I’m sitting here at my desk just completely nude, and all I can think of is - “Will Erik Karlsson be a Senator for life?” Let’s pretend for a second that it’s 2022. You go outside in beautiful Ottawa, Canada...but it’s not beautiful. You have to wear a hazmat suit because of the acid rain pouring down on you. Not only is it toxic for your skin, it’s also toxic for your soul. You see, the moment the Senators traded Erik Karlsson, the world became toxic. Now, is it really raining acid? Or am I using it as a metaphor for how black my insides are?
Trading Erik Karlsson would be the biggest mistake that not only Pierre Dorion would make, but all of humankind would make. Why is Erik so important to our city? Well, for one, he’s kinda like Jesus. You give Erik Karlsson flour, he makes bread, if you give him grapes, he makes wine, and if you give him a box of Jos Louis, he adds a bit of oil to them so that they aren’t so dry. So dry that if you eat one, you risk choking to death. What’s better? Death, or life? You choose.
Let’s pretend for a moment that Erik Karlsson signs an 8 year contract extension with the Senators. It’s 2022, you walk outside in beautiful Ottawa, Canada. The sun is shining, but it’s raining. You look closer though and you realize it’s not rain, it’s mini peanut butter cups. Then you hear a familiar voice. You look over, it’s Marc Methot singing Hallelujah while Erik Karlsson does parawets in a pink tootoo. All is right in the world. Until you hear the unforgettable sound of a Harley Davidson revving. That sound only means one thing. Erik Condra and the Boyz are rolling into town.
Condra gets off his bike and points at Karlsson. “You should have come to Tampa Bay when you had the chance. Now, you’ll pay,” said Condra.
Condra then pulls out a bow and arrow, and shoots it right at Karlsson. This arrow isn’t any normal arrow though, this arrow has a Jos Louis attached to it’s tip. Erik Karlsson screams, “NOOOOOOOOO”
Just as the Jos Louis is about to pierce Karlsson, Marc Methot jumps in front and takes it right in the chest. Methot crumbles to the ground and Karlsson rushes to his side.
“MARC, YOU SAVED MY LIFE! I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL”, yelled Karlsson
“get.....me......milk”, was all Marc could say, but it was too late. His body dryed up like a raisen in the summer heat.
Wait.....what does this have to do with Erik Karlsson signing a contract with the Sens? Nothing, yet everything.
Everyone knows the plight the Senators are in right now. And everyone knows the Maple Leafs are performing well for the first time in like 180 years. What the hell happened?! What kind of parallel universe is this?? What are our Southern Ontarian “friends” doing differently?? Well, Chad The Researcher just handed me a story that may alter the path of these two franchises, perhaps forever. Ok maybe just the next 6 months but still. According to this, Guy Boucher, the head coach of The Ottawa Senators, secretly met with Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock for lunch yesterday. What??? Why would they do that? Aren’t they mortal enemies?? Well, luckily, I had an insider that spied in on their conversation.
Guy Boucher was the first one to walk into the Denny’s Restaurant. He was wearing a fake mustache so as not to raise suspicion. About 5 hours later, a bald Mike Babcock entered and sat with his back to Boucher.
“Talk about late,” mumbled Boucher.
“I had to drive all the way from Toro—“
“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Boucher rolled his eyes.
”All right then, why did you call me here Guy? I told you we shouldn’t have contact in public. It’s too dangerous,” said Babcock.
“I know that Mike. I know the consequences this meeting could have. But I need to talk to you. I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t important,” said Boucher.
Babcock turned around as he could hear the desperation in Boucher’s voice. “Well, get on with it. What’s ailing you?”
“What do you think of this weather we’re having? Global Warming? More like Global Colding, amirite??” Laughed Boucher, nervously.
Babcock stood up and began to walk out, so Boucher quickly yelled, “Mike wait, MIKE! I’m sorry. I’m not actually here to talk about the weather. I’m here to ask....for your help.”
Babcock looked down, gave a big sigh, and then returned to his table.
“You know I shouldn’t help you Guy. You know what happened last time I helped you. You ended up in Switzerland for 3 years,” said Babcock.
“Those were some of the best days of my life. The food in Switzerland was amazing. And oh my god the wine! Let me tell you about the wine! They have this wonderful pinot noi—“
“GET ON WITH IT GUY!” Yelled Babcock, impatiently.
“Okay, listen. This is hard for me to ask....but....I need to know.....your secret. Your secret formula for winning,” said a defeated Boucher.
Babcock adjusted in his chair with a humbled look on his face. Finally, Boucher would listen to someone.
“I am desperate. We are in a free-fall. A Tampa Bay style free-fall. If I don’t turn this around, I’m gonna lose my job, I’ll lose my house, my corvette, even Nancy, my Kamodo Dragon,” cried Boucher. “I can’t lose Nancy! She’s all I’ve got!”
“Calm Down Guy. I’ll help you. The answer is simple really. You need to listen to the needs of your team,” explained Babcock.
“Listen? You mean they need to listen to me because I am the boss,” said Boucher.
“Clearly something there isn’t working Guy. You need to understand and adapt to the problems,” explained Babcock. “For example, you’re playing Gabriel Dumont and Alex Burrows over legit young prospects with skill, smarts, and speed. Simply put, take out the players under-performing and put in the players that ARE performing.”
Boucher thought about it for a minute as he stroked his jaw. “You mean under-play the performers?”
Babcock slapped his forehead in frustration. “No. Play the performers.”
“Okay, I get it! I should play Gabriel Dumont on the first line with Tom Pyatt! They’re really nice guys, they let me borrow their PlayStation Switch and fed me candy,” said Boucher.
“No....no, you’re not listening Guy. You have Thomas Chabot and Chlapik, two great players that should have more ice time. I guarantee you that if they played more, you’d have more success as a team,” said Babcock.
Boucher’s eyes lit up. “Ahh okay, so like, I should play Burrows with Duchene to better Duchene’s offensive production. I get it,” said Boucher nodding.
”Oh my god, no. Okay. Let’s look at your defense. You’re playing Oduya way too much. He’s clearly lost a step and his ice time should reflect that. In fact, I’d be scratching him and playing Chabot and Jaros, two great defenceman more equipped for today’s NHL,” said Babcock.
“But Johnny Oduya is my best player. Well like, other than Cody Ceci. I’m not sure I’m following you? Anyways, what do you do when you get behind in a game?” asked Boucher.
“Well Guy, I adapt my system. Like, if I need a goal, I don’t play the trap, I tell my forwards to forecheck and be aggressive. Do you know what I mean?” asked Babcock.
Boucher blankly stared at Babcock for a minute. “No.”
“Jesus, okay, when you only play the 1-3-1 System, even when you’re behind by goals, you’re not gonna have success. You need to change things up on the fly and allow your highly skilled players like world-class Erik Karlsson to play their offensive game,” said Babcock.
“Ahhh I see what you mean. Okay, smart. I should play Gabriel Dumont and scratch or even better yet, trade Mike Hoffman! All he wants to do is score goals. Idiot!” said Boucher.
“ok......are we done here?” asked Babcock.
“Just one more thing, how do you get players to be accountable for their actions?” asked Boucher.
“Well Guy, there are many things you can do. You can reduce their ice time, you can even call them out in front of everyone. If they made a mistake, they need to know they did, so that they don’t make that mistake again in the future,” said Babcock.
“I see...Okay. Thanks Mike. I appreciate everything,” said Boucher as both men stood up.
“No problem Guy. Now I need to get back to my up and coming Stanley Cup contender team. Good luck the rest of the way,” said Babcock.
Guy Boucher smiled as Mike walked out. The moment he was out of sight, Guy yells out, “WHAT AN IDIOT. That guy knows NOTHING about hockey. WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME.”
Here we are folks, a new year in Sens land. But Sens land ain’t nothing like Disney Land, where there are rides, cotton candy, and funny characters. Sens land is full of brutal torture and characters that will make you puke. Ottawa is mired in the coldest losing culture this team has ever seen. We’ve seen excuse after excuse for their performances:
• My Dog ate my homework
• Guy Boucher yelled at me
• My car wouldn’t start
• Eugene Melnyk was mean to me
• I only got 5 million dollars, not 6 million dollars
But when will the excuses stop? When will the Senators start taking accountability for this lost season? Well, unfortunately, things need to change. And that starts with enigmatic Mike Hoffman.
Mike Hoffman should be leading our team in goals, but instead, he’s leading our team in frowns per minute. You can tell the guy just ain’t happy. During commercial breaks, he’s off to the corner by himself while the rest of the team huddles together trying to find a way out of this mess. However, Mike Hoffman is our most skilled forward, and you need him on this team if they hope to get out of this slump.
So what do you do to get Mike Hoffman to buy in? Well, that’s a great question. Pierre and Guy have tried many things to no avail:
• Yelled swear words at him
• Threw his street clothes into the wet shower
• Stole his box of Oh Henry’s and replaced them with Bounty Bars
• Put him on a line with Nate Thompson and Gabriel Dumont (who?)
All of these methods failed, so there is only one thing left to do: trade him
But bRian, we need him to win you said? Doesn’t trading him away mean the exact opposite? Well, yes and no, and maybe. Hear me out here: you call Mike Hoffman at 2am in the morning and tell him that he’s been traded to Florida. Mike will hop out of his bed excited as anything, because Mike’s dream is to be on Miami Vice. Mike rushes over to the CTC to meet with Pierre and to collect his things. But when he arrives, Pierre tells him he’s just kidding, he’s actually been traded to Calgary to play for his old buddy Dave Cameron.
Yes, Mike Hoffman will take a swing at Pierre and yes, he may knock Pierre out cold. But this action will get the most energy and emotion out of Mike than anyone has ever seen. When Pierre comes to, he’ll say, “Mike, welcome to your first day being an Ottawa Senator.” Hoffman will pull Pierre up and they will embrace and cry. The Rocky 2 music will start playing in the background as clips of Mike Hoffman lighting it up for the Ottawa Senators start playing, thus turning this team around into a Stanley Cup contender.
Many of you have now read that Matt Duchene met with Senators management to see if all of this losing was his fault. Luckily, Chad has provided me the transcript:
Dorion: Hello Matt, please take a seat. I hear you have something to ask me and Eugene. I’m not sure why this couldn’t wait till the morning? It’s 4am!!
Duchene: I couldn’t sleep. You see, I have this uneasy feeling that all of this is happening because of me. Your record was decent before I came here. I just need reassurance that it’s not my fault, you know?
Melnyk: Well to be honest Matt, this is ALL your fault. And not only that, it’s also the fault of all the fans in the City of Ottawa. I told them this is the best it will EVER get and they still don’t buy tickets? No, it’s ridiculous. I am going to cut your salary in half, I’m going to burn down the CTC because GUESS WHAT? I OWN IT. I CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT. SIT DOWN PIERRE. DON’T MAKE ME WHACK YOU. Maybe Matt Duchene, you take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and then come to the realization that you have let down a City, and a Nation. I hope you find peace within yourself before you go straight to Hell
Matt Duchene walked out devastated. Instead of heading to practice, Matt decided to go on a spiritual journey. A spiritual journey to find himself. To find the meaning of life. He headed to the most sacred location in Ottawa: Mount Pakenham.
As Matt started the long journey up the mountain, he took one last bite of his Oh Henry, as he knew it would be his last meal in a long time. Half way up, Matt fell in a heap and screamed, “I CAN’T DO THIS. IT’S TOO HARD”
Suddenly, a voice echoed over the mountain: “Get up my son. I will give you the strength to carry on”
Matt immediately jumped to his feet and began running up towards the peak. But the voice he heard was not of the divine elk. It was something much more sinister. It was Erik Condra on a megaphone. Before Matt Duchene could come to the realization that God did not speak to him, he was hit by the boulder.
Erik Condra rolled a snow boulder so huge and then rolled it towards Duchene. Matt was launched at least 50 feet into the air and then rag-dolled down the mountain. Condra brandished his gold teeth and whispered, “Revenge is sweet”
Suddenly, a roar that was deafening came over the mountain. The avalanche covered all evidence of what happened that day. Both Duchene and Condra were nowhere to be found, and as the dust settled, it was as if they were never there. Until a hand breaks through the snow as it clenches a fist....
To be continued.....