Yesterday we made the announcement that Brian Sutherby is now the Editor in Chief of the Nation Network. Positive and negative comments rolled in and people wanted to know “just who is this Brian Sutherby away from the ice? Is he a kind soul with wavy locks? Or a secret jerk kicking puppies given half a chance?”
We will say this about Suds: He is a terrible gambler, especially when a former Oiler and a certain anonymous hockey blogger are involved.
For as long as I have known Sutherby, he hasn’t been an Oilers fan. Now, for most of the time I have known him, he has been an active NHL player, so he is owed a degree of professional courtesy.
We understand that he can’t exactly be a Dallas Star and walk around in an Oilers tee shirt any more than we can go around in a YouPorn Tuxedo. That is an entirely different website competing against my own, just like the Oilers were his direct competition for over a decade.
Nonetheless, we would always chirp Suds when the Oilers won (they are champions), he was a free agent (sign with the Oilers – live the dream), or he was rumoured to be on the trading block (if only we needed a C who could get destroyed by Douglas Murray on the reg).
Now that he is retired he can’t hide behind his employer sending him gillions of dollars every two weeks. There is nothing preventing him from living and dying with the Copper and Blue like the rest of us do. Well, there is the small matter of the Oil being terrible and actually cringe worthy for a former player like Suds to watch on the reg.
But that’s a story for a different day.
Anywhoo, to start the season Suds and I were talking about the Oil and he was going on and on about former Oilers who have flown the coop only to dominate elsewhere. “The list goes on and on man,” he said reclining on a gold couch like all recently retired NHL players do. “Look at guys like Stoll and Greene. Railroaded out of town only to have a great second act with a new change of scenery.”
Grinding my teeth so hard they created sparks, I replied, “Well sure, that’s just because they are rats. What do I care if a rat leaves a sinking ship and swims safely to shore. He is still a rat.”
“Ignoring that they were traded so they aren’t rats, I’ll tell you who will have a good season this upcoming year,” came his breezy response. “Shawn Horcoff. I bet he gets 40 points in Dallas now that he gets a fresh start without everyone all over him.”
Shawn Horcoff. Like our former Captain Shawn Horcoff? Like the guy the Oilers signed to be Captain until 2099 for 11 trillion dollars Shawn Horcoff? Ain’t no way no Shawn Horcoff is getting no 40 points for no Dallas Stars this season.
With the confidence that comes from being an obnoxious last place Oilers fan since forever, we were immediately all over this. We jumped up and demanded at the top of our lungs that he bet us any sum of money he saw fit and we shook hands to seal the deal.
Then came a season of increasingly rare texts from Suds as Horcoff would occasionally pot an empty net goal or collect a meaningless second assist. “My boy is heating up, son! Look for him to go on a run.”
Indeed. We have our PHD in watching Shawn Horcoff not go on a run. We have seen this all before.
The Stanley Cup may be on the verge of being awarded to the LA Kings and the very able Jarrett Stoll and Matt Greene. But that don’t change the fact Shawn Horcoff wasn’t anywhere near 40 points.
Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t. You owe me $250, Suds. I accept all forms of payment including Visa, Bitcoin and Jordan Eberle phone numbers. And strangely, thanks Shawn Horcoff. For the first time in years you really delivered when we needed you to.