In a move unprecedented in professional sports, the NHL today cancelled the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs; opting instead to simply award the Stanley Cup to the Ottawa Senators next Tuesday. “Going forward, we just felt that this move was the best course for both the league and its fans”, said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. "Without Ovechkin to look forward to, there's nothing left that's worth seeing. And without that magnificent Russian scoring machine, what will the NHL beat writers possibly write about. Who in their right mind would want to read a hockey article that wasn't all about the wonderful Ovechkin? Certainly not me..."
As for awarding the cup to Ottawa, Bettman said it just felt like the right thing to do. "They've got such talented players and they've worked so hard. You just feel bad for them. Plus, they are a Canadian team, so the vast majority of our fanbase will be somewhat pleased. Just think what would've happened to me if I'd just given the cup back to those NASCAR loving hicks in Carolina", remarked Bettman. "You'd find my burned out carcass nailed to a tree outside of Moose Twat, British Columbia if I'd done that. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna give Lord Stanley's cereal bowl to those quiche eating surrender monkeys in Quebec either."
However, some NHL owners and General Managers were visibly outraged. “I think this really stinks”, said Cliff Fletcher, Interim General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “If any team deserves to just be handed the Stanley Cup, it is the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s not like we have the talent to win it by ourselves. Jesus, our coach is Paul Maurice for god’s sake. But Ottawa? Their Captain is from Sweden and their Goaltender is friggin Swiss! I’d rather see my daughter in a whorehouse than see Daniel Alfredsson’s name on our cup.” Fletcher bristled at the suggestion that the Maple Leaf’s Captain was also Swedish. “That’s a lie! This is Mats Sundin you’re talking about! Sundin not Sedin! How dare you criticize Mats Sundin! Mats Sundin is as Canadian as baseball and apple pie. All he’s ever done is given his heart and soul to our beloved Maple Leafs, and you reward him by questioning his Canadian heritage? Damn you all! Damn you all to hell!!!” Future Maple Leafs GM Jim Rutherford had no comment on the cancellation, but did mutter something unintelligible about Peter Laviolette, a tire iron and a garbage dumpster.
Other General Managers were also perplexed by the move. “I don’t know how the league can just arbitrarily award the Stanley Cup to some team other than the Red Wings”, said Detroit General Manager Ken Holland. “If the cup belongs anywhere, it is in Detroit. It’s a natural fit: Detroit is known worldwide as ‘Hockey Town’. And this place is such a crime infested sh*thole, we could use any help we can get to take our residents’ mind off the high unemployment rate and the rest of their miserable existence. By the way, you aren’t going to print that last part are you?”
Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau also weighed in strongly on the matter, saying: "Rezendez vous, parlez vous, voulez vous couche' avec moi, ce soi. Chateau Marcel Marceau escargot. Oui, oui mon cherie. Quiche vichyssoise! Inspector Clouseau. American pig dog! Ptooey!". He then smeared white makeup on his face, put on a black outfit with a striped shirt and funny hat, and tried to storm silently out of the room; but was thwarted when he encountered what appeared to be a very strong headwind. Unable to make headway, he became temporarily trapped in what might've been a glass box, before slowly pulling himself out of the room by means of an apparently invisible rope.
Oddly, Buffalo Sabres coach, Lindy Ruff’s response to the news was uncharacteristically calm: “This is B*llsh*T!!!” roared Ruff. “$#@%! *&%^, #*&#, *&%#ing bleep! We *&%#ing sucked way *&%#ing worse than those arrogant *&%#ing Ottawa Senators did! In fact, they were so *&%#ing arrogant they had *&%#ing champagne in their *&%#ing lockerroom before game four against the *&%#ing Penguins. They *&%#ing knew they were going to be awarded the *&%#ing cup. The league *&%#ing hates us. Everybody *&%#ing hates us. We get no *&%#ing respect. Their all out to get us. Well I'll just have somebody take out Spezza's knee or Heatley's achilles tendon and see how they *&%#ing like it. That's old time hockey right there. How Ottawa gets a cup without even putting a skate in the crease is beyond me. *&%# off and die!"
This unexpected cancellation comes on the immediate heels of the Philadelphia Flyer’s overtime, game-seven defeat of the Washington Capitals and the corresponding elimination of the NHL’s new poster boy Alexander Ovechkin. But despite increasingly strong outcries from the players and team executives to continue the playoffs as scheduled, the league remained firm in it’s position. “I mean, without Alexander Ovechkin in the mix, what’s the point”, said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “Sure, Sidney Crosby was still in the hunt, but he’s like so ‘last year’. That’s not to knock Sid or anything. He’s still got those juicy lips and a wicked wrist shot, but let’s face it; he’s no Alex Ovechkin. With that nut-hair beard and Russian accent, Ovi’s so dreamy I could just scream. And besides, given the NHL’s abysmal Nielson ratings, and the fact that Versus is only available in 16 U.S. households, it’s not like anybody will notice the difference anyway. ”
The Commissioner’s attempts to justify the action did little to allay the ire of angry team officials. “So this whole thing was because Gary went and got himself all butthurt that his Russian boy toy got eliminated?” stormed Leafs GM Fletcher. Well, we’ve got a Russian too, but I didn’t see that rat faced little bastard cancelling the season back in January when the Leafs were out of contention! Hell, you want Russian? How about Alexei Ponikarovsky? You can’t get anymore Russian than ‘Alexei Ponikarovsky’. Sh*t fire, I'll bet every one of you a shiny new quarter with a beaver on the back that you can't even pronounce Ponikarovsky! Hell, ‘Alexander’ could be damn near anything, except maybe Chinese or Korean. But Alexei? ... THAT’s pure Russian.” When asked his thoughts on Fletcher's Russian theory, Rutherford simply smiled and said, "Samsonov".
Meanwhile, the sporadic cable network Versus scrambled to fill its now vacant evening lineup. “Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘scrambling’”, remarked Jamie Davis, President of Versus Network. “We’ve got plenty of PBR Bullriding footage that’s just begging to be aired. And we’ve got years of old Tour de France highlights that we can, uh... recycle, pardon the pun. While we here at Versus are deeply disappointed that we will not have any more exciting NHL action to broadcast this spring; we are excited about the huge increase in ratings that PBR Bullriding and pre-recorded European Bicycling are sure to garner in these time slots.”
Friday, April 25, 2008
Ovechkin Eliminated from Playoffs; Bettman Cancels Remainder of 2008 NHL Playoffs; Awards Cup to Ottawa Senators Instead