The End of the Beginning
The owners and players begrudingly signed papers allowing them to once again gouge fans and earn millions. We all should feel sorry for them, especially poor slobs like Jeremy Roenick.
Conspiracy theorists like me patted their hands together, donned foil hats and did the Macarena when we we learned that the Penguins won the lottery for the chance to draft Sidney Crosby. It would have nothing to do with the fact that the Pittsburgh franchise teeters as its aging superstar Mario Lemieux continues to play despite being cheesed off by practices and games that infringe upon his tee times.
The NHL sees the impossible task: try getting a stadium in a town that has already squandered millions by awarding one to the Pirates (last seen in the playoffs sometime before the Inquisition). The Steelers get what they want since Pittsburgh is a football town and they do manage to make it into the playoffs virtually every year. Face it, it is easier to get a plumber than to get Steeler season tickets. Enough said.
Crosby will head to Pittsburgh to prop up a flagging franchise so Mario can go whirring off into the sunset for a quick 18 before supper at the club. Sounds about as random as the Knicks drafting Patrick Ewing many moons ago. Hey, isn't that Bettman fellow from the NBA? Hmm.
Okay, I'll stop. We should be happy, the twenty-three or so of us who like the NHL. There will be games this fall. Don Cherry can finally go out and get his blazers for the impending season of Hockey Night In Canada. Maybe the Bluejackets can even sign a Flyer or two since Philadelphia can no longer afford its veterans.
I think I'll go outside and catch a few rays today before praying for ice tonight.