Kukla's Korner

Above the Glass

Proof the hockey off-season is too long

There are several things you probably shouldn’t hand a hockey fan, especially one who has a blog or two, notably too much free time without hockey. Because some of us, whilst trolling the newspaper for a summer movie (like say, the new Winnie the Pooh movie, for example) to fill the weeknights where hockey would have otherwise been the night’s entertainment, come up with thoughts like what would happen if Winnie the Pooh enforced the Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or the NHL Rulebook? If you are brave and crazy enough to continue reading this entry, then you deserve to know that during the hockey season I’m a totally normal person who reports on relevant news like prospect profiles, WHL news tidbits and my thoughts on the latest trades and what not. But here in the off season, without junior hockey, barbecue nachos or Center Ice to occupy my free time, my mind tends to wander. Yes, there’s plenty to occupy the off-season, ‘tis true. But I see that the trained hockey blogging professionals have that turf covered, so I am here to offer a little levity in the midst of it all. That being said, don’t ask me where I came up with this idea. No clue. But that never stopped me before. So here you go: what if a cuddly little bear all stuffed with fluff enforced the NHL’s rules and what not?

Here’s how I think it would go:

The Hundred Acre Wood: The location of the NHL’s Headquarters.

Think, think, think: This rule would explain how the salary floor and cap work and remind teams to think twice before trading away their futures or signing that hot player with an attitude problem and/or undiscovered or undisclosed injury to a multiyear, multimillion dollar deal.

Tut-tut looks like rain: The Pooh verison of arbitration, designed to define for teams and the agents who rep their players the criteria needed to go to salary arbitration. Under the supervision of a fuzzy bear of very little brain, the real purpose of this rule is to avert said arbritation and retire to a nearby honey tree to gather and share a pot of honey whilst ruminating about how silly it was to bother getting into an argument over more money than most people will ever earn in their lifetimes.

Ta ta for now: This rule would be used to refer to players on their way out of town to a new team, where they have chosen to go as free agents in the name of a longer-term contract and bigger money. The bigger money would of course be donated to Owl for the rebuilding of his house after it’s blown away on a very blustery day.

T-I-double g-er: Requires that play-by-play announcers learn how to spell and pronounce properly the names of all players who have an unusual first or last name. For example, the proper pronunciation of Sven Bartschi’s last name is not and will never be Bart-ski. And his fellow teammate and Calgary Flames draftee Tyler Wotherspoon’s last name is most certainly not pronounced Witherspoon.

Heffalumps and woozles: Obviously this refers to referees and linesmen, the sworn enemy of all players. They use crafty techniques like calling penalties as a decoy while they steal honey pots out from under unsuspecting players.

Gotta be skedaddling out of here: This term may be used by the aforementioned heffalumps and woozles as a warning to players that they are going to get out of the way while the players go at it, thereby creating the aforementioned decoy to steal honey pots. 

The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I’m the only one: The rule that reminds players who demand a trade out of town or who refuse to waive their no-trade clause that in fact, they are not the only one and can in fact, be replaced.

Pooh and bother: A codename used by the NHL’s public relations executives to describe a PR gaffe by players or the front office that needs to be fixed ASAP with a well-rehearsed press conference and well-written media statement.

What’s a Pooh?: The official form used by scouts to identify and analyze the choice young junior players they are scouting for the next upcoming draft.

Parting shots: Excuse me while I go Google appropriate, responsible and grown-up hobbies with which to occupy my precious off season free time.






Filed in: | Above the Glass | Permalink


tkfergy's avatar

you might want to find a hobby…

Posted by tkfergy on 07/20/11 at 01:26 PM ET


I like your article, very entertaining! smile

Posted by Meg on 07/20/11 at 03:31 PM ET

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About Above the Glass

Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.

I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass

Email: samantha@kuklaskorner.com