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Above the Glass

On the lockout: Maddy to the rescue

Never mind all this crap about salary caps and floors, pension plans and hockey-related revenue, blah, blah, blah. Portland, Oregon is the home of the answer to all this mess; meet Maddy, pint sized Portland Winterhawks fan extraordinaire. At just four years old, she’s already a well-known fixture here on the local hockey scene and I dare any hockey player, GM, coach or other bigwig to resist her considerable charms.  If you want an NHL deal done by next week in time to save the season, give us a call. We have the answer to the lockout; Maddy’s her name and hockey is her game.

No one can resist her considerable charms.  Maddy was (and I assume still is) Brad Ross’ number one fan.  The feeling was mutual. My standard question for Brad last season was “is it better to be out of the box and on the breakaway?” to which the answer was “sort of.” Which is how I found out that Brad actually liked being in the box, because it meant a visit from Maddy, replete in her signed Brad Ross Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey. I think he actually committed penalties on occasion just so he could go in there and talk with her. It worked wonders: Whenever Brad’s penalty expired at such a time he could rejoin the play on the ice, he usually scored. For those who don’t know, Brad was the Winterhawks’ all around pest and agitator. Not an easy guy to charm, but Maddy did it in about two seconds flat. Imagine what she could do with a room full of NHL bigwigs. It’s kind of scary when you think about it; in a good way.

She loves the spotlight. Since Brad has moved on to the Toronto Marlies this season, Maddy now comes ready to cheer in her Chase De Leo jersey and matching “I Love Chase” sign. She's a regular fixture on the jumbotron at home games.  And yes, she has taken to going down and talking to Chase in the penalty box. He’s not in there as much as Brad, but something tells me that thanks to Maddy, Chase may start committing more penalties as the season goes on. Once she has succeed in getting Fehr and Bettman to lay down arms, I can easily see her stealing a press conference right out from under them, complete with an “I love the NHL” sign. If Jonathan Quick’s daughter could do it, so can Maddy.

She always gets her man. Speaking of Chase, Portland fans reading this will recognize a recent New Year’s Day Tweet from the resident ladies’ man and all around heartbreaker, in which he got a New Year’s Eve kiss from Maddy. First, I should point out that girls around these parts have been known to darn near faint, cry and generally swoon when they are even in the same air space as Chase. He is to young female Winterhawks fans what Justin Bieber is to Tween girls. Getting close enough to kiss him is a rare privilege. But check out the photo in that Tweet, and you’ll see why Maddy has the magic touch. Imagine what she could do with a bunch of grumpy NHL execs locked in a hotel conference room. I say put her in there with Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman and let her go to town. She’d look them right in the eye and, a la Cindy Lou Who, ask them point blank “Why Mr. Commissioner, why are you stealing our hockey season?” I dare them to try and explain to her why they couldn’t work it out; good luck with that one. Problem solved.

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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