Monday, August 2, 2010

You Know It's Almost Hockey Season When...

1) commences their "30 in 30" feature, in which they preview all 30 NHL teams in 30 days.

2) It is exactly 60 days until Nino bobblehead night for the Portland Winterhawks. True, he may still be with the Islanders that night, but I never let NHL stardom stand in the way of a good bobblehead.

3) The Winter Classic location and Consol Energy Center have been unveiled.

4) Four Portland Winterhawks are off to development camps in Canada that will prepare them for opportunities in the world junior championships.

5) The "30 Years of the Stanley Cup" feature is up to 1995 and the New Jersey Devils' victory, complete with a 25-year-old Bill Guerin on the roster. And watching the entire team pile out of the box onto one another and high-fiving and hugging their families and what not never gets old. Ever. Maybe the teams change, but the thrill is the same.

6) I'm done with another rulebook and it's time to learn the business of hockey, what with the Blackhawks walking away from Niemi and Brashear being put on waivers immediately by Atlanta and all.

The rule: Section 5, Penalties. Other Penalties. Rule 575, Infringement of Change of Players Procedure. Rule 576, Diving.

575.a: Where a team attempts to make a player (s) change after its alloted period of time, the Referee shall send the player(s) back to the bench and issue a "warning" to the team. If this happens again, it's a minor penalty.

576: Any player who, at the discretion of the Referee, flagrantly imitates a fall, a reaction, or feigns an injury in an attempt to draw a penalty by his action, shall be assessed a minor penalty.

Morals of the story:

The game: I hate diving. No, correction. I freakin' totally, utterly hate diving. If FIFA wants to let the little suckers run around and do that in soccer, carry on. That's their perogative. But cheating your way to a face-off and a man advantage goes in my personal "not cool, dude" file.

Life: Faking it is how most people get through life. And there's no penalty for said actions. In fact, it's rewarded in most cases with promotions, bigger salaries, bigger houses, gold medals or a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But what if life punished us for the equivalent of diving? For example:

-- For screwing or starving your way to the top of Hollywood, a minor penalty of being forced to go to an audition every day, in which you are not really in contention but they just want to watch you try and get all excited that you might actually get the part.

-- For stealing others' work so you can get to the top, stay on top and score a bigger salary, a major penalty of demotion to a middle manager's job at the same company, with the accompanying smaller salary and cube, all so you can have the pleasure of answering to your new boss, the hard-working, honest middle manager whose work you were stealing.

Next up: Rule 590, Penalties for Goalkeepers through Rule 594, Goalkeeper Dropping the Puck on the Goal Netting.

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