First and foremost stop whatever you are doing and watch this video. We don’t know who these folks are, but they are absolutely wicked. A big ups to David Staples for tweeting the link.
The first round of the NHL playoffs have been wildly entertaining in our humble opinion. Now this could be because Wanye Manor is currently a flurry of activity, hammering in all of the playoff draft cards from Hudsons. It is a slow and tedious process to say the least.
When the Nation BrainTrust cooked up the concept of making a hockey draft that could be used by bars it seemed like such a good idea. And it still is. It’s just that three times a year roughly 7,500 cards come in and have to be manually entered into the system.
So we are about 45 hours into a 70 marathon with a team of four folks that involves parking in front of a computer and hammering in card after card after card after card. It consumes our every waking moment and we actually had a dream about doing data entry last night. Bingofuel pulled out just in time.
That’s what she said.
THE MIGHTY WINGS
The best part about the draft cards piled high to the sky is that we have watched a mind boggling amount of the first round of the playoffs and having hilarious twitter conversations in the process. Say what you want about the Canadiens and the Bruins series being the best, or watching the Canucks get smoked by the Hawks last night. The best series for our money has been watching the well oiled machine that is the Red Wings pick apart the Coyotes. This team is amazing.
Remember when the Oil whipped the Wings in the first round back in ’06? How on earth is it that the team has only gotten better since then while the home team has *ahem* gone in the other direction? What are they putting in the gatorade at the Wings practice facility to keep the beast growing year after year?
MEETING THE CAPTAIN
We had a chance meeting with Dennis Polonich at the Scotiabank Tournament a few weeks ago. Polonich was the Captain of the Wings back in the 1976-77 season and isn’t the biggest player by any standards standing only 5 foot 6 inches and was selected 118th overall in the 1973 entry draft . Yet he has more compete in his little toe than half the players in the league do in their entire family trees stretching back four generations.
At the tournament, he recounted a tale about visiting the locker room several months ago. He was walking down the hallway into the weight room when current Captain Niklas Lidstrom was walking the other way. Lidstrom saw it was Polonich and immediately stopped to chat. "Hello Mr. Polonich, I just wanted to say that it is an honour to meet you Sir," and spent a few minutes chatting before Lidstrom went on his way.
Polonich pointed to this type of encounter as the reason that the Wings are so successful. Years after being a Captain of the team the current C can indentify him on sight, refers to him respectfully as "Mr" and "Sir" and treats him with the utmost respect. This type of respect and community fills every part of the team, from the front office to the minor leagues, to the current roster and players past.
It’s a rarity.
The Wings are hands down the best at cultivating this type of environment in the NHL. While the City of Detroit is turning into some sort of Mad Max-ian post apocolyptic world – to the point that many NHL teams won’t fly into the City the night before games anymore out of security concerns for the players – it remains the number one destination of choice for players around the league.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN WANYE?
What it all means is that people who think that the weather or the City itself or needing a new arena are the reason players don’t want to play for the Oilers need to give their heads a shake. Championship teams are built within the room by the organization not through seasonably unwarm weather or with busy shopping districts.