Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Market the NHL Goes to Find Its Future.

This is why I want to be a guy again in the next life: Sephora stopped carrying my favorite hair care product, and the company that makes it has discontinuted it anyway. I think there's a beauty product Big Brother out there somewhere that waits until I really like a product and I've bought it at least three times, and then they discontinue it just to piss me off. Ditto for the guy in New Seasons who was in line ahead of me, and took the last of the yummy potato salad that I like.

That's it, I give up: I'm not coming out until it's time for the NHL Draft on Friday.

Speaking of which: Beginning this Friday, the NHL will spend two days wheeling and dealing to choose the next wave of their future. Riding it will be six Portland Winterhawks: Ryan Johansen, Nino Niderreiter, Brad Ross, Troy Rutkowski, Taylor Aronson and Mac Carruth. And don't be surprised if you see Luke Walker in there too. I don't know diddly about numbers and rankings and what not, so I'm going with my heart on this one. Here are my predictions, which because they are based on no factual information whatsoever, will never happen. But just in case:

Ryan: Vancouver Canucks. Backup: LA Kings. Genius playmaker running amok in the closest major city to his hometown. Works for me.
Nino: Chicago Blackhawks. They already have one Winterhawk, why not two?
Brad: Easy. Philadelphia Flyers. Again, they have one Winterhawk, I say go for two. Plus, Brad leads the Hawks in penalty minutes.
Troy: Pittsburgh Penguins. He's used to chaffeuring Portland's own superstar Nino around town, so I think he can handle the team that houses Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
Taylor: Anaheim Ducks. Dude, he grew up practically down the street from the Honda Center. How awesome would it be to return to his hometown as the conquering hero?
Mac: Dallas Stars. Again, two Winterhawks on one team works for me: Captain Brenden Morrow played for Portland.

And it's only four more days until the NHL Awards: I'm all in for Matt Duchene on the Calder and Sidney Crosby for whatever he's nominated for. Which is like, what...everything?

The Rule: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 551, Abuse of Officials and Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Team Officials.

This is basically the same as it is for players, with a few finer points: 551.d. If a team official 1) Holds or strikes an official. 2) Makes a travesty of or is detrimental to the conducting of the game. 3) Makes an obscene gesture to any official or any person. 4) Spits at a game official. He shall be assessed a match penalty.

Might want to make yourself scarce for this one: 551.e. If an identified team official throws a stick or any other object on the ice, it's a game misconduct for him and a bench minor for the team. But if the team official is unidentified, there is only a bench minor for the team.

Morals of the story:

The game: So, if you're a team official and you don't fess up to the crime, your team goes down with a penalty and you don't. Yeah, I'm sure it sits well with 20-something players with a game on the line that their aging, balding coach or assistant throws something down and then lets the Ref think it was "unidentified." It's one thing if you're a player and you don't own up, but if you're the boss...please. You do this, and your team will never respect you again. Ever.

Life: Perhaps if corporate America had a punishment for Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Company Officials, Wall Street wouldn't have melted down, BP wouldn't have flooded the ocean for the next three decades and Toyota's gas pedals wouldn't stick. Too much of life inside sky-high corner offices is allowed to go unpunished, and when it is, it just opens the gate for the competition to steal the market share. But what if we applied a game misconduct directly to the person or people responsible the minute we knew it was happening, instead of saying "oh it's just a bench minor since we couldn't figure out who did it?" And to be truly effective, the punishment would have to be rendered for all to see so no one did it again. Such as:

-- For Toyota's debacle, game misconduct for the CEOs and whoever helped them cover it up in the form of being blacklisted from ever buying another car again, and a free one-month bus pass to get them used to the concept of traveling in something other than a vehicle of their own.

-- For pharma companies or others who back bogus research like the vaccine-autism faux research pas...being forced to participate as a guinea pig in one of their fake trials, which should scare them enough to come clean that it's crap inside of about two weeks, tops.

Next up on 6/22: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 554.a. Keeping the Puck in Motion. 554.b. Displacing the Goal Frame.

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