Sunday, April 27

Can We Get Hal Gill Back?

While being forced to endure Leafs/Bruins games a few years ago, I was always annoyed by Hal Gill because he was effective against Toronto and because I felt he was basically the poor man's Zdeno Chara. And since I hated the rich man's Zdeno Chara, Zdeno Chara, Hal Gill was doomed to me by mere association. Once lucky/smart enough to sign with the Leafs, my appreciation severely increased, as he was one of Toronto's more reliable players.

Fast forward to April 2008, and Hal Gill has been lucky/smart enough to be traded from Toronto to a great Pittsburgh team headed by Sidney "Down She Goes" Crosby. A perfect match-up in playing the Rangers as Gill is always good in shut-down mode against Yammy Yager and now he's been given the following assignment: Sean Avery...Target With Extreme Prejudice. Or some other movie sample I got from an industrial music record 15 years ago.

So at the end of the game, as Avery was doing what he does best- be incredibly effective -Hal Gill did what he was supposed to do, and kinda fought Sean Avery. I say kinda because he threw down his gloves and actually looked intent on getting it on with Avery before the official charged in and saved Gill's life.

The point I'm making is that I absolutely love that kind of hockey playing and I especially like it when it comes dressed in blue and white with a crest in the chest that carries a certain mapley motif. Where all that jam was when Gill was regularly dressed in said sweater with matching pants is uncertain. At the very least both the Leafs and the Pens seem to have gotten something out of the trade, as the Leafs got a couple of picks including a second in a good draft year.

Speaking of Sean Avery, I am now going to mention something I prophesied I would tell in the very first HS/HS post, written on August 6th of last year. It was when I, yes, I, ran into Sean Avery! I know, I can't stand me either!

I was in a club here in L.A. called TOKIO, a place which is described as " to Hollywood's most discerning and hip crowd..." which is clearly a lie seeing as how I was there. I remember the night well because I had on a really nice jacket and I ran into my friend Hansel who is a huge Avalanche fan and wears shirts with "FOPPA" written on them which I think is dumb, but whatever. Hansel's a great guy and he knows his hockey and we were having a great conversation about it, just trying to ignore the wall-to-wall hot Asian chicks everywhere in the bar. Like sheesh! Can't a guy get some peace sometimes?!?

So we're yapping away and directly across from me I see a woman I really, really wanted to have sex with in 1990 by the name of Rachel Hunter. The old bag still looks pretty good, and awwwwwe, isn't that sweet? She brought her little brother with her! Cute little guy, he doesn't look too happy though, must be past his bedtime. Oh, ah, no, it's her boyfriend, Sean Avery.

Hansel and I then debate for a minute whether or not it was him. I said it was though Hansel wasn't so sure. I knew it was because I am NEVER wrong about those things, and when you're never wrong about those things, you're never wrong. We wanted to go up and talk to him to prove it but we had to think of something to say first because I would NEVER want Sean Avery to think that we were star-fucking, or even worse, fans of his, so we decided to ask him what player he hated the most in the NHL. Hansel said it was for sure going to be Darcy Tucker which I thought was a little obvious. I went the road less traveled and said Jarrko Ruutu. I thought Ruutu because besides being one of the biggest assholes in Earth's history, Ruutu (then with the Canucks) would've had the opportunity to go against Avery (then with the Kings) 1000 times a year, therefore inflaming the hate.

We went up to him and said hi. He was actually cool and I think enjoyed that we talked to him about hockey and not his girlfriend. We asked him the question and right away he said Jarrko Ruutu which I immediately put towards yet another unbeaten season. Hansel asked him about Darcy and Avery said that he really, really hated to play against him. I suppose one difference is that Ruutu will shit disturb and then flee while Darcy will jaw with you and then break your orbital bones. So you just have to hate Ruutu. Plus he's got that weird Finnish squinty eyed grin thing he does which just makes you want to unload a carton of fists on him.

We did our thing, shook hands and parted forever. He went on to have an NHL anti-asshole rule named in honor of him, and I try and be funny on the internet. Who do you think is cooler now, huh?