Scorchstack Issue #46- Expansion draft special

Personally, I think all Scorchstacks are special :-)

How about a few laughs to take away from the pain of losing the captain for nothing, just like how you also lost the last captain for nothing? Scorchstack is comfort food for the Flames’ fan soul (new slogan?).


What’s inside?

  • The Scorchies took their turn drafting the Seattle Kraken, each built around a different [advertising dipshit voice] concept.

  • That’s it. That’s all you get. Don’t be greedy.

Since last issue


The Scorchstack expansion draft

Scorchstack is always a little bit different than the rest, many people are saying this about us. Instead of doing the same mock drafts where we either galaxy brain our way around Seattle taking our favourite players (they’ll love Glenn Gawdin in the PNW!) or draft six versions of the exact same team with minor variations, we decided to base our hypothetical Seattle Krakens around six different concepts. It’s not about quality or standing points, it’s about the brand.

Concept: Analytics

by Nathan (@hanoten)

Man, do I love them. I spend a lot of time tweeting about how many teams have so and so in their analytics department, or if they even have one. That shit correlates to playoff wins. What are analytics? Don’t ask me, I’m not actually sure. But I know I love them!

And what’s the best part of analytics? Charts. I love charts because they’re simple. Blue? Good. Red? Bad. Is a number under 50%? I hate it. But when the number is over 50%? Well, we have a star in the making. Don’t ask me for context, I’m just gonna throw these charts online and hit you with the eyeballs emoji. These aren’t even my charts, but I wish they were. Then I could profit off of them. Maybe I’ll try and profit off of them anyway.

So how could I not make the best chart team when drafting my expansion team? Gonna give ol’ Pierre a big heart attack with my commitment to analytics. (He’s in Ottawa now lol). I don’t care about how they fit on the roster, and I don’t care about how they exist in the real world. If CapFriendly let me build this team, it means it’s possible. There are no charts for cap hit, so it’s not real. Also, I took advantage of being 10% over in the offseason.

First, I logged into evolving-hockey.com, because you don’t need to actually be smart, you just need to know who to grift off of. Then I looked through all their player charts, and got the best forward, defender, and goalie per team for the last three aggregate seasons.

I saw that they actually released their own roster, but it was so long and had no charts. I would say that’s a big red zero on me reading all that. I can’t share that on my Twitter? I’m looking for easy engagement here, not anything meaningful.

Let me show you the next Stanley Cup champions.

When the NHL players and their agents see this roster, they’re going to ask me to give some of their salary back so that we can build a winner here. I’ll tell them I’ve already got charts that predict their salary/60, and they have no choice but to accept it. I’m going to be just like Moneyball and win every championship from here on out. I will vaguely reference any chart I can cherry-pick to fit my narrative.

You better believe that I’m going to tweet about this and talk about how a few NHL teams are asking me where I’m getting this information from. Soon, I’ll put this information behind a paywall and release minimal content, if any, to justify you paying for it. I will be entering into a partnership with an AJECOHL team (where I will not mention I pleaded with them to volunteer) and use that as my projected springboard to being an NHL GM, before unceremoniously being asked to leave the arena after the ninth game.

Don’t @ me.

(ed. note: Evolving Hockey is a legitimately fantastic resource that deserves your money for its hard work. Be kind to the twins, they give us way more than they should for what they ask in return)

Concept: Tanking

by Christian (@decayinwtheboys)

With all the pre-expansion chatter about Seattle’s intentions, we can safely say that the Kraken will be going for it on day one. It might be that the Golden Knights set the bar high, or that it’s good marketing to sell a non-traditional hockey market on an immediate winner, or that NHL GMs have once again exposed both their ass and just enough good players for Seattle to make a legit team early on.

But I disagree with this approach for a few reasons, most of them personal:

  1. I hate repeats. Vegas going all the way to the finals in their first year was inspiring. Seattle doing it would just be lazy recycling by the writers.

  2. Truly awful teams are a joy unto themselves, and I’m upset that we haven’t been able to witness a real stinker in a modern parity-driven NHL. You might bring up the shamelessly tanking 2014-15 Sabres, but they at least won 23 games. The expansion Capitals were only able to win eight. I would like to see a team worse than that, true sicko stuff.

  3. The Shane Wright, Connor Bedard, and Matvei Michkov drafts are coming up. Early guess, but there’s going to be at least a few teams that will figure out that hitting rock bottom is more preferable than trying their best and finishing with the ninth overall pick. Seattle’s gotta out-loser them, and with a blank slate, they already have a leg up on the competition.

  4. If Seattle wins a bunch of lotteries early on, some of the funniest fans with an internet connection will be complaining that the entire thing is rigged, despite them having won, I dunno, let’s say four draft lotteries. That’s always good content.

  5. The Flames could really use another bum Pacific team to pick up easy points against on a half-hearted run to the playoffs.

  6. They hired Dave Hakstol to be their coach, which has already set the ceiling at a tidy first-round exit after a rollercoaster season. Hakstol had the best years of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Shayne Gostisbehere, and the rest of them and flushed it all down the pipes. He does not deserve good players, the Kraken must be punished for allowing the possibility of Dave Hakstol coaching good players.

The obvious play here is to tank. Will Seattle accept a loser? Well, they’ve put up with the Mariners for 50 years now, so yes, they do not mind a loser. If you factor in the Supersonics leaving for the barren wastelands of Oklahoma and then becoming good, I think that Seattle is the perfect place for a loser team. It really can’t be the worst they’ve seen.

So what are we looking for?

  1. Bad players, should be obvious why. Preferably, 30+ because the playoff experience and veteran leadership will come in handy for trade deadline.

  2. Some good players. I’m not trying to draft too many, but we need just enough to flip for top 100 picks and prospects.

  3. A handful of youngish guys who are still RFAs, some real “reclamation project” players. I don’t think they’ll be the sneaky good players the way William Karlsson, Alex Tuch, Erik Haula, and Reilly Smith were for Vegas, but we do need to keep the lights on in the interim while the lottery picks develop.

  4. Cap flexibility, both for term and space. Ideally, none of these contracts run beyond 2023, and we can keep around $8M in space at any given time. That will allow us to do some retained salary transactions and splash the cash on future free agents.

Without further ado, your Seattle Kraken!

Wow, they stink! This team is awful! Seattle Kraken? More like the Seattle Kracking-me-up. On account of how bad they are.

Don’t be fooled by Tarasenko and Niederreiter, they are Kraken in name only. I figure we can flip them immediately after the roster freeze ends and bring back some of those sweet, sweet first-round picks and A prospects. Drouin could also be flipped, but we’ll see if we can boost his value with a bounceback season.

Our “young core” is Dylan Gambrell, Christian Fischer, Mason Appleton, Blake Lizotte, Julien Gauthier, Nick Merkley, Zach Aston-Reese, Michael Amadio (literally have never heard of this guy), Ben Harpur, Jakub Zboril, Haydn Fleury, and Nikita Zadorov. They are just holding space until we can push all of them out by 2025. A quick glance on hockeydb tells me that none of them are good. Who really knows with young players, but when the best season put forth by any of them is Christian Fischer’s 33-point 2017-18 season, I feel pretty confident that we won’t see any breakthroughs.

As for the rest, well they’re the real highlights of team tank. I figure Seattle might be able to squeeze a few assets to take Erik Johnson, Milan Lucic, Mikko Koskinen, and Frans Nielsen from their teams, but I also want to use them in heavy minutes. That’s key to this plan. I want a Lucic-Nielsen-Comeau first line. I have literally never heard of Cam Johnson, but he needs to be a 1B on this team. Erik Johnson was once a first overall pick and by God, he’s going to use that experience to get the Kraken more of those first overall picks. I think that’s how it works.

Concept: Vibes (obviously)

by Ramz (@ramzreboot)

This was extremely difficult for me as I am a Libra and incredibly indecisive. I don’t think I’ve felt stress like this since last week when I didn’t know if any of the dresses I ordered for my cousin’s wedding were going to fit me. Don’t worry, one looks ok.

We already knew I was going to do vibes. What, you want me to talk stats or something? Grow up.

This was difficult because of what I wanted this team to be in the end. Did I want a theme? Did I want just the hotties? Maybe pick as many Italians as possible to prove I am not racist against Italians. But then I was like, “I got it. Pick the baldies.” So I wanted to pick a team of only bald men. How sick is that? Just a full team of bald dudes. But then I was going through the rosters and like, the first four teams I looked at had zero bald men (we’re not including Ryan Getzlaf because he doesn’t exist). So I’m like, “Alright, let’s pick as many baldies as possible.” But that was also not working because not as many teams as I thought had bald guys.

So I just went with who I wanted and felt like. Literally for no particular reason. I try and pick a baldy as often as I can, but if I don’t, it’s ok. I also think it would have been hilarious to pick every former Oiler, but I only thought of that when I was about 60% finished and I wasn’t about to completely start over at 11:37 pm.

The teams went in alphabetical order and since Anaheim had no baldies except Getzlaf, I went with Sonny Milano specifically because he has a cool name and he looks like a cool dude. Then came Arizona and I went with Jason Demers because obviously. We then have the Bruins and you know I had to pick Taylor Hall.

Next is the Sabres and I picked Okposo. Then the Flames and I sadly picked Giordano, not only because he’s bald, but because I love him and want him to play with Dougie again, which segues us to Carolina. I then picked Malcolm Subban from Chicago, and Brandon Saad from Colorado because he’s a fellow Syrian and I couldn’t not pick him.

Then I realized my tastes were expensive and I’m 8 players in and almost halfway to my cap, so I started just randomly picking cheaper players who nobody has heard of because I want to give them a shot.

I however still looked up roster photos and picked baldies as much as I could if they weren’t too expensive. Here’s my full list. See players who you’re like, “I’ve literally never heard of this guy before. Are you sure he’s in the NHL?” And to that, I say, great fucking question, buddy. Couldn’t tell ya.

A few extra notes on players I picked: Jujhar Khaira because I wanted to save him from the Oilers. Alexander Wennberg and Marco Scandella because sexy. Jonathan Quick even though he’s expensive, but I had to because of this Tweet:

I, unfortunately, couldn’t afford Carey Price or Jordan Eberle because I made the decision to pick Alex Ovechkin instead since that’s funnier (yes I know he’s a UFA, leave me alone?). I picked Mathieu Joseph because how could the Lightning leave him exposed? Rude. Saved Dave from Toronto. The other players? Anyone who looks like he’s bald/balding, and the rest, who cares, throw a dart at all the players exposed on a team and choose what it lands on.

Now, you may be thinking, “Whoa Ramz, that’s a lot of free agents. You sure you want to do that?” and to that I say, “Yeah, obviously?” That adds to the appeal, idiot. You may be also saying, “Hey Ramz why’d you pick injured players or players in the minors?” Oh, like I was supposed to magically know they were injured or in the minors? You just expect me to know things about the “NHL”? You expect me to “read” things about the “NHL”? Shut up.


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Concept: Spengler Cup

by Floob (@itlooksreal)

The thing about this year’s expansion draft is that everyone assumes the Seattle Kraken will be built up using the same mold that the Vegas Golden Knights found considerable success with right out of the gate. But when you look at the history of expansion drafts in this league, you have to view Vegas as an outlier and expect Seattle to show up with a little more underwhelming of a product to kick off the 2021-22 NHL season. Keeping the Golden Knights aside, let’s go back to the year 2000, the last time we had to go through this whole process. The turn of the century brought the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild into the fold, two model franchises everyone tries to borrow from to replicate their results.

While it’s tough to argue who from this group of titans would go on to be the best of the best for their newfound franchises, the fact that it’s probably an already 31-year-old Mathieu Schneider, or some guy named Jeff Odgers really clearly speaks to the kind of quality you get when you pick through the rest of the league’s garbage to build your team.

Yes, the talent pool isn’t as diluted due to there only being one team selecting castaways this year. There are also scores of big names available for Seattle this time around, certainly talent that was never available to the likes of Minnesota and Columbus, but many of those players come saddled with all kinds of baggage, be it monetary or otherwise. The truth is, you’re far more likely to build a team of future Spengler Cup participants in an expansion draft than you are a Stanley Cup contender. Seeing as I happen to love that particular tournament with all my heart, I decided to go ahead and save everyone some time by drafting exactly that: an All-Spengler Cup team.

The Team:

(I don’t think this needs to be explained, but I selected this version of the Seattle Kraken using the Draft Simulator on CapFriendly)

Goalies

Zach Fucale - Pretty easy to kick things off with a guy who has already played in the Spengler Cup, like Fucale did for Team Canada in 2016, taking a break from tending the cage in the ECHL. That’s right, a guy who played goal in the ECHL 5 years ago is still technically around the NHL today.

Dustin Tokarski - Career highlights include an on-air Pierre McGuire orgasm following a save in the World Junior Championships, and that’s it.

Aaron Dell - Had to pick someone from New Jersey. Flipped a coin. I don’t think any of these other guys actually exist.

Cal Pickard - Pickard is actually pretty good as a career backup kind of guy, which is increasingly rare in the NHL. He does seem like the kind of goalie who would kill it in like Switzerland or something.

Defense

Olli Maatta - I do see Olli Maatta still being an NHL defenseman, whether that’s in Seattle or elsewhere, but initially I was trying to build a team that would indeed hit the cap floor. I later stopped caring about any of that.

Radko Gudas - Pretty good defenseman, but I assume eventually he gets banned from the NHL entirely.

Eric Gelinas - Carolina is pretty well built, this is the guy I picked from their exposed players. Eric Gelinas.

Alex Petrovic - There were obviously a lot of ways I could go with this from who gets selected from the Flames. It’s not going to be Michael Stone. We all know that. I don’t think Petrovic is coming back to Calgary one way or another, but going to Europe would go a long way to assuage my fears.

Derek Forbort - If you were to do a Spengler Cup create a player, that player’s default values would be Derek Forbort.

Matt Bartkowski - Hey remember Matt Bartkowski? He’s still around!

Taylor Fedun - Spengler Cup written all over this guy.

Tyler Wotherspoon - Maybe this is the year he cracks the Top 6 on the Flames defense. /taps finger to ear I’m told Wotherspoon is now 28 years old and playing in Philadelphia’s system.

Jack Johnson - Is there going to be an NHL team that hasn’t learned the lesson half the teams in the league also failed to take heed of and take a chance on Jack Johnson?

No.

Forwards

Vladimir Tarasenko - This is my big joke for this article. Vladimir Tarasenko!

Derek Grant - When a serviceable 4th liner stops being a serviceable 4th liner in the NHL, he becomes a serviceable third liner for some team in a league where all the franchises are located in an extremely tall mountain range in Europe you’ve somehow never heard of.

Patrick Maroon - Eventually, GMs are going to wise up to this Patrick Maroon wins the Cup every year grift, and then he’s going to need to move to Russia and start winning championships all over again. He’ll probably have to change his name.

Matt Nieto - Matt Nieto is from Geneve Plage.

Devin Shore - Spengler Cup guy.

Jayson Megna - The Lonny Bohonos of the 2020s.

Brandon Pirri - I was so sure this guy was good, but he’s flamed out of pretty much any opportunity he’s ever had. See you in hell, Brandon Pirri.

Josh Ho-Sang - We all agree the NHL is too racist to ever give Ho-Sang a shot, yeah? He feels like a guy that could light it up overseas. He probably will.

Brad Richardson - The Spengler Cup always features a guy that just refuses to retire, and Brad Richardson just quietly keeps playing hockey for professional teams. I feel like he just sneaks in the back and puts on his skates so slowly no one notices he’s even there.

Alex Galchenyuk - There are only 32 NHL teams, and you can only play for so many of them twice.

Greg McKegg - Greg McKegg, Team Canada captain. Not doing the Simpsons bit.

Frederik Gauthier - Pretty sure everyone is picking this guy for a Spengler Cup team even before reading this.

Sven Baertschi - This one makes me sad, but you have to figure if he’s going to keep his hockey career going, he’s not doing it in North America. I still love him. I just want Sven to be happy.

Mikhail Grigorenko - I love Grigorenko because grifters are the best. Let him con General Managers in Europe. I’ll bet he can convince a team he’s 23 years old.

Michael Frolik - This one also makes me sad, but at least an OG 3Mer had a baller NHL career. Nothing you can complain about. I would rather wind down my professional career in some impossibly picturesque town in Northern Europe than be a healthy scratch for the Winnipeg Jets.

Pontus Aberg - Had to pick a guy.

Other

Everyone on the Ottawa Senators - Literally all of them qualify here. They could realistically be the first NHL team to play in the Spengler Cup. They would finish third.

Concept: I hate you

by Konnie (@konnie49)

Yes, this expansion team is entirely based on the fact that I hate every single fan base in the NHL and each of my draft team picks are made with the sole intent to piss off all of them. I don’t care for wins, how fucked the cap will be for my eventual team, or even if the player selected has absolutely zero intention of staying there. As long as every single fan of an NHL team is able to look at this list and be disappointed, then my work is done.

For some teams, that means avoiding the really expensive contract that if Seattle were to take, then it would free up so much more cap space for them to do something in the off-season, and instead choose a young, cheap player that will undoubtedly become a productive player in the NHL. Other teams, it means losing a beloved player/prospect just to deliberately disrespect that team. Either way, no team will be spared.

As such, I have taken the time to browse hockey twitter to see each team’s fanbase and evaluate which player they are complaining about losing the most for each selection. The more complaining, the better. Any fan that is begging Seattle to take is immediately taken off my list, as I do not want to make anyone happy in this decision. While my intention isn’t to draft a winning team, nevertheless early success similar to what Vegas achieved would certainly fuel the rage even further, as all of your beloved players would have certainly achieved if your team would have just kept them.

Without further adieu, let’s look at the picks.

Anaheim - Haydn Fleury. A young defenceman that was only just recently picked up in a trade that Anaheim fans see a lot of potential in? Why yes, thank you very much indeed. Also doesn’t allow the Ducks to get away with that albatross of a contract Adam Henrique has.

Arizona - Christian Fischer. He has underperformed in Arizona (evergreen statement) but he is still 24 and could get an opportunity in Seattle to flourish that Coyotes fans have been begging the team to give him.

Boston - Jeremy Lauzon. Top 4 guy that Boston really needs as their team enters its final years with the Bergeron top core, and is still young.

Buffalo - Will Borgen. No clue who this guy is, and he was really the only thing close to a guy that Buffalo fans were complaining about. Congrats Buffalo, no matter what the context is, your team continues to suck. I hope Seattle doesn’t even keep Borgen and instead sends him to Toronto or something.

Calgary - Matthew Phillips. Yes, we have all in Calgary have come to the realization that Mark Giordano is the set in stone as the pick for Seattle, but while it is still very sad, there is some cap relief heading the Flames way, which could lead to large scale change. This is why I went with the extremely fun Phillips, who we here at Scorchstack love dearly and would be very heartbroken at losing him.

Carolina - Jake Bean. Yet another defenceman that the fanbase is pissed that he was left exposed.

Chicago - Adam Gaudette. This one isn’t about the pick per se, but more to the fact that the Blackhawks keep Zadorov and grossly overpay him on his next deal, crippling their rebuild attempts. Good, they deserve it. (ed. note: also of course franchise would be upset about losing a MAGA guy)

Colorado - Gabriel Landeskog. I don’t care that he is a UFA, I’m still stealing your captain. Seattle would get a whole extra week to convince him to play for them, and having absolutely no troubles signing him to the number he wants just might do it.

Columbus - Max Domi. How funny would it be if Columbus loses another underachieving centre only for them to completely explode for an expansion team again? With Domi, that actually isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Dallas - Adam Mascherin. Not really much to go here to piss anyone off, but Mascherin had a really good year in the AHL. A strong NHL performance will lead to a lot of fans thinking what could have been, especially if Jason Dickinson flops in Vancouver since it was the guy Seattle was targeting.

Detroit - Troy Stecher. A decent defenceman on a shit team that just acquired an expensive defenceman. Nothing more infuriating than that.

Edmonton - Tyler Benson. God, Oilers fans won’t shut up about how leaving this guy exposed is going to be the end of the world. So good, I hope they lose their shit during the draft and we get more Oilers media takes.

Florida - Frank Vatrano. With a side deal likely in the works already for Florida, it looks like they will take Vatrano and still get Chris Driedger in free agency. You lose two players while others lose one? That will ruin your corn flakes in the morning.

Los Angeles - Troy Grosenick. The Kings specifically left an expensive goalie for Seattle to relieve themselves of, only to have their AHL goalie plucked away, only for Seattle to not even use him. That’s how little Seattle will think of the Kings.

Minnesota - Kaapo Kahkonen. The Wild will have so much dead cap in the coming years that losing your future goalie while protecting a 34-year-old Cam Talbot is going to go over so poorly when Kahkonen wins a Vezina with the Kraken.

Montreal - Literally anyone.

They get pissed off about anything that happens in the league.

Nashville - Rocco Grimaldi. You lose good depth forward and a really fun name.

New York Islanders - Kieffer Bellows. A top prospect that is seldom used and seldom performs all of the sudden find his game in a new franchise will really sour any fan who has to wallow in their pitty watching a team protect Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck.

New York Rangers - Barclay Goodrow. With the Rangers are about to sign him to an absolutely horrible deal, this pick may seem like I am being nice to the Rangers. However, it would only be because it will only give fans hope, only for Seattle to not even bother making Goodrow an offer and he signs his awful deal with the Rangers anyways once free agency starts. A truly long game pain plan.

Ottawa - Joey Daccord. Eugene Melnyk is still there so even if Daccord turns out to be great, Sens fans would say, “Even if he was good here, Ottawa would never pay him anyways”.

Philadelphia - Shayne Gostisbehere. After the past two years of being absolutely shit on by fans, media, and even his own coaches, Gostisbehere coming out of the gate and destroying expectations will certainly have everyone in Philadelphia rip their hair out and punch each other in the mouths.

Pittsburgh - Ron Francis. Yes, Francis chooses himself and takes everything he ever achieved in Pittsburgh only to hang it in Seattle’s building as if he accomplished it all there.

San Jose - Radim Simek. Apperently he is the one defenceman that holds their entire team together. Yes, this is yet another kick to your respective balls.

St. Louis - Sammy Blais. Watch St. Louis not only lose a guy with decent middle-six potential, but Vince Dunn asks for to be shipped out anyways to Seattle.

Tampa - Alex Barre-Boulet. Even though the big name players are tempting, even they aren’t worth helping out Tampa’s cap situation.

Toronto - Jared McCann. Trading away assets for a guy only to lose him is exactly the peek level of GMing we can expect from the mastermind that is Kyle Dubas. The fact that they are so willing to stay with what they have despite all of the evidence to prove that it doesn’t work is already has everyone in Toronto’s blood boiling.

Vancouver - Kole Lind. You left absolutely nothing good, and I’m still taking a player that is the closest to something better than nothing.

Washington - Alex Ovechkin. Yes, your captain and best player in franchise history. He is a UFA, but to force everyone to have to say that he was not part of only one NHL team for his entire career will certainly drive any Capitals fan crazy for the rest of their lives every single time it is brought up.

Winnipeg - Mason Appleton. A guy that Winnipeg looked so desperately to move for a good deal only to lose him for nothing.

Well, there is my team. Is it any good? Probably not, but at least it leaves everyone with a very foul taste in their mouth and leaves them with absolutely zero hope for the future of their franchise. In term, picking such a shit, likely not even compliant team, pisses even Kraken fans off too. Then the league gets pissed off because Seattle didn’t even submit a team that followed any of their rules. This is truly perfect.

Concept: Walking into the 7-11 with a $100 bill as a kid and buying the most expensive assortment of junk food because mom went drinking with her gals and dad hasn’t been seen since he left for milk seven months ago.

by Mike (@mikeFAIL)

Imagine you’re a kid again. You have hope in your heart, you lack the existential fear that you might die alone, and you have an optimistic outlook for your future despite the fact that climate change is ravaging this piss rock planet by the second. Everything is great because your immediate world is you, your friends, your family, your neighborhood, maybe the creepy weirdo down the street, and your school. Oh and hockey, you love hockey.

Now imagine for a moment that mom is out on the town and she handed you a $100 bill and you have an insatiable hunger for junk food. This is your time to shine and spend, spend, spend! You rally up your three best friends: Bif, the Dreaded Laramie who is out of juvenile hall after setting fire to his dad’s Saab, and Brady. You have one goal in mind: spend everything on empty calories and in most cases, overpriced garbage.

This team is what happens when you let kids destroy their pancreas by spending everything they have in 7-11 on a bunch of garbage is composed of high-fructose corn syrup:

Forwards

  • Matt Duchene is someone I often forget exists. Then I remember there is that photo of him, in his Avalanche jersey at picture day, with a scowl on his face like GM Joe Sakic ran over his Nintendo. Only it’s not a Nintendo, it’s a Sega Game Gear and that’s because Joe Sakic is old and thinks everything is a Nintendo.

  • Vladimir Tarasenko is the flashy candy bar that everyone says is good, but when you bite into it you find out it’s empty calories and probably expired.

  • Loui Eriksson is the funny looking thing on the discount rack with several markdown stickers from it’s original price. You’re a dumb kid so you assume it’s a good deal (it’s not).

  • James Neal is the equivalent of a Mounds bar, but one of those extra large ones. No one in their right mind buys one, but you’ve got $100 to piss away so why not try something that is three years past it’s expiration date.

  • Milan Lucic is a gross, bloomed chocolate bar that has been hit with the same afternoon sun for weeks — just melting, regaining stability, melting, and if it had sentience would demand to be dumpstered immediately.

    Defense

  • Tony DeAngelo is the weird Italian candy you find that fell off the candy rack, was likely cited as being a choking hazard, and has been marked down to .99 cents in hopes that some poor soul will take it off the manager’s hands. There has also been a recall for this and you have likely seen your friends on the playground mistakenly purchase it.

  • Calvin De Haan is also someone I forget who exists. I looked up a photo of him and he reminds me of crushed bag of ketchup potato chips.

  • Shayne Gotsisbehere is the brand new Doritos flavor you see in television commercials. You rush out to the bodega or convenience store, buy it, enjoy the first few bites, and then realize it’s just a less-good version of an existing flavour.

  • Radko Gudas is the human form of rock candy. You know that crystalesque, sugar dense, vibrant color looking stuff you see at toy stores for $2 more than you would normally be comfortable paying for? Then when you take it home, you possess no knowledge of how to eat it so you bite down and immediately loose a tooth or worse? That’s Radko Gudas.

  • Troy Stecher is the local favourite, the guy everyone loves and still thinks isn’t appreciated enough. To Edmontonians, it’s Cuban Lunch. To people in the Lower Mainland? I don’t know because I don’t live there but I assume it’s a good Cactus Club dessert?

  • Dylan DeMelo is whatever people in Winnipeg enjoy but not enough folks care to eat once or twice a year. I assume Winnipeg has candy. Brady said his cousin in Manitoba is a big fan of DeMelo.

Goaltenders

  • Carey Price is a Hersey’s bar with almonds, only it’s been stepped on repeatedly and you can clearly see the 7-11 clerk had maybe stuck under the Taquitos’ heat lamp to reassemble at one point. Should you buy it, knowing it might result in a trip to the emergency room? Whose to say. You’re a kid! You don’t have any concept of the ordeal that could be.

  • Jonathan Quick is what happens when the Dreaded Laramie tells you to snort pixie sticks, chug a litre of mountain dew, and shoplift a bag of funions. Then when you run out of the store and chased, for whatever reason you decide to smash a discarded beer bottle on the street and stab the lowly employee making minimum wage. You should probably stop hanging out with the Dreaded Laramie.

This team might be a cap hit of $127,966,666 but the damage to your psyche is priceless. What I’ve created is a labyrinth of overpriced, past their expiration rate players on a team that would need another round of investors because they burnt all their money in an early flurry of poor spending. So I guess what I’ve made is the hockey equivalent to The Athletic. Go Kraken!


Up Next Week

  • Pray for the sweet release of death: the Flames have cap space and it’s free agency.