Saturday, August 30

TASTE THE EXCELLENCE: GILMOUR

If this were a blog about conspiracy theories about Elvis, I might write something like: Elvis is alive and well and lives in Tweed, Ontario. If it were a blog about poker, I might lie and tell you that Daniel Nagraneau and I went to the same high school and that he was a snob. More likely I would write that I once saw him go all in when he’d hit for trip 8’s on fifth street but still got beaten by a belly-buster straight draw gut shot that Brunson had been checking on all game.

If I were 19 years old, tall, Dutch, had bad acne, loved Japanese Noise Rock, played left handed bass and lived on a houseboat in Rotterdam, you'd be reading how de muziek van The Boredoms betekent alles aan me en hun album Pop Tartari van 1992 is een meesterwerk en waarschijnlijk enige redden. I doden zelf toen ik 16. And that my favorite quote attributed to the band was said on their Anal to Anal tour and although generally attributed to Yamantaka Eye, sounds more like something Yoshikawa Toyohito would have said, ‘Het geluid is overal. Het is om het even wat. En wat wij denken is interessant, geluid, beginnen wij aan collage met het samen…...maar neem niet zo ernstig wat wij `aangaande het doen.’

With a few more drinks in me I may even tell you how as the only one of my friends who didn't wait in line for 5 hours (with their mums) at Honest Ed's to meet Mr. T that cold November day in 1983, (he being there to sign autographs of his book, "Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool") I was ostracized over it the rest of the school year.

But as a blog about hockey, I firmly believe that it should be about hockey. My wife, who I have mentioned before is a stone cold fox and therefore has had run ins with NHLers before
- once told me a story that I would like to relate to you. I haven’t written about it already because it does somewhat besmirch a former Leaf Captain, and truth be told it’s not much of a story. In fact it might even be kinda crap and no matter how much tissue I stuff into it (see opening paragraph) my tits still look small in this bra, you know. Regardless – it’s the dog days, and what do you want – another story about Sundin?

My wife is a straight shooter so I believe her about this but I also know that she takes glee in insulting the Leafs - so buyer beware.
She was watching our nephew once in 2002 while shopping at Sherway Gardens. The very same mall I met Tomas Kaberle and Gary Roberts (the 2nd time). Her nephew, being the good Toronto boy he is, happened to be wearing a Leafs jersey that day, and not just any Leafs jersey but a Doug Gilmour Leafs jersey. Imagine their surprise when who happens to walk past them at the mall but Dougie Gilmour. Now you have to understand, this is new millennium Dougie: it's suits Dougie. Not mullett-with-his-teeth-out-trying-to-make-some-dying-children-laugh-at-Sick-Kids-and-makes-the-cover-of-the-Sun-Dougie. This is future Leaf GM Dougie Gilmour. He is groomed.

My wife approached him and called out his name. He ignored her. This left my nephew wondering why one of his Leaf heroes was treating him like a bitch, so he called his name. Again, Gilmour ignored them. My wife called his name a third time, Dougie finally looked at her with what could only be described as the stink eye (see above). It was the 4th time when he turned again and asked her (and our 8 year old nephew) what her problem was.

My wife, who would take on Wolverine if he pissed her off, said back, "You're my problem." If she were wearing gloves she woulda dropped them.

Dougie, and this is the part that you can choose to believe or not, stood there for a moment - looking at her, then down at our nephew and his jersey then back up at her, a Mexican-Canadian standoff if you will. Eventually Dougie called my wife a bitch and walked away. What saved Dougie from the severe beating my wife would have put to him, besides the crack Sherway Gardens security staff ("What do you mean I can't skateboard in the food court?")was that our nephew was there.

Moral of the story: Don't take drugs or jaywalk.

Sunday, August 24

FACE OFF : I <3 GARY ROBERTS

You know that old saying about New York City? The one that says that the city is so nice that they named it twice? (New York, New York) Well I think of Gary Roberts in the same way. And sometimes I wonder if I should start calling him "Gary Roberts, Gary Roberts" as a way of demonstrating my love and admiration for him. Other times I wonder if I should really be saying these things out loud.


Forgive me for getting all regionalistic here but if there isn't already a Gary Roberts Day in towns and cities across Southern Ontario, then there should be. If somebody were to start a petition I would sign it. Probably even with my real name, no Reginald Ratsrectum, Farty McCunty or some other "funny" nom de plume I thought of at that moment. In fact if somebody were to start a petition to have a national (paid) holiday to celebrate Gary Roberts Day, I would sign it twice. And you are looking at a guy who once signed a petition for Greenpeace as Dr. Bernard Innerlabia-Soccer (Mrs.)

Without exposing too much of my non-gay-man/boy crush I have on Gary (too late?), let me give you the tangibles: Leadership, grit, an almost single handed demolition of the sens in the playoffs.1194 hard fought games, 2533 hard fought pims. The ability to make grown men half his age look sissy - did I mention how badly he demolishes the sens in the playoffs? I didn't? Pardon me, I love how Gary Roberts destroys the sens in the playoffs. This is Gary Roberts, he doesn't sleep, he waits. And in a strange way I take a certain perverse glee thinking about how badly he could beat me up if we ever got into a fist fight.

You know he is from North York but did you know that Gary Roberts could also tell you the best place to take a shit at the Vatican? Or that Gene Simmons owns the rights to his name? I personally believe that there should be something bronzed, perhaps replicas of Gary Roberts' baby skates, erected in gazebos in parks or at the edges of lakes everywhere. Not only do I believe that Gary Roberts embodies what it is to be a Toronto Maple Leaf, but that Gary Roberts is like Ontario itself, nay Canada itself. Stop me before I start quoting Gord Downie lyrics that seem fitting.


I saw Gary Roberts play live 3 times. Against Edmonton, Tampa Bay and Carolina and he was amazing in all 3 games. The first time I met him was in a Blockbuster on the Queensway in Toronto. It was during the lockout and I was so desperate for hockey that I had been reduced to renting Don Cherry Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em videos.

Let's Go.

I wasn't all annoying fan, all interrupting him during his dinner or like Wayne and Garth meeting Alice Cooper... but we interacted. He asked me if I had seen the movie he was going to rent and if it was any good (it was). I made him laugh by asking him if I could take a photo with him and then shook his hand and froze as I pretended someone took our photo.

The very next day while shopping at the very excellent Sherway Gardens mall, I ran into him again. This time he approached me and -hand on a stack of bibles- when he shook my hand he froze and pretended to have his photo taken.
And you know what I said to him? I said, "It's really hack to steal another dude's material Gary."
And now all these years later, even though I still think it's hack to steal someones jokes, I will never forget our time together. Nor will I ever forget what I now refer to as my Summer of Gary.

Thursday, August 21

SAY IT AINT SO

I must tell you without embarrassment that my hockey dreams ended only recently. I say only because I am a wee bit past even the over-age draft. I say wee-bit but truthfully when over-age draft and I hang out at the club, chicks ask over-age draft if I’m his uncle.


I have alluded in previous posts to my age: mentioning slow dancing with girls at high school dances to the Bangles for example. Or that I knew girls who tried to dress like Madonna, un-ironically.

That I played hockey cards for crying out loud.

And I know that with my milky white skin and boy-puppy looks that that seems hard to believe but it’s true. And before you ask if I Dougie Houser-ed it through school I didn’t.

Recently I was speaking with He Score He Shoot’s very own Greener when he mentioned that I would never play in the NHL. Truth be told I don’t remember what led up to him saying that, only that he did so casually, like he was telling me that I had a booger in my nose or that he recently tried Eggs Benedict and didn’t care for it at all. And as realization ascended upon me like an attacking Vampire and the pain spread quickly like a coldsore developing with time lapse photography, he said it again.

And whether it was because I held Greener’s opinion up so high or that I was having what alcoholics refer to as their moment of truth - but I swear on a stack of bibles that I was certain, right up to that moment, that one day I was going to be drafted into the NHL.

And not in a - I hope one day I win the lottery or one day I hope to have a threesome - but in a "God I wonder what round I'm gonna go in' kind of way. For those of you who speak Latin that’s what’s called ignis fatuus.

When I alluded as such to Greener, he did a spit take that woulda made Marlo Thomas’ father proud and said, his voice as icy and unforgiving as a Snowman blowjob (and I quote), ‘Norte you are old, fat, stupid and ugly and you are never going to play in the NHL.”


Now I understood fat: even stupid and ugly held a certain credence with me. I was come ci come ca with old - as everyone knows goalies hit their prime much later in life, but it was you are never going to play in the NHL that hit me. Somehow it didn’t matter that I hadn’t been on skates since I was a kid save for the time 17 years ago a girl I was dating somehow convinced me that skating on the canal was a good idea (it wasn’t and I am happy to tell you I broke up with her soon after.) It didn’t matter that, over the years, I had treated my body not so much a temple as a 3000 day bender in Amsterdam. And because of it I suffer a complete rupture of the achilles tendon, Inflammation or degeneration of the Achilles tendon or Achilles tendinopathy which is the pain I may or may not have at the back of the heel caused by an inflamed bursa, Tight calf muscles, Haglunds Syndrome, Apophysitis calcanei, Deep Vein Thrombosis, DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle, Popliteal Artery Entrapment, Lateral compartment Syndrome which is pain on the outside of the lower leg caused by excess pressure in the lateral calf muscles. Tibialis Posterior Syndrome, A stress Fracture of the Tibia or Lower Leg, Anterior Compartment Syndrome, Peroneal Tendon Dislocation, Sinus Tarsi Syndrome, Hotel/Restaurant Management, Tibialis Posterior Syndrome, Inflammation of the tendon sheath of the Tibialis Anterior. Tennis Elbow, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Jumpers Knee or Patella Tendinitis. Osgood Slatters Disease, Patella Pain Syndrome (CMP), Housemaids Knee, Medical Cartilage Meniscus Injury, Osteoarthritis of the Knee, Synovial Plica, Patella Plica, Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome (runners knee), Patellofemoral Instability, Lateral Meniscus Tear or Cartilage Tear, Medical Cartilage Meniscus, Posterior Crucciate ligament sprain, Patella Dislocation, Tibiofibular Joint Dislocation, Coronary Ligament Sparin, Fat Pad Impingement, hotel/restaurant management, Hernia, Ostitis Pubis, Inflammation of iliopsas muscle, Ruptured Iliopsas Muscle, Inflammation of the rectus femoris tendon, Stress fracture of the femur, Slippage of the epipysis at neck of femur, Inflammation and calcification of the greater trochanter or Perthes Disease, Labral tear, Snapping Hip, Pirifromis, Inflammation of the Sacroiliac Joint, Iliolumbar Sprain, Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points, Sciatica, Ankylosing Spondylitis or Bechterew’s Disease, Ischoliogluteal Bursitis, Cocydynia or Chronic Coccyx pain, Inflammation of muscle attachments to the spine, Scheuermann's disease, Tight Muscles in the Upper and Lower Back and Neck, Cervcical Posture Syndrome, Kyphosis, Whiplash, Nerve Root Compression, Intervertibral Disc Injury, Slipped Disk, Sciatica, Spondylolyis, Stress Fracture of the Pars Interarticulars, Spondylylotheis, Muscal Trigger Points in the Buttocks, Paravertebral Trigger Points all along my spine, Muscle strains in the low back, Facet Joint Pain, Weak back, AC joint injury, Dislocated Shoulder, Impingement Syndrome, Frozen Shoulder, Rotator Cuff Injury, Scoliosis, Lordosis, Spinal Canal Stenosis, Deltoid Muscle Strain, Sternoclavicular Dislocation and Winged Scapula, and that’s just in that one.

Wednesday, August 20

McCabe/Fletcher: Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

This is a re-post of my article written for the great Pension Plan Puppets, from Monday. It's here to give everyone who hasn't already read it on PPP a chance to see it. All none of you.

The non battle of wills which made up the Bryan McCabe/Cliff Fletcher tete-a-tete will come to an end in a week and a half, punctuated with a $2,000,000 kiss on the lips. It seems that two million dollars is what it takes for someone to not be a Maple Leaf. Several sources I’ve spoken to have said things like "For 2 million bucks I’d cut my own hand off." and, "Greener, don’t stand over my bed while I’m sleeping."

One million twonies ends up being the final word for McCabe in Toronto. A tenure which began 8 years ago when Pat Quinn robbed the Chicago Blackhawks in a one for one deal for the pillow soft Alexander Karpotsev. Its seen McCabe going from future Leaf captain and undisputed #1 D, to an own-goal potting, persona non grata pariah, who right now is arguing about who gets the top bunk with new blue line partner Wade Belak.

It should have gone better for Bryan, who was rock hard before John Ferguson wrapped the Kryptonite necklace of his huge contract around his neck. Now, thrown another bundle of bills, we’ll see if the yellow sun in Florida can help save his career.

Sunday, August 17

HS/HS Radio 6: All Request Half-Hour!

Like an arthritic finger or a chronically pulled groin, HE SCORE, HE SHOOT RADIO is back to nag you enough to listen to it and not join everyone in the above ground pool in these dog-days of summer. You know, you're not a kid anymore, and it gets kinda rowdy in there. Really, you just don't want to risk it.

The sixth edition of the podcast is heavily indebted to guys like Marconi, Edison, and you, because without the first two guys, I wouldn't have a computer, and without you and your sent in questions, the show would have been just 7 minutes long. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't speak so soon.


Moose and I haven't been doing much podcasting this summer. We've been busy beta testing our newest HS/HS spinoff product: video games. Specifically, games for the SNES. With 90's bands like Blur and Elastica so in vogue again, we here at HS/HS want to be on the cusp of the 90's nostalgia wave.

Here's a screenshot of the game we're testing right now. It's called "HE SCORE, HE SHOOT: HELL BEASTS OF INFINITY". I know, I know, awesome, right?

You either play as your favorite HS/HS blogger, or as Kane McRoss, a plucky space marine with a distaste for Hell Beasts. Here, Kane has completed level 20, and is facing the two Hell Beast bosses, "Moose" and "Greener" at the end of the stage. I have to say, it doesn't look good for ole' Kane here. He only has two rockets left! He might be able to take out "Moose", but "Greener" there still has plenty of strength. Oh well, back to the opening portal for you, Kaner!

We hope to be on store shelves by Christmas.




Thursday, August 14

Face Off: Russian Rocket Edition!

It's back! No, not Norte's groin rash. I'm talking about the third installment of HS/HS's critically, not-at-all-acclaimed series, "Face Off!" Where we recount our face-to-face encounters with real live NHLers. Previously on "Face Off", Greener wrote about being the only land mammal to ever be shunned by Wayne Gretzky (Gretz hates manatees), while Norte spun a yarn about NOT meeting the 1982 Vancouver Canucks. Let me take you back...


Summer, 1993: My friend Y.T. and I were full-bore (emphasis on bore) into our usual summer routine, which basically consisted of loading our hockey gear and goal into the back of his truck, then driving around the playgrounds of L.A. looking for pick-up games. I think Ponce de Leon actually found that fucking fountain before we found a game. So, staring into the face of another three months sans hockey AND cash, we decided to put our burgeoning entrepreneurial sense to good use. Cha-ching! Hear that? That's the sound of two teenagers about to lose a whole lotta money.

It may shock you to find out that 1993 Los Angeles wasn't the post-Gretzky hockey orgy that the NHL had hoped for. That's why, upon finding that there were no summer hockey camps for kids, in came Hurricane Hockey Schools to blow down the door of a rink near you. Okay actually it was NOWHERE near you, which is where the first of our many lavish perks came in. We would pick the kids up and take them to the rink each morning. Along with 2 hours of ice time, we also provided post-practice meals, video review sessions, discounts on gear from the local pro shop, and I think Y.T. even offered to bang one of the kids' lonely 'cougar' mom. If all that wasn't enough to run home and tell dad about, we tossed in a meet and greet with a hockey legend! Check it:

I was walking a group of kids through the rink lobby after an on-ice session, when I rounded the corner to see an older, grey-haired gentleman, speaking in Russian to some midget with two grain silos for thighs. As I glimpsed at his face, we made eye contact. That kicked off the inevitable awkwardness of any star sighting. You know the deal: you recognize him, he recognizes that he's been recognized, you try and pretend you didn't recognize him, he pulls out the restraining order. At that point Y.T., spotting his favorite player at the time, says within earshot, "Hey, isn't that Pavel Bure?" To which the kids respond, "Pavel Bure! Who's Pavel Bure!?!?" Busted. Seeing that he hadn't run off, and appeared unfazed by the attention, I tepidly approached him and politely asked if he would mind signing some autographs for my restless band of little jackals...who have no idea who he is. To my surprise, I wasn't lead-piped in the knee cap by the older Russian gentleman, nor did Bure extinguish the raw tobacco leaf he was smoking, on my cheek. "Sure," he said, in the most polite and welcoming of voices. As he signed sticks, pucks, and Y.T.'s chest, I recited some of his stats and accomplishments to the kids to, all at once, inform, show-off, and boost the "Russian Rocket's" ego.

Afterwards, I thanked him profusely for his graciousness and time, to which he...thanked me? At first I was confused, but I clearly interpreted that to mean he had seen me go top-shelf on little Aaron Schoenbaum during shooting drills and we shared a mutual feeling of respect. In all, it was a great moment for the kids to cherish for years to come. That is until three days later when Mario Lopez showed up and asked to share the ice with our kids for a scene from his new show. A.C. Slater... the man that shot down the Russian Rocket.

Don't forget, Greener and I are back in the studio this weekend. Get your podcast questions in!

Podcast Questions? We've Got Podcast Answers

As I'm just back from Beijing where I competed in the Judo competition, placing 77th out of a field of 78 - suck on that, other guy from Canada - I want to mention that we're preparing HS/HS Radio 6. I figure, why not give Moose a sixth chance to prove that he knows who the third D pairing is for the Columbus Blue Jackets. I mean, after all, that's true partnership: I organize, record, edit and post the thing while making everyone laugh, and Moose tells you who the Capitals took in the 5th round of the '98 draft. As they talk about in hip-hop: EQUALITY.

As mentioned in podcast 5, we're fielding questions from interested listeners to ask one another during the show. As we have an amazingly large contingent of listeners from North Carolina, I expect many questions to range from "Hey, Moose, what kind of Tobacco do you chaw?" and, "Hi Greener, what kind of tobacco do you think Eric Staal chaws?" Upon further review I realize I just killed the chance of questions from North Carolina.

The questions can be straight-up about hockey, or, take a more personal angle. Here are two we've already recieved:

Greener, having to work with Moose, how do you do it?
signed, Everybody.
Moose, why is Greener such an overbearing dick?
sincerely, Moose23.
Unfortunately, that last question has been taken out of the competition due to poor grammar.

So please send your questions in to HeScoreHeShoot@gmail.com, and subject them to be for me or for Moose. Questions for Norte will be answered by proxy by us, as he has a terrible canker in his mouth, which has to heal so he can get his saxophone playing back up and running.

We're looking forward to your questions. As always, we know you have a choice in podcast questions to send, and we appreciate you choosing HS/HS Radio, serving you since just now.

Sunday, August 10

NICE ASS, COACH

Forgive that a few days have passed since our last post. Without telling tales out of school, some of us had a little too much to drink on anniversary night. I don’t remember whose idea it was to go to Tijuana, but to paraphrase Bill Murray from an old SNL sketch, we had a little too much mead and darted in front of an ox cart. Besides, we lost Moose to the Adelitas on the La Coahuila, and it took days and days to find him. Here at HS/HS- much like Vietnam- nobody gets left behind.

Anybody watch the Olympics? Me neither. Not only am I not watching because everyone knows these Olympics were purchased away from the Toronto bid, but also because China’s Human Rights Fact Sheet reads like the Marquis de Sade’s Checklist: Darryl Sittler, got ‘em. Grant Fuhr, got ‘em. Lack of Judicial Independence and Due Process, got ‘em. Discrimination, abduction and trafficking of women, got ‘em. Restrictions on Free Speech and The Media, got ‘em. Tibet, need ‘em.

There is also the issue with the bear. Most of the bears in Canada are near extinct because of its gallbladder and the purported afrodisiatic power found within. Since the 1st Century, Chinese medicinal men have been prescribing bear gallbladder for Chinese wang, and in Liohu Night Market in Koahsiung City (a hotbed of gallbladder activity) a single gallbladder is currently selling for $3500. A whole bear upwards of 10k. (A single serving of bear-paw soup in any of your better restaurants will run you around $1,400; and although the flavor is delicious and the meat melt in your mouth tender, the expense of which seems far too great.) The majestic bears' numbers have been culled to ridiculous levels: its life worth much much less than being 5 ¾ fully erect.

They sure as hell can put on a fireworks show though can't they?

The day to mark on our calenders is but 6 days away. Does anyone else smell a trade coming? Quite frankly I would like to see both Kubina and McCabe moved before training camp. With movement finally being reported by the McCabe camp, that may actually become reality. Did anyone else read McCabe to the Panthers for JBow? Hard to see McCabe put the Panthers on his list to Fletch but who knows? And for the record, minus a shitty season, okay - a shitty season and a half- I have always liked McCabe. Any other season I would love to have Kubina in my top 2 pairings but this is not about the players. It's about having to move restrictive contracts. And is it really that far fetched to think that McCabe may actually garner something?

Another move in the right direction was the hiring of Dougie. Retiring in September of 2003, you know it was only a matter of time. Besides the fact that its fucking Dougie, a man whose grit and tenacity is so sincere that Don Cherry didn't smack him in the mouth for kissing him on the cheek. A man who bleeds blue and white, and a man who won the Selke the same year he was nominated for the Hart. That's exactly what we want mentoring the kids on the farm.

Tuesday, August 5

He Score, He Shoot: We're #1!

The date of August the 6th is one that over the centuries has come to mark momentous events in the history of mankind. August 6, 1661 saw the Treaty of the Hague signed between the Portuguese and the Dutch. August 6, 1806, Francis ll, the last Roman Emperor abdicates, ending the Holy Roman Empire. And, of course, who could ever forget August 6th, 2000, when the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith, published Dominus Iesus, notable for its lack of the filioque clause in the Latin text of the Nicene Creed.

But one special day really, really stands out: That of August the 6th 2007, because on that day saw the creation of your friend and mine, HE SCORE, HE SHOOT!

Yes! It was a mere year ago when 4 hunky lads with nothing better to do decided that the best way to use that time was to take their unbridled love for their respective teams, and unmitigated boredom for each others, and try to be funny on the internet! What's that you say? They needn't have bothered? Well to that, I say, shut up Moose! You'll get your turn in a minute.

Speaking of turning our attention away from Moose, let me throw it to Norte, who, besides loving the Leafs as much as anyone not named Greener can, he has also probably considered naming his children after Monty Python characters. And that is a compliment. What'cha say, Norte?

99 Problems But A Bitch Aint One

The etymology of the word anniversary dates back to Middle England, right around the 13th century mark, when those mead-driven, shit slathered heathens were still using the word anniversarie which in itself was a derivite of the Medieval Latin word anniversarium, itself a neuter of the word anniversarius meaning to return annually (from annus year + versus, past participle of vertere or to turn). In this instance I am using it as a noun, as they would have. Happy Anniversary HS/HS - you hardly look a day over none.

On a personal note, it's the traditional present to give paper on your first anniversary so I would like to thank Moose for the Zig Zags (they're exactly what I wanted) and Greener, I hope you like the issue of Star Hits magazine from 1985 with that photo of John Taylor that you needed for your "collection". In all seriousness guys its a pleasure to write for you and with you. Much the same way video game systems in the 90's re-sparked my somewhat dormant interest in hockey; writing about it has made me love it even that much more. I thank you both for that. I just wish I were someone else so I could read the blog but I'm not and can't but maybe one of these days I actually might.

Thinking about the 2 of you, I am reminded of something Sid Vicious said about his girlfriend Nancy Spungen on the eve of their very own 1st anniversary. He said that, "she was the kind of girl who licked out toilets."
Love isn't too strong a word and admiration isn't either, but enough about me, regardless whether its boredom, loneliness, admiration or an almost unspoken contractual obligation that keeps us all coming back to He Score, He Shoot, thank god we do. You guys are like brothers to me, well, Moose is.

A special shout out to PPP. PPP if you can imagine HS/HS like the Beatles, wrapping your head around me, Norte, as John; married to a Chinese woman, penchants for substance and sarcastic, raised by his Aunt Julia. Greener as Paul: bass, vegetarian, glass half full, singer of silly love songs; and Moose as the Quiet Greek One with both the soto voce and swarthy appearance to double as both our George and our Ringo. (And Washingtron as Julian; couple of good songs but forgotten) then that means you are Billy Preston. So thank you for playing piano on "Get Back", it's awesome.
Awww, I'm touched. To be told on your anniversary that you remind someone of a person who may have knifed his lover on the floor of a roach motel in a heroin haze is really what friendship is all about.

Now back to the celebrations! As part of the festivities, I've taken the liberty of writing some music commemorating the occasion. Music is just something I dabble in, and I really just cobbled this together from an opera I'm writing about the Nicene Creed, but still.

As you can see, it's pretty straightforward. Alright now. Everyone ready? Ok then, all together now...a one and a two...OH GODDAMN IT JARED, COME ON! CAN'T YOU SEE IT'S IN 12/8 TIME?! WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS, 2/4?! DOES THAT LOOK LIKE A MARCH TO YOU?
Ah Jesus, look, while I give a certain someone a lesson in Compound time signatures, lets pass it along to Moose, and see how he's enjoying the party:

A little over 12 months ago, Greener and I were beating the heat (no, I said heat) at a local burrito shop, talking about hockey. That's when I asked him to join my hockey blog. A couple bites of Machaca, a couple sips of Jamaica, add a couple of Canadians and toss lightly. Viola! HS/HS was born.

As any hockey fan knows, it's important for a team to set the tone right from the start, which is why I came out guns-a-blazin' with a post about...Brad Winchester and Mike Bishai. Yeah, normally that's the kind of thing that gets you benched, but thankfully the organization stuck with me.

We'd like to think the franchise has blossomed from those plucky expansion beginnings. Along the way, we've had a lot of fun and even a touch of scandal. Unfortunately it was a rough season on the ice for the Leafs and Oilers, but we can't say it didn't make the jokes that much easier to write. I mean stories about getting tea-bagged by your infant son are sooo much funnier when you're fighting for your playoff lives.

A couple of quick thanks:

First and foremost, to EVERYONE who reads our blog. We started HS/HS mostly for ourselves, to talk hockey and have some laughs. It's very rewarding that you guys stop by and laugh with us, not to mention at us. The camaraderie we've built with all you guys/gals (you know who you are) and your great blogs has made this exponentially more fun.

Greener. I jest, but without him there is no HS/HS. He works his ass off and puts in a lot of time making this blog look the part. While we all resent him for being an overbearing jerk and acting like he's our boss, we know we couldn't do it without him. Seriously, he's the only one with admin privileges to the site. Thanks, Greener.
Lastly, I'm an old-fashioned kinda guy and tradition holds that the first anniversary gift for your partner should be something of paper. So, I wanted to get the guys a little something from my heart.

I'm not going to tell you guys again...stay out of my yard.
I can't say I didn't see this coming. Norte, Wash and I haven't answered our doors all year. Man we just got served! No, seriously. We just got served.

For me. I'd like to say to you all how rewarding writing HS/HS has been. To participate in the most passionate dialogue with some of the nicest, funny and decent people out there has been so great. I've been lucky enough to form friendships with some of you, and just reading your words every day has been a privilege. I'd single you out by name, but I know I'd leave someone out, and I'd hate that. Just have a look at our blogroll and feel really appreciated by us. Also, there are loads of people who come and read and comment, and download the podcasts, and we love you too. Incedentaly, this is a time when I'm not just being my usual sarcastic dick-self. We feel the love. What? No, I just have something in my eye.

Norte, Moose and Wash, thanks for everything. Thank you for your posts and your...uh...well your posts. Without them HS/HS would be 75% shorter, and 10% less funny. You're lovely.


Monday, August 4

"Do you have these Manolo Blahniks in a Florida Panthers?"

I just got back from a little downtime in New York. It was the first vacation I've had in nearly two years, although sometimes when the need arises I just let Greener's calls bounce straight to voicemail - it's like a week in Hawaii.


The main purpose of the trip was to take in a Yankees game before the closing of the old ballpark, but the weekend had a decided hockey flavor to it, courtesy of a few stops while trolling around Manhattan.

The girlfriend wanted to stop off in the NBC gift shop in Rockefeller Center, looking for a little merch to scratch her Brian Williams itch (see: weird crushes on news anchors). While exploring the huge multi-level store, my ears were drawn to a raucous sound coming from downstairs. I turned to see a battery of television sets with...hockey?!?!? Oh yeah. Now THIS is the NHL on NBC!

Don't try and tell me hockey isn't thriving in America...in a stairwell...behind a rack of Fear Factor onesies. I pulled myself away from the continuous loop of six highlights from 2006, and we headed out back to the streets.

I was on my third ice-blended lemonade and green tea, when we accidentally stumbled across the NHL store on 47th. Normally I'm not a big fan of buying hockey apparel, as most of it is hideously designed and just about unwearable outside the confines of your local hip-hop video shoot. But this was the NHL store in Manhattan, and who doesn't love paying $44 for a 100% cotton Oilers t-shirt? Not me apparently. Upon entering, I was immediately bombarded by an advert for the NHL's already passe showcase:


I get it. It's a hockey game outside. It's cold. It's also the only game NBC will telecast this season until the Stanley Cup Finals. I think I made my feelings about the Winter Classic pretty clear in the latest podcast - which you should all be downloading on to your iPhones and rocking to on the way to work.

I browsed for a bit and two things became readily apparent: 1) I was going to need an equity loan to pay for this stuff, and 2) there seemed to be some correlation between the amount of available merchandise and the crapness of the team. I have no statistical evidence to back that up, I'm just wondering if I really need all 3 versions of the Columbus Blue Jackets fridge magnet, ya know?

After spotting a pair of Toronto Maple Leafs Reebok's, I thought to myself, " Greener might like those." Plus they seemed like something that would go well with whatever was on the cover of this months FHM, or Stuff, or whatever other softcore "mens" magazine is spread across his mail-order coffee table. So being the good friend that I am, I called to ask his shoe size which garnered a wholly ungrateful response. That turned out to be a blessing because now I had more money to spend on Norte. By the way ladies, Greener's shoe size is five - make of that what you will.


After snapping up a few items and measuring myself against the Alex Ovechkin height chart, I overheard the following conversation between a customer and sales girl:

Customer: "Why you ain't got the new Steve Stamkos (pronouncing it staymkoss) jersey?"

Girl: "Who?"

Customer: "Staymkoss"

Girl: "Who is that?"

Customer: "He's supposed to be the next Gretzky. I seen him play in Canada (no he didn't). He's okay."

Girl: "Just okay? Well if it's just 'okay' you're looking for, I've got a bunch of these left!"


Tambellini and Bowman

A couple hours later, we got back to the apartment where I soon heard that the Oilers had hired Steve Tambellini to be their new GM. Initially I was shocked, but was put at ease somewhat when I learned that it was more of move to reduce the workload on a drained Kevin Lowe. This essentially expands the front office personnel, and moves the Oil towards a management team setup, which has become the rage these days. Lowe will become the Director of Hockey Operations and will still have the final say on all hockey related decisions.

While many people are happy that the hire is a change from the the "old boys club" that the Oilers have been accused of being, its worth noting that Tambellini worked extensively with Lowe and MacTavish with Team Canada. So there is a level of comfort and a history there. It's always positive to get a fresh mind, with different ideas and different contacts from another organization, but there is some question as to what exactly Tambellini's influence was with the Canucks. After all, Vancouver is an organization that doesn't have a history of great success. Without really knowing what he did, it's hard to analyze the move using anything other than his reputation within hockey circles which, by all accounts, is very good. I trust Kevin Lowe. He's rebuilt the Oilers faster than I expected and assembled what looks like a good team (on paper) this off-season. It will be interesting to see when and what kind of personal stamp Tambellini will, or is allowed to, put on this team.

As for Scotty Bowman bolting to the Chicago Blackhawks, it's an interesting move to say the least. I think some Leafs fans might see this as a snub, but really this is Bowman's M.O. He's not a builder. In football you have a guy like Bill Parcells who loves nothing more than the challenge of taking over a last place team and turning them into winners. But Bowman has always preferred to take the path of least (or less) resistance. If you look at the places he's gone in his career, the only "step down" he took was when he left Montreal for Buffalo in 1979. Otherwise Bowman has made a habit of choosing just the right situation with burgeoning teams and legitimate Cup contenders: Montreal (from St. Louis), Pittsburgh, Detroit, and now the Hawks, a team that appears close to contending themselves. That's no knock on Bowman. He's a great hockey mind and, without question, the greatest coach of all-time. But just once, it would have been nice to see build a team from the ground up.

Late Mail

I would be remiss if I didn't give a long overdue mention to the Edmonton Sun. It appears the headline writers over at our favorite tabloid are already in mid-season form. A few weeks back, Shawn Horcoff's 6 year, $33 million contract extension produced this headline gem: "Shawn of the Bread."

Oh it hurts.

Friday, August 1

WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS

It says a lot about the times we live in that a classic bit of cinematic dialogue like, "we'll always have Paris", probably now more conjures slutty innuendo from name piggy-backing Worldherpe Paris Hilton than from Humphrey Bogart (5' 7), and that movie, (Casablanca) (And just in case you are wondering I have trademarked the word Worldherpe...oh, you weren't wondering? Okay). But today as soft deadline day, August 1st, came and went with exactly the same information we knew 3 months ago, it happened. I was thinking about Mats and I shrugged and thought, yeah he's retiring. It was just simple like that, snap, like requesting brown toast instead of white at breakfast. And whether or not that thought germinated after I read all the columns today doesn't even matter, the thought is still there. I believe that's sometimes called reasonable doubt.

- I hate to repeat myself but I don't have my hands covering my face when I say it and that's a step in the right direction but I believe Mats Sundin will retire, and forgive me for having a Send In The Clowns moment but I will miss him terribly. We all will. You all know I love the Toronto Maple Leafs so much I wish I could carry them around in my pocket and feed them treats all day. And Mats Sundin, god friggin bless him- 987 points in the uniform. And excluding the 94-95 season never less than 70 games a season. Never less than 20 goals a season, 6 foot 5 241 pounds, can communicate with bi-peds, and correct me if I'm wrong but he can hold his breath under water for like 11 minutes. Hopefully what these facts lack in statistical correctness they more than make up for with correct spelling and punctuality. No? (Shakes head)

Of course, I'm using humour and run on sentences to hide my pain. This is the end of an era folks and the bloggers and the fans and detractors alike won't really miss Mats Sundin until we begin to play (and watch) games without him. So therefore, thank you Mats, we'll always have Paris. And readers, if you could see me right now you would be like, "Norte, turn that frown upside down." and I would be all like "What the fuck are you doing in my house you fucking asshole?"

Mats Sundin and I, referentially speaking, would have gone to high school at the same time, he would have been in grade 12 when I was in grade 10 but we both would have been slow dancing to Eternal Flame by the Bangles at the school dance, not together of course but figuratively speaking. That's a fancy way of saying we're around the same age. A few summers ago I spent some time fishing up north as it were and let me tell you my friends, I never wanted to step foot out of that goddamn boat. Fuck it, it was like, just leave me here to fish and get fat. I don't blame Mats one bit for wanting to do the same thing.

To use a phrase from the hyper-real world of beer commercial vernacular, I think it's: Mats Sundin, Welcome to Your Carlsberg Years.