if to put an exclamation point on it, Murray executed the huge Evander Kane trade earlier this week to simultaneously weaken the 2014-15 Sabres and improve the 2015-16 version of the squad. Buffalo, we love that you’re so into getting punished this season. Shall we go see 'Fifty Shades of Grey'? Critics say it's just awful. Philadelphia Flyers Gift: I.O.U. a great Valentine’s Day next year Sometimes your significant other goes all-out at Valentine’s Day and you have no chance to match their awesomeness. That’s what the Flyers did this year with some amazing player-themed Valentine’s gifts for their fans on #FlyersDay in the City of Brotherly Love. Sorry, but I can’t beat “I’m Voracek-ing you out” or “You make me feel Girouxvy!” I’ll make it up to you next Valentine’s Day, Philly. I swear.
We love our fans! First person to wish this staffer Happy #FlyersDay will go home with a pair of tickets! Anddd go. pic.twitter.com/41tARLH0DS — Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 13, 2015
.@risstrakas @Bschenn_10 Happy #FlyersDay! pic.twitter.com/PwdIVt4El4 — Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 13, 2015
Aaaahhh!! The @NHLFlyers just delivered this with Box Seats for Tuesday!! I live for the Flyers and for #FlyersDay pic.twitter.com/KgVVUSSwch — Andrew K (@Andrew_Kosh) February 13, 2015
#Flyers staffers are hard at work making your #FlyersDay requests happen! How can we make your day special? pic.twitter.com/J1hTEAw40j — Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 13, 2015