NHL General

The Goon

Every team needs a goon. You know, that guy who skates as well as a five year old figure skater and scores only when a far more talented player makes a nice deflection in front of the net. The goon’s job is not to score goals, his job is to annoy the other team and take stupid penalties (i.e. Donald Brashear).  The goon is as much a part of hockey as the ice they skate on. In the new NHL, the goon doesn’t necessarily have to fight people anymore. No, see the NHL has started acting like your mother, who use to peer through the front window and right when you were about to really lay into the neighborhood bully, would come screaming out the front door, embarrassing you in front of all your cronies. No, the goon doesn’t have to fight, because the NHL referees will come running over to break it up.

So what does a goon do now that he can’t fight someone? Well if you’re Brooks Oprik of the Pittsburgh Penguins, you slam someone like the playoff bound Hurricanes’ Erik Cole (a FAR more talented player as he has sixty points and Mr. Oprik is flying high with six) into the boards, causing him to have a compression fracture in vertebrae in his neck. He’ll be out of the lineup for 6-8 weeks now. If you’re Darius Kasparaitis, you go after the best hockey player in the world and try to take him down, but back down when another goon, Brashear, tries to actually get you to do something.

Since the goon is slowly becoming extinct, I have decided that it’s time for the goon’s role in the sport of hockey to change. Here are my suggestions:

1.    The goon should now be required to open the bench door for the players. The backup goalie has enough on his plate, what with warming the bench and all, so it’s only fair that the goon do some manual labor.
2.    The goon could become “that kid” on the bench, who shouts out cheers to try to mess with the other teams’ head, but only manages to annoy the person sitting next to him (“We want a hat trick, just a little hat trick, H-A-T T-R-I-C-K, just a little hat trick!”)
3.    The goon would be required to split his time between games he is scratched and games he is “playing”, being the new team “mascot.” So while serving his three game suspension, Oprik could warm up the crowd in his very own penguin costume.
4.    During intermissions, goons could perform an intermission show for the fans. This can range from a figure skating routine, to fighting a goon from the other team, West Side Story style.
5.    Or, the goon could be required to learn how to play the game of a hockey in a manner that doesn’t involve them sitting in the penalty box. This would include: learning how to skate forward and backward, taking shots on the net that don’t ricochet off the boards, and learning how to pass onto their teammates’ sticks.

If only I ran the NHL. Think of the possibilities.

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