Friday, July 23, 2010

That other Russian guy that isn't Frolov goes to Disneyland

[PREFACE: I wrote most of this, except for the very end, before Kovalchuk's decision to sign with the Devils earlier this week. I was waiting for a decision so I could write the ending. Well, it's kind of an ending for now?]

(SCENE: JARRET STOLL driving STOLL'S Benz/BMW/Lexus/Whatever with JUSTIN WILLIAMS in the backseat and ILYA KOVALCHUK riding in the front passenger seat)
ILYA KOVALCHUK: No really, where you taking me?
JARRET STOLL: Lombardi wanted us to show you a good time in the city.
KOVALCHUK: Why he doing here? (gestures towards Justin Williams)
STOLL: (Sighs) To make sure I don't piss off your wife.
KOVALCHUK: I uh… I do not understand.
JUSTIN WILLIAMS: Stoll-Mole is trying to say we don't want Mrs. Kovalchuk killing the whole LA thing for you.
STOLL: By that he means no fun. Pffffft.
KOVALCHUK: Oh good. Where are are we going then now?
WILLIAMS: You, uh… what about… well, what do you want to see?
KOVALCHUK: Mickey Mouse. I want to see Mickey Mouse.
STOLL: You're kidding.
KOVALCHUK: Oh no. We do not have Land of Disney in Mother Russia. Wife never let me go to Land of Disney in Florida because they do not like Donald Duck in Lithuania because he does not wear pants.
WILLIAMS: (blink, blink) Ohhhkay. I don't think a trip to Disneyland can possibly go wrong. Right, Stolly? (punches Stoll's shoulder)
STOLL: (deadpan) Oh stop, Willy, you're hurting me.
WILLIAMS: That hurt my hand. I think I heard a crunching sound.
KOVALCHUK: So we see Mickey Mouse?
STOLL: (unenthusiatic) Yes. We'll go to see Mickey Mouse.
WILLIAMS: And that sinful pantless Donald Duck. Ah! Ah!?
STOLL: You're supposed to make things not worse.

(CUT TO: Giant Disneyland parking garage)

WILLIAMS: Remember everyone, we're in the Itchy lot.
KOVALCHUK: Itchy? That is Goofy. Goofen fore!
STOLL: Don't worry about Willy. He just watches too much TV in the hospital. We're in Goofy four, Willy.

(CUT TO: Disneyland tram queue)

KOVALCHUK: Oh trains! In Mother Russia trains are not happy thing. What is name of the train ride?
STOLL: Relax. The tram is just going to take us to Disneyland.
WILLIAMS: This is gonna be fun! I never get to go to Disneyland without my kid and he never wants to go on Splash Mountain!
STOLL: This is among many reasons I don't have kids.
KOVALCHUK: You really like Splash Mountain.
STOLL: Sure... We'll call it Splash Mountain.

(CUT TO: Line for Splash Mountain)

STOLL: Willy! Go get a wheelchair so Kovy here doesn't have to wait in line.
WILLIAMS: Why do I always have to get a wheelchair?
STOLL: Because you know how to operate one.
WILLIAMS: It's really not that hard. You just—
STOLL: —Make with the handicap while I try to explain these vaguely racist animals.
STOLL: …and that's how I got three rabies shots in one year.
KOVALCHUK: (inching away from Stoll) Justin Williams! You are back! In wheeled chair!
WILLIAMS: Yeah yeah. Let's not keep Mr. Ilya waiting in line with the creepy robotic animals any longer.
KOVALCHUK: In Mother Russia we cannot make animals into robots. The delicious meat too precious.
WILLIAMS: These aren't real animals. They're just robots. They just put fake animal stuff on robot parts and—
STOLL: —I've already tried. Just let him think they're zombies or whatever.
WILLIAMS: That's horrifying.
KOVALCHUK: Like Rasputin! (huge smile)
STOLL: OK, we have to lift Willy out of the chair and into the log. Willy, pretend your legs don't work.
WILLIAMS: Yeah yeah. Very funny. (crosses arms)

(ENTER: McSwarley being lazing and not wanting to describe Splash Mountain to you)

(Walking away from Splash Mountain)
KOVALCHUK: I still do not understand. About what were animals singing?
WILLIAMS: That it's a good day?
STOLL: Did you like the big drop at the end?
KOVALCHUK: Oh yes. Very much. Donald Duck can't be that bad if he has all these happy robot animals.

(ENTER: TAYLOR HALL taking photos with Mickey Mouse)

KOVALCHUK: Oooh! Mickey Mouse! (runs toward Mickey Mouse)
TAYLOR HALL: You! Your free agency stunt ruined my draft party! This is supposed to be my time!
KOVALCHUK: I do not understand you, Boy Donkey. Why are you so angry?
HALL: Me! All those pun headlines were supposed to be about me! (lunges at Kovalchuk)
KOVALCHUK: I do not want to punch you, Boy Donkey. This is supposed to be happy place not place for fighting.
STOLL: C'mere kid.
HALL: I don't wanna!
STOLL: Just come here, kid, and talk to me and Willy for a minute.
(Stoll puts Hall in a headlock and punches him)
STOLL: Don't... Ruin... This... For... Me!
KOVALCHUK: Let me help! You cannot ruin happy place for Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams.
WILLIAMS: You… you don't fight. Apparently, he does… kinda? (points at Kovalchuk pulling Hall's shirt over his head)
STOLL: It's called suspension of disbelief. You're just here a comedic device. You normally spend the summer in New Jersey for some fucking reason.
WILLAIMS: Right-o.

(CUT TO: Disney security escorting Stoll, Williams and Kovalchuk to Stoll's BMW/Benz/Lexus/Whatever)

WILLIAMS: Dean is going to send me to Edmonton for this. Then I'm gonna have to see that kid every day!
STOLL: Stay with us and you'll get four tries a year to get that kid.
KOVALCHUK: I do not know if I like that. He seem he really want to hurt me.
STOLL: Do you really want to leave Willy to fend for himself whenever my junk goes out of whack? After all he's done for you with the wheelchair and all...
WILLIAMS: (Looks helplessly at Kovalchuk)

(SCENE: DEAN LOMBARDI's office at the Toyota Sports Center)
DEAN LOMBARDI: You told him what?!
WILLIAMS: The Hall kid was going to be in Edmonton?
LOMBARDI: Now, why did you do that?
STOLL: It seemed topical?
LOMBARDI: Topical? The guy can barely speak English. You could have told him the Hall kid was part donkey, and he would have believed you.
WILLIAMS: (mumbling) ...I thought he was part donkey.
LOMBARDI: OK, you have a point there, that kid isn't human… but, this Russkie jerkoff cost me seventeen days of my life! One of you… I have to make an example of one of you.
WILLIAMS: My knees can't take much more.
LOMBARDI: Stoll, I'm going to let you pick which knee you like more.
WILLIAMS: (reading off of cell phone) The league rejected that seventeen-year contract.
LOMBARDI: Give me my life back!

[ I was hoping to write a much happier ending. One that didn't involve busting kneecaps. Quisp has a better grasp on all this CBA mess. It sure will make for some good lolcats.]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodbye: Those Other Guys

Fredrik Modin: "Modin doesn't watch the replays. Modin knows he scored." I don't really remember ever listening to you talk. You scored goals in the playoffs, so that's really going to suck expecting these other guys to be able to score on the 5-on-5 in the playoffs next year. So I hope they watched carefully.

If you had stayed around longer I would have written to be something like The Most Interesting Man in the World. I don't even know why. You look more like Drunk Hulk.

Jeff Halpern: I decided I want to you stay. Only so I can post this picture every week.

At first you confused us. Another guy from Philly? Then you excited us. You scored some goals when the team was down a few guys (Ryan Smyth and Rob Scuderi). Then, you forgot that stuff. Then you forgot the defense part of your job. Then you got whiplash. Then, well, more of that stuff I mentioned before.

You restored my confidence in Peter Harrold. Thank you.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goodbye: Raitis Ivanans

Some people might be saying "Good riddance" to Raitis Ivanans, but I'm not one of those people. Much like the food chain, hockey needs it's big scary things that keep the smaller ones in line. You, Raitis, are one of those big scary things, what with your biceps being bigger than your head and all.

Some of us make coffee, some sell drugs, others deal with idiots all day. You fight. You also spit and swear, and anyone who gets paid to fight and swear while wearing ice skates is OK in my book. I'm not so big on the spitting, but it is a necessary evil.

So now I'm left wondering what big scary dude will be stepping in the enforcer role here in LA. Who will take the team to see Billy Elliot when they're in New York?!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

10 things that are worse than the Ilya Kovalchuk mess

Side note: I went to college with a girl named Ilya. Girl. Named Ilya.

Goodbye: Sean O'Donnell

No one can blame you for not wanting to retire yet, OD. I won't begrudge you that. Hell, we even named an imaginary—at least I think it's imaginary—legal clause after you. No Duck can be a King unless he was a King first, it's the Sean O'Donnell Clause*. This lets me hold out hope that some day George Parros will see the err in his ways.

In Philly, you'll be able to fight Dion Phanuef some more. You'll also get eat some strange thing called a "cheesesteak." Whatever. I don't think it's as good as an animal style double-double when you're hungover or just got off a five-hour plane ride. No, that is not a sex act.

I've been watching you since I was a kid so it's hard not to be sentimental.

Have fun, and maybe we'll see you back in the Southland in a few years.

*Someone on LGK made this up. I can't take credit.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Today will be day five of free agency or the Kovalchuk Sweepstakes. Dean Lombardi has yet to sign any free agents, so of course Kings fans are whining, panicking, threatening suicide and whatnot. Hey, I would like to have a Richard Rocket Trophy winner as much as any other fan out there. I also see that in the salary-cap era, bleeding the team dry to pay that one player is a really fucking dumb idea.

You know what else sucks about a $100M contract? No one wants to take that trade! If Kovy ends up on the wrong side of Matt Cooke's knee and suddenly becomes an overpaid 15-goal scorer, that really is a huge blunder. Suddenly the Justin Williams deal doesn't seem so bad since it's not a 10+year contract.

If anyone is going to get a 10 year contract out of Deano it's Drew Doughty, who has had the crown tattoo'd on his ass since the age of five.

I don't know that much about Ilya Kovalchuk. I don't know if he's really a nice guy who recycles, and adopts dogs from the shelter instead of buying them from stores who get their animals from evil, no good puppy farms. He might be the first guy you call when you're too drunk to drive yourself home and don't have the cash for a cab.

If Kovalchuk does take an offer from a team like the Islanders, Panthers, or Columbus—who all have the cap space—instead of team like the Kings it does tell me one thing: he cares a whole lot more about money than being on a playoff team.

I want a second-line centre* and a sniper for Christmas. I really do.

I'm not a Dean Lombardi cheerleader, but this is the longest the Kings have ever stuck to a plan instead of looking for the quick-fix.

You know what else? I'm not a GM. I don't expect a whole lot of other people to be capable of my job, putting up with my batshit crazy boss and clientele, and not screwing up severely to cost money I don't have.

*Jarret Stoll is third-line centre number one. You know it, I know it, and the Canadian people know it. I've given up on explaining backchecking to other Americans.