Christmas time. My least favourite time of year. And not because I’m a bitter person, but because I’m a normal person. This is that time of year where you get in trouble from co-workers, friends and family for just being normal. I’d like to be myself and that’s not always a bundle of joy to behold, so others around me can’t understand why I’m not full of “The Spirit” or “The Christmas Cheer” during these dark, wintry times. I say @#$% off, everyone. Why can’t I just be me, like every other day of the year? Well, for whatever reason, we have to manufacture synergy (which is typically tasked to good architecture and good work) by simply being around people. And when we’re not around people it’s assumed we’re depressed.
So yeah, I’m not a big fan of this holiday, but no matter. I’m going to bestow upon my team, my favourite Dynasty of all times and places (sorry, Kublai Kahn), some gifts. Because as much as I hate the holiday season, I do like, and will always enjoy, the gift of giving.
Now, we as Red Wings fans have already been given a few gifts, spoiled bastards that we are. We’ve been given the gift of winning early in a season, which hasn’t graced our presence in seemingly forever (what has it been, like 2 years?). In addition, we’ve been granted the gift of liberty and democracy, thanks to The Production Line and Arby’s and the vote to restore Curly Fries as the reward of choice for a Detroit Instant Three Play. Lastly, we have been granted the ability to enjoy that Three Play with a hat trick soon after three goals from the venerable Nicklas Lidstrom. Merry Christmas, St. Nick.
So I’d like to give a few gifts back to the team that I enjoy watching play more than I enjoy anything else; or at least more than anything else I don’t have to pay $20/session for after 10 PM in a downtown establishment. My gifts are, of course, selfless, and meant entirely to help the team and further the glory of the Dynasty. The only selfish quality is how much I would love to hand out these gifts to each member of the team, but alas, we’ll settle for me telling them what I got:
To Mike Ilitch
I’d like to give you the gift of my complete, blind, unseeing, unworthy, uneconomical and undying loyalty. I have been with this team through the good years (i.e. my entire life) and the bad (i.e. that 8-0 loss to the BJ’s 2 seasons ago that was entirely Chris Osgood and Mikael Samuelsson’s fault). Until the Descolada wipes us out, I will always love thee.
To Mike Babcock
For you, good sir, I will donate the nearest mountain comprised of a majour granite outcropping. Because if humanity survives without your face chiseled into a Rushmore-style façade, then humanity doesn’t really survive.
To Pavel Valerievich Datsyuk
To my favourite athlete not named Maria Sharapova, I donate a perfectly good hand (actually, to both of you I donate a perfectly good hand, but with a unique context in each case). That’s right, for Christmas I give to thee Mike Modano’s other, perfectly functioning hand. I mean, he won’t mind, will he? Besides, it’s a perfectly good hand, plus it’s gigantic. Also capable of really fierce wrist-shots, that.
To Jiri Hudler
I’d like to give you the gift of: A Trigger. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that I’m being a wiseass, but that’s not it at all. I want you to have this trigger, and take it with you during your next excursion on the ice. And when you find yourself in the low slot, sometime next game, and you feel the urge to shovel the puck to the wing or skate it into the corner and lose a battle along the boards when a towering 5’11” defenseman shoves you off the puck with his forefinger – I’d like you to instead face them…face the goalie and both defensemen in the low slot and put the puck on your forehand…get yourself into a shooting position. And when you do? I’d like you to then take that trigger out, the trigger I’m gifting you for Christmas, and put it around your big toe, such that the trigger-guard is facing up, guarding the toe-nail and the trigger device is directly underneath your toe. Then, my good friend, pinch that toe, or step on it, or do what you have to do but make sure the other end of what your holding – that long, dark, four foot shaft which comes all the way up to your chin – is directly under your mouth, and clench! Clench it just like Ernest Hemmingway did, just like Walter M. Miller, Jr. did, just like Kurt Kobain did, just like Kanye West should have by now. Trust me on this one, Al Sobotka will give you a touching memorial when he swings your remains over his head.
To Johan Franzen
I will get you some new clown shoes, for when you show up to the office thinking you are somehow tied to that damnable clown, Magnifico Giganticus.
But when you show up as the Mule, you will have, courtesy yours truly, two saddlebags to carry the load of all the curly fries you’re going to be compiling. Now go get ‘em, Mule!
To Tomas Holmstrom
We all love everything about you, and there’s nothing you could ever do that could ever make us love you more. Still, I’m going to get you ice skating lessons. Because….well [shrugs shoulders, raises hands, palms up]…
To Henrik Zetterberg
Just take a look at Emma and tell us, in all honesty, you need anything. And if you can do that with a straight face, you can go @#$% yourself.
To Jimmy Howard
A treadmill. I mean, c’mon, dude. If you’re not going to drop the weight then I am going to get you a windowless van. Take your pick, you sick, disgusting underage-chick-magnet.
To Brad Stuart
I’d just like to give you some recognition, for all your efforts you get 0 goals, ½ of an assist and a -1 rating each night. But you save goals and smash bodies and keep our defensive zones clean. Please keep it up and don’t get discouraged that you don’t have the highlight-reel goals of even Brett Lebda [I will now let you punch me].
To Jonathan Ericsson
A pet lion? A sort of Bubastis thing, like Ozymandias owns in Watchmen? I mean, you’ve been great this year, and the only thing I think lacks from your game is a beat down of someone Wings fans hate. Are you doing anything during our next game against Pittsburgh?
To Nick Lidstrom
I feel like happiness exists because you’ve let the world know what it’s like to do well enough in life to be happy with the fruits of your own labour. This makes you, in a sense, the entire reason the giving season exists. So…Happy Birthday, St. Nick!
To our Namesake, Darren Helm
I give you the gift of whatever scoring touch is floating out there for fourth-liners that once inspired Kirk Maltby to score 50 goals in Juniors. Please, Darren, you’re an absolutely amazing hockey player. Let’s finish, from now until you do something a crazy, North American, prolific goal-scoring forward would do, like chop up your hands in a snow-blower or get your wrist slit by a skate or discover cocaine, finish!
Have a very Merry Christmas everyone, I’m quite a bit south of you all, so no white Christmas for me, very tragic. But don’t despair, and keep up the faith that the Wings will win more often than of late.
Happy Holidays to all faiths and Go Wings!