(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate
We're all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively through its own imagination. Only social programming and sensory perceptions create the illusion of separateness. I am you. You are me. We are one. I hate no man... except for Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, Jaromir Jagr, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Roberto Luongo, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, any yet to be discovered Sedins, Alex Burrows, Mike Ribeiro, Trevor Gillies, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Scott Hartnell, and anyone who wears, has worn, or will wear a Detroit Red Wings jersey.
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For
The Winnipeg Jets. When you're a Jet, you're a Jet. I've already stitched "Goals for Kids" patches on all my pants. Now can someone please put the Coyotes out of their misery so we can get the Nordiques back next season? Badaboum needs work.
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time
I'm partial to NHL management's ongoing fight with common sense. But if I'm limited to on-ice scraps, I'd say Jarome Iginla and Vincent Lecavalier pretty much set the standard with their Stanley Cup Final bout. That was everything good and holy about punching someone in the face. Yet when it comes to true heavyweight fights, nothing matches Bob Probert versus Marty McSorely from February of 1994:
And for brawls, it doesn't get any better than Matthew Barnaby snapping in the gulliver and going Clockwork Orange on Garth Snow in March of 1996:
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most
I used to admire Atlanta's dark blue sweaters with the Egyptian hieroglyphic on the front. What the hell was that thing? Chicken talons? Some sort of space monkey ship? I don't know. But I loved it.
My other favorite ugly sweater is Minnesota's old road getups. The Wild weren't scared to mix forest green with some red, brown, yellow, white, and whatever else they could find to make the jersey a muddled, but glorious, mess. And dig that crazy logo. Part Bob Ross painting, part DMT trip. Look at the happy little trees, the golden moon, the streaking star, the wafting mist climbing up the--wait, what the what?! It's not a landscape painting at all. It's a kitty! A fearsome, fearsome kitty.
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
Does Washington's annual playoff collapse count as a hockey cliche? Because that's the tops.
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
Again, we're all one. I couldn't possibly take pleasure in another person's pain. But, yeah, Kris Draper. Definitely Kris Draper.
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
Not sure how cheesy it was, but I liked seeing Paul Giamatti wearing a John Tavares jersey on "30 Rock." Even Tina Fey realizes dudes in Islanders jerseys equal comedy. I know the Isles never fail to make me laugh.
8. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure.
Randy Cunneyworth 1989-90 Topps. Crayons are swell.
9. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
I've been highly critical of Mr. Bettman over the years, and for good reason. But truth is he saved the NHL with the lockout. He also played a significant role in keeping the Penguins in Pittsburgh, despite the best efforts of local politicians to sour the deal. And for that, I thank him. Oh, and I thought he was great in "Willow." Don't call him a peck.