This is Not a Joke

…but it should be.

For those of you who haven’t heard about this from the Mercury News:

Even before the Red Wings and Sharks take the HP Pavilion ice tonight to open Round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Detroit appears headed for the penalty box.

Seems the Wings’ charter flight to town after they polished off the Phoenix Coyotes broke the notorious 11:30 p.m. curfew at Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Call it home-airport advantage.

At stake: a potential $2,500 fine, unless the team can talk its way out of a late-night curfew, the same rule Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has grumbled about for years. To soothe nearby neighbors, the airport prohibits airliners from taking off or landing from 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., unless the late arrival is due to bad weather, mechanical problems or air traffic control — all conditions outside the pilot’s control, said airport spokesman David Vossbrink.

But the Wings’ DC-9 jet landed in San Jose at 12:19 a.m. Wednesday, an apparent violation.

My suggestion would be to send the bill to whatever NHL slappy decided it was a good idea to have Detroit play a game in San Jose, California two days after playing a Game 7 in Glendale, Arizona.  I think Snidely Whiplash must be the guy in charge of scheduling all of the Red Wings play-off games.

And can’t you see Gary Bettman sitting in his office with some other moron and saying, “Oh and watch this!” Then he picks up his phone and calls air patrol to make sure they know that Detroit is coming in late.

What did you expect them to do?  Fly back to Detroit on Tuesday night, then turn around and fly out to San Jose on Wednesday so that they could play a game on Thursday?  Did you want them to fly into another airport?

Time for you to step up and pay the bill, NHL.