It is hypothesized that all continents were once joined together, kind of like the cast of “Friends” before they split up to make really bad romantic comedies.
Like after a sitcom wrap-party, the continents then tried to get as far away from each other as is “earthly” possible.
Dinosaurs came, then were relocated to there present location- under miles of salt water or very large sandboxes, and received a new occupation- as oil.
Then the mammals came and evolved into ferrets, lions, dolphins, and in some case Lawyers and Player Agents (oh, but I kid the ferrets).
Some time after that, hockey came. Life was good for those athletic, good skating people who didn’t want to work winters in factories, doctors who specialized in mending broken bones, Dentists who specialized in removing tooth shrapnel and less talented factory workers who were flush with overtime money covering for those deadbeats of winter, hockey players.
It was decided by someone on high (or someone who drank slightly less than the vast majority) that this pastime should be organized. Sober people are very good at organizing…lousy at hockey, but good at telling other people what to do.
It was then decided to get some teams of less than sober people together and play against one another as too few people were nipping off appendages at factories and only 12 people had ever used the services of a dentist. Hockey would help to jumpstart both of those cottage industries while providing some meager scratch so players could buy; you guessed it, more booze. A new business was born on the weight of injuries, violence, competition, and not wanting to work at factories for a couple months a year.
Because there was a need for some symbol to reward those who worked harder, had more talent, and could not afford more alcohol, a trophy of significant majesty and impressive bearing was required.
So someone’s wife donated a chrome punch-bowl that didn’t move at the previous year’s yard-sale. Re-gifting had not been invented yet and the Stanley cup blazed into existence. It was decided that an additional ring be added in the future for every team that Mike Keenan destroyed as a GM and everyone blinded by Don Cherry’s suits.
Since winter in Canada is the finest eight months of the year, it was decided that all the teams should go there, within 12 miles of each other. Husky’s got remarkably poor fuel economy and weren’t very good at hauling equipment, players, wives, coaches, and booze. The dogs also had difficulty going in the right direction as toothless drivers do not exactly have the clearest enunciation.
This lack of geographic precision may have been how hockey started to appear in America, the husky’s got together and decided “screw this, these clowns don’t care where they end up-let’s just head south”.
Sure enough, the dogs were onto something, and hockey’s purity was corrupted by gaining despicable southern “expansion” teams, in the tropical vacation cities of New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit.
Purists were beside themselves with indignant rage and hockey fans have been complaining about the dilution of talent ever since.
Players liked it though, as it gave them an opportunity to tan and play golf in only one to two feet of snow, as opposed to four to six feet back home.
The League could now travel more efficiently and quickly, as the automobile became more commonplace, introducing Hockey players to the latest popular activity; drunk driving. The wonders of technology never cease.
Like the dinosaurs, some of the original teams vanished leaving players unemployed but as their blood alcohol level was too high for them to become oil, they became journalists, announcers and coaches instead.
Soon, another glory age came for the great game of hockey, as the era of the “original six” was born, but since fans didn’t yet know that they were in the glory age, they just called the six teams “the six teams”. Media people were too busy watching Babe Ruth consume vast amount of hot-dogs, beer, and baseball team owners money to take an interest in hockey.
In only 50 short years, all that was to change.
Fast forward to that inspired and influential time, known as the seventies, and we find that hockey is on a meteoric rise on the professional sports landscape. A new team of geniuses even comes onto the scene to create a whole new league, using the same executive brain-trust that went on to develop other smashing successes like the DeLorean car company, New Coke, and the Chevy Chase show. The WHA is born.
After three weeks, the upstart league folds and creates a whole new glut of players that make too much money to work off-season in factories, but don’t know enough to be of any other use to society.
Since the original league had also gone on a further expansion binge, creating a further rift between the fuddy-duddy traditionalists, there was some place for these players to go, but not enough to support all of the players.
Since many city officials didn’t have the police force to monitor all the unemployed hockey players with drivers’ licenses, the NHL (named after Nedwin Harold League-the inventor of clichés like “take it one game at a time” and “we have to work harder out there”) decided to perform a public service and get these menaces off the public roads. So it created even more teams to keep them busy and keep them from getting behind the wheel of now faster cars.
A few more teams were added to Canada, a lot more teams were added to the United States, and life was made even more miserable for the traditionalists.
Here we are in the present day, as evolution seems to want to skate backwards and recreate the single continent of Pangaea, removing some of the southernmost teams and re-locating them to a place with far fewer golf-communities, hurricanes, Jimmy Buffet fans, and sand, otherwise known as “the North”.
Luckily the latest hockey brain trust has reeled in on its plans to place teams in Guam, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil as the residents kept throwing the sticks away and tried to kick the puck towards a very sweaty goalie. Their expansion teams are on hold until 2012 or until magnetic north moves and puts them back in a polar region.
So what are the morals we can take away from this comprehensive history of our sport? Glad you asked...there are several:
1) Dogs are smarter than everyone thinks.
2) The cast of Friends should have stuck to TV.
3) Booze and Hockey go together. Hockey and driving doesn’t.
4) Since Hockey players will not turn into petro-chemicals, Don Cherry will never wear them as a day-glow plaid leisure suit.
5) No matter what, where, or how you do something, people will complain.
6) Revo still refuses to do research.
7) Pangaea is not a toasted sandwich (that’s a Panini)