A Professional Hockey Fan-tasy
loyalties lie, first and foremost, with the college game. But we
all root for guys who used to play for our favorite team or in our
league, and have since moved on to the professional ranks. Keeping
that in mind, I’d like to send out these wishes as the pros
embark on another season of playing for money (insert your own Doug
Woog or University of Maine joke here).
the Detroit Red Wings’ Curtis Joseph, that you find joining
the defending Stanley Cup champions and replacing one of the five
best goaltenders in hockey history less stressful than playing
in the klieg-light glare of Toronto.
the Calgary Flames’ Jordan Leopold, that you become the
next Brian Leetch and not the next Brett Lindros.
Paul Kariya of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, that you keep your
stick on the ice, because new teammate Adam Oates will find your
the Rochester Americans’ Ryan Miller, that you’re
not counted on to single-handedly win every game this season.
the Edmonton Oilers, that you keep making your team our favorite
by continuing to trot out a lineup full of ex-college skaters
- guys like Carter, Comrie, Conklin, Horcoff, Marchant, Reasoner,
Swanson and York.
Erik Cole of the Carolina Hurricanes, that your team goes deep
into the postseason so we can see the best playoff beard since
Lanny McDonald one more time.
another Hurricane, Dave Tanabe, that you worry less about your
contract and more about your performance on the ice.
- To the designer
of this site, Chicago Wolves defenseman Mike Weaver, that you
get a call from Atlanta general manager Don Waddell real soon.
By the way, we like club-level seats.
the Philadelphia’s John LeClair and Doug Weight of St. Louis,
that you return to All-Star form (and not just because I drafted
you guys for my rotisserie team.)
Ed Belfour of the Toronto Maple Leafs, that you don’t offer
any law enforcement agents one billion dollars this year.
the Manchester Monarchs’ Mike Cammalleri, that your wallet
makes for a good cushion on the bus trip from Albany to Hamilton.
5-foot-7, 175 pound New Jersey Devil Brian Gionta, that you don’t
run into former teammate and 6-foot-4, 230-pound behemoth Mike
Commodore, now in the Mighy Ducks system with Cincinnati of the
the Los Angeles Kings’ Aaron Miller, who's sidelined for
up to two months, that you explain to me what exactly is a “sports
Dan Hinote of the Colorado Avalanche, that you continue to do
the Army hockey program proud.
Dany Heatley of the Atlanta Thrashers, that you don’t change
Bill Muckalt of the Minnesota Wild, that you get the monkey off
your back by scoring a goal in the first regular-season game.
the Buffalo Sabres, that your owners pay the electric bill through
at least April so we can have our Frozen Four there. But I wouldn’t
count on getting the damage deposit back.