As interesting as news of (Insert underachieving role player here) signing a 1 year deal with (Team that missed the free agency boat here) is, its good to see that a few NHL players have taken it upon their own to give us something to write about. As it was widely reported yesterday afternoon, Eric Staals bachelor party ended in handcuffs over the weekend, as 14 went down in the biggest disorderly conduct sting Lutsen, Minnesota has ever seen. While theres little doubt that whichever AP writer rushed to the presses with the story got the facts straight, there are a few curious omissions in the story that hes seemed to overlooked. First off, no one is considering EA Sports involvement in the proceedings. Staal is your cover boy for NHL 2008, which may explain why hes in trouble. The Madden Curse is such a cultural certainty since ESPN thought they cracked the case last fall, but has anyone considered the NHL EA Curse?
A sample of recent strokes of bad luck that have befallen the chosen ones:
- NHL 2004 – Dany Heatley; Effect: Um, so there was this sports car
- NHL 2005 – Markus Naslund; Effect: Was photographed on his bad side; caused NHL Lockout
- NHL 2006 – Vincent Lacavalier; Effect: Dumped by hot model Caroline Portelance
- NHL 2007 – Alexander Ovechkin; Effect: Still has to play for the Washington Capitals
Also, its interesting that the story only highlights the identities of two of the partygoers taken into custody: Eric and his younger Penguin brother, 18-year old Jordan. The reason for this is obvious; the other dozen in the back of police cruisers are Eric Staals unimportant buddies and miscellaneous parasites. Fine, I can accept that. But why wasnt there ANY OTHER MEMBERS of the Carolina Hurricanes at the bachelor party? Have you no friends in the locker room, Mr. Staal? I can understand dinosaurs like Glen Wesley and Rod BrindAmour politely declining, but one of those still young enough to have a decent beer tolerance? Where was Cam Ward? Andrew Ladd? Hell, Erik Cole prides himself on his drunken yelling at passing vehicles in the middle of the night. Where was he?
Also, where was Marc Staal? The Staal clan has produced 4 legitimate hockey talents, making them the most successful fraternal act since the Sutter six-pack. Its clear that Jordan was in attendance (hes got the underage drinking charge as a memento), and Eric was the guest of honor. Weve also heard Jared Staal couldnt make the festivites because he was grounded. (Thatll be the last time he freezes the backyard without permission.) So where the hell does that leave Marc?
Running from the cops, thats where.
I find it highly unlikely that the 64 Rangers prospect wasnt at his own bros symbolic final eve of single life – hes a jackass if he blew it off – which leads me to the logical conclusion that when he saw the flashing lights, he booked it into the Minnesotan forest. In fact, this just came out over the police scanner that I conveniently installed just prior to writing this column:
All right, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles per hour, and thats assuming hes not wearing hockey skates. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, penalty box, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and Dykhuis in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Youre fugitives name is Defenseman Marc Staal. Go get him.