Canucks and Beyond

Inventing the Hockey Board Game

01/02/2007 at 2:12pm EST

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

I like Jeremy Roenick, I really do. He says fun stuff, the kind of things he really shouldn’t say, and in a world of deathly-boring NHL sound bites I’m forever grateful. But sometimes his charming forthrightness can seem just a bit crazy, and Pin The Tail on the Donkey is the game that comes to mind. Don’t know why… it’s a mystery.


Note: There are substitute editions of this game available. Namely, the Sean Avery version and the Colin Campbell edition. Both make excellent targets for a hockey fan with a stick pin some days.


Scrabble—a game for quasi-intellectuals, made up of random words that all fit together on the board, but don’t necessarily make any of sense when simply read out loud. By that viewpoint, Scrabble is exactly like a press conference in Detroit. Listen to Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and it’s clear he likes words… he’s just not picky about how they should all be put together.


This fearless Detroit blogger attempted to interpret a Babcock statement, producing the Mike Babcock Consolidated Quote of the Day recently:

“Sammy’s back, back with us, back tonite and could be back for the Minnesota game which is tonite..a back-to-back-to-back Jack. Everyone’s back except for Kopecky who’s got the back thing. Well it’s really not a back it’s a collarbone so he’s not back, won’t be back until he says he’s back. Sammy’s definitely ready to go, at least he was at the morning skate, yesterday’s not today’s. Love the morning skate. Like to skate. Everyone likes to skate around Christmas. I had ham for dinner.”

Yeah, it’s a problem.


Only a couple years ago, this would’ve been such an easy New York Rangers joke. Alas, the era of the salary cap denies me that simplicity, but what the hell—there’s always the New York Islanders. When owner Charles Wang says $67.5 million for 15 upcoming seasons for a 25 year old goaltender who’s never won a playoff series is a steal of a deal, then by God, it must be!


Rick DiPietro now lives in Park Place and will not be giving it up until he’s 40—the most secure wealth any Monopoly player has ever seen. (Unfortunately the game sort of loses appeal at that point since he never has to pass “Go” again.)

But it’s all just Monopoly money on the Island, a team where, in 2001, they committed $87.5 million to a 10-year contract with Alexei Yashin. Although that’s finally working out pretty good (albeit 5 years later) so it was clearly time for a new game.


Twister has these cool white sheets with funky colored dots all over them, and with every single move you make, things get a little more twisted. Eventually it gets to the point where you’re so twisted up in the game that one day you find yourself out of a job and no longer GM of the Philadelphia Flyers (after all, 18+ years is long enough for a single game of Twister).


But the twisting continues, because there’s always another Flyers’ job available. You can’t keep a good Bobby down.


Sorry! It must be the Gary Bettman game. Last season, the NHL’s commissioner created a charming edition of this classic favorite. It always makes everyone feel better to play Sorry. (This year’s edition? Not popular with everybody out there…)



Enjoy the game of L.A. Kings’ coach Marc Crawford’sLife: Pick a cool job. (check!) Pick a lovely wife. (check!) Pick some great kids. (check!) Pick a top goalie and bring him to the L.A. Kings (ahhh… crap!!)



Sure, we all know that defensive hockey is the classic strategy game for building a winning NHL team—just protect that king-piece in the net, and eventually you’ll get your chance to nail the enemy. But has anyone ever watched a freakin’ chess game? Just like watching Jacques Lemaire’sMinnesota Wild on the ice, being a spectator to a chess match might well force you to rip off your own face in order to create a little excitement. Yes, it’s just that exciting.


Note: It deserves mentioning that the Vancouver Canucks have been trying their hand at chess this year as well, but discovered how much they sucked at it and recently returned to playing a limited version of Risk.

Good times, while it lasts.

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