Lockout is Over, So Now What? Some (Not So) Bold Predictions
It’s finally over. The frustratingly long and confusing NHL lockout is officially done as both sides agreed to a deal in principal to get hockey back where it belongs: on ice surfaces (sponsored by multi-million dollar corporations) and on TV (as part of huge contracts with major television networks.) Finally we will be able to see millionaires employed by billionaires compete against other millionaires employed by other billionaires. Their arduous journey has to come to and end; many can now return from their self-imposed exile to such places as Moscow, Zurich, or Berlin, while others can stop the frustrating ordeal of practicing for a few hours each day with fellow teammates before returning to their mansions. Finally.
There are many positives to the lockout ending. No longer will we have to listen to interviews featuring fourth-line grinders as they try and mumble through explanations of complicated matters such as escrow, hockey-related revenue, and the economic impact of losing half a season. We can also finally watch professional hockey without having to stream games from Europe with unintelligible commentary and video that looks like it was shot with a Motorola Razr. And of course, we can finally begin to get our dose of Pierre McGuire as he shouts that the reason Carey Price made that save was because he got in front of the puck.
Now that we can finally stop wondering what we would do if we were able to have Don Fehr and Gary Bettman alone in an unsupervised room, (I would make them watch Nicolas Cage movies until they snapped and agreed to resign immediately) we can actually talk about hockey. So what will this season look like? Here are some incredibly unimaginative predictions of what we are likely to see over the next few months.
Roberto Luongo Will Be Traded
The writing is on the wall that Luongo will be leaving the Canucks, but where will he end up? Florida? Toronto? A psychiatrist’s couch? There’s really no telling where Luongo will end up, but… ok, Toronto. He’ll be in Toronto.
The Columbus Blue Jackets Will Suck…
…but nobody will notice or care. They traded away the one person that made their games even remotely worth watching, which is probably not the best idea for a team that finished dead last a year ago. I predict that they will continue to fall in the standings to 31st overall, just barely being surpassed by the Timbits team that plays during the first intermission of some games. Sorry, Blue Jackets fans. If you’d like, I can clear out an hour tomorrow afternoon and apologize to all 34 of you individually.
Leafs Fans Will Continue to Have Unrealistic Expectations
“Seriously guys, they’re only a piece or two away from being a contender.” Unfortunately, those two pieces are “goaltending” and “better skaters.” I know that Phil Kessel is some sort of ginger God in Leaf nation, but let’s be honest, the playoffs are a distant dream for Toronto until Brian Burke pulls off some sort of miracle trade that saves his job.
American Talk Show Hosts Will Joke About Hockey’s Relevance
“Hockey is back? I didn’t even know it was gone!” That’s great, Jay Leno, now please go back to being unfunny and all-around unpleasant. Honestly, if he tells this joke during an upcoming monologue I may be forced to do something drastic, or at least question why I’m watching Jay Leno in the first place.
Everyone Will Question Whether Sidney Crosby is Back to His Old Self
It will probably take him doing something incredible to prove that he’s fine. Like scoring a goal from the concession stand while ordering a hot dog, or teach Brooks Orpik how to do long division.
Think the Leafs will be better than I say, or that the Blue Jackets have a shot at the President’s Trophy? I’d suggest seeking professional help if you agree with the latter, but feel free to leave a comment or Tweet me. Please. I get so lonely.