If there’s one thing I think we can all agree on, it’s that I’m the nation’s foremost authority on the National Hockey League.
You’re all familiar with the sheaf of articles I’ve written on the game, the numerous awards for which my coverage has been nominated (though, interestingly enough, never won — if I were a conspiracy theorist, I could have a field day with that little morsel, but that’s a horse of a different colour), the countless stories I’ve broken, and on and on. It’s with the full weight of that hard-earned reputation and my keen analytical eye that I say this:
I think the Buffalo Sabres blew their shot at making a deep playoff run this year by not bringing in the Wendigo at the trade deadline.
Oh, yeah. That’s right, I said it. And I’d LOVE to hear you try to refute me on this, “conventional hockey wisdom establishmentarianists.” Just because I’m not wearing some jagoff Magritte-painting/John Dillinger suit, you always try to undercut me.
But even you can’t dismiss this immutable fact: Standing just one point out of a tie for the seventh seed in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, the Sabres certainly could have benefited from importing a mystical creature with superhuman strength, legendary ferocity, hardened talons, a prehensile tail AND the kind of veteran leadership that only comes from a centuries-long connection with the myriad spirits inhabiting the rugged ethereal woods of Northern Canada.
Yes, he’s several hundred years old, but you’re telling me he couldn’t give you three or four productive shifts a night? And the Red Wings are just sitting on his rights. They’re not looking to get older, they’re sitting atop their conference and they definitely don’t want to let a savage mythic beast loose in Detroit. The city’s ravaged enough as it is, and they need to keep their attendance numbers up.
Now I know what you’re saying; I can hear it from my award-free home office. “But Devine, what about the legendary curse of the Wendigo, wherein anyone who consumes the flesh of a human being while in the Canadian wilderness then becomes the Wendigo?” And that’s a fair point — what’s to stop, say, New York Rangers defenseman Michal Roszival from kidnapping a child, taking a trip up to the Northwest Territories, bludgeoning the boy with a rock and feasting on his sinewy tissue, thus assuming the curse and leaving the Sabres high and dry as they head down the stretch?
I hear you, but if I’m Sabres GM Darcy Regier, I’m looking at the standings, I’m thinking that some good goaltending and increased killing power could put home-ice in play, and that’s a chance I’ve got to take.
Bottom line, folks: Fans want to see a winner. Even if that means summoning the furry visage of pure evil.