Your Graphical Guide to the NHL Barnyard

Graphic Comments
September 25 2012 08:48PM

We will fight for bovine freedom

If you're anyting like Detroit Red Wings' Senior VP of Barnyard Operations, Jim Devellano, it's sometimes hard to tell elite hockey players apart from the rest of the herd. But never fear, the handy chart above should help you out if you ever get into a pinch.

Now, far be it from me to judge a Lester Patrick Trophy winner like Jimmy Devellano, but the cattle comment was a bit over the top. If there's anything I've learned over the years, it's that you don't poke the bear. You lure it with some bait, and then shoot it while it's not looking.

Wait. No. Not only is that the wrong analogy, it's the wrong animal.

We're talking barnyard animals today, especially those that make up the NHL's pecking order...

So let's review.

If you've been paying attention to Graphic Comments, you'll probably have figured out that you and all the other hockey fans are nothing but sheep begging to be sheared.

The players, as noted above, are cattle. However, it appears that this particular herd is getting stirred up into taking a stand. It's claimed that they're the means of production, and now they want to force a redistribution of revenues. It remains to be seen whether they can get up enough revolutionary veal to follow this through. Maybe they just need their own real bovine hero, Cow Tse Tongue: 

Sigh. Where are our chickens in choppers when we need them?

Anyway, that leaves only the pigs, and I think we're all on the same page as to who they represent given their association with greed and filth(y richness). Just remember, some animals are more equal than others:

Some animals are more equal than others

That takes care of the three main animals on the NHL farm, but there are others.

In fact, if you've been following what's been going on in the cold, dreary, middle of nowhere, er, I mean in Edmonton, you'll have noticed that the Edmonton Oilers' owner, Darryl Katz, is involved in quite the game of chicken with the City Council over how the costs of a new arena should be allocated. And by allocated I mean borne completely by the taxpayers of Edmonton.

I'll leave the details to others that have covered this situation much more in depth than I intend to, but the latest development saw Katz openly taking an entourage to Seattle where a new arena is being built that could house both an NBA and an NHL team.

This of course is straight out of the professional sports league extortion manual. Katz is definitely making noise about moving the team if he doesn't get his way. Actually going down to Seattle, is taking it that extra step. What does this have to do with animals you ask? Well, as they say in the NHL farmyard, "If it talks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it's probably a weasel."

Really, you have to be a weasel to be threatening to move one of the NHL's best run hockey teams businesses:

For a small market team, the Oilers have done remarkably well since the last lockout and complete lack of on-ice success aside - should serve as an operational model for the rest of the lower revenue teams in the league. Nevertheless, there was Katz and co. touring around Seattle yesterday, kicking the tires on Key Arena and then taking in the Monday Night Football game between the Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. I don't know which was the bigger farce, but I'm pretty sure I know which one had more money riding on it:

If it walks like a duck

Ok, enough about the Oilers. This is supposed to be about barnyard animals, not the Hinterland Who's Who.

There was indeed some Canucks news to digest in one of our four stomachs today. It appears that the team has hired Dan Cloutier as a goaltending consultant. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or to cry about this. In the end, I did both:

I laughed. I cried. It became a part of me.

Oh, and if you were wondering what barnyard animal Cloutier represents, he's the scape goat.

RECENT GRAPHIC COMMENTS

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I'm not a hippie or on welfare. I don't live in Kits, wear Birkenstocks or own an umbrella. I've never been to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but I'm sure it's very nice. I have a mayor, not a crack addict. I drink pale ale, not Blue. And I call it a cabin, not a cottage. I can proudly say my team's been to the Stanley Cup Final in the last 45 years. They may not have won, but at least they got there. I believe in sunshine, not haze; heat, not humidity. And that sushi is a healthy and tasty meal. A coho is a fish. A ski hill is a mountain. And the plural of leaf is leaves. Okay? Not leafs. Leaves! Vancouver is the country's third-largest city, certainly the most beautiful, and the best part of Canada! My name is petbugs and I am a Canucks fan! ... You can find me on Twitter @petbugs13 or send your hate mail to petbugs (at) gmail (dot) com but it better be funny or it's getting plonked.
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#1 Kent Wilson
September 26 2012, 08:06AM
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So, so good.

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#2 Archaeologuy
September 26 2012, 10:01AM
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I must be jaded, but I just dont have a problem with the Ranch/Cattle analogy. In fact, I think its bang on.

ps. The Red line is totally being inappropriate with the Green line in that chart.

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#3 bookofloob
September 26 2012, 10:35AM
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WHY ARE THESE ALWAYS THE BEST THING EVER?

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#4 Kent Wilson
September 26 2012, 04:23PM
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@Graphic Comments

YOU'RE FIRED. FURTHERMORE YOU WILL BE PUBLICLY FLOGGED.

Of course, if this was a major publication, I'd be sweeping everything under the rug...

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#5 yawto
September 26 2012, 08:05AM
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Hopefully all their petty arguing doesn't delay the fist game of the season too long.

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#6 RexLibris
September 26 2012, 10:56AM
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What? No Animal Farm references? Or was that the previous lockout under Bob "Snowball" Goodenow?

I recall Lemieux pulling the same stunt in Pittsburgh with the City and State governments when he took a tour of Vegas and Kansas City.

I'm feeling nearly as apathetic towards the arena debate as I am the CBA negotiations. Add the IIHF to that and it is quickly shaping up to be a winter of discontent in Edmonton.

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#9 Marda Miller
September 26 2012, 12:36PM
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Love the Animal Farm reference!

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#10 Archaeologuy
September 26 2012, 01:54PM
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@Graphic Comments

Sure it's a little demeaning to be compared to cattle, but the man who made the statement lumped himself in that group, so how derogetory was it meant to be?

Why would we have advanced beyond that when it comes to professional sports? Especially the NHL. The League can uproot these individuals' lives at the drop of a hat, send them to new cities, demote them to different leagues, their rights are owned by the clubs that draft them for a decade. The players are assets first and people second.

But I think Devellano could have just been better served if he had said something like "The owners built the playground and the rest of us just want to play in it"

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#11 Danger
September 26 2012, 02:48PM
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@Graphic Comments

"revolutionary veal" just about made me blow beer out my nose, then you followed it up with Cow Tse Tongue. Well played! I'll send you my dry-cleaning bill.


@RexLibris

1. You say that like there is a different kind of winter in Edmonton. I lived there for two years, so I know better ;)

2. At least it won't be the winter of your discount tent.

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