August 11, 2008
A sense of humor is mandatory for sanity as a current member of the New York Islanders, but we've rarely seen this trait extend into the world of prop comedy. Islanders captain Bill Guerin did his best Carrot Top in handing over a jersey to 2008 first-round draft pick Josh Bailey ... a Brett Favre jersey. From the Islanders official site, covering the fan event on Saturday at the Nassau Coliseum:
"Welcome to the organization and rookie hazing," said Guerin, handing Bailey a number 4 "Favre" Islanders jersey, amidst a sea of laughs from the media. "But seriously, welcome to Long Island."
Wocka. Wocka. Where the hell has Billy G. been this summer, by the way? He looks like a stunt double for Robert Downey, Jr. in "Tropic Thunder."
After Bailey and Doug Weight received their jerseys -- Weight will wear No. 93, because Rick DiPietro has his usual No. 39 and because Doug Gilmour is still that damn cool -- the two players sat down for a rather interesting panel discussion. Interesting because the questioners weren't culled from the New York media, but rather from the Islanders Blog Box: Tom Liodice and Michael Schuerlein, as well as "IslanderMania representative" Blair MacGregor, who was hilariously introduced under the username "Son of Scissons." (Can't wait until the new media revolution spreads across the hockey world. "Mr. Bowman, our first question today comes from DirkGrahamCracker69.")
One of them asked Weight the old "if you had Gary Bettman's job for one day, what would you do?" quandary. And Weight's answer made him an accidental participant in our "5 Ways I'd Change the NHL" series. Words and video follow.
From Doug Weight on the Islanders fan panel, here's what he'd do if he had Bettman's job:
1. "I'd fire Gary, first ... no, just kidding." (Ed. Note: Dang, yo.)
2. "I'm glad they changed the schedule back. I think in trying to create too much rivalry, I think they watered it down a little bit. I think it's special when you play a team six times -- it'll be great to play the Rangers six times -- but eight is just too much ..."
3. "The two-referee system? I don't know. I'm a little old school. I like it with one guy where you can sneak some butt-ends around and get some shots in the ribs."
4. "Everybody's talking about getting rid of fighting to make it a bigger game. I think if anything we should focus [on] that our game is never going to be higher than the fourth sport in the country. It's the greatest game in the world, but if we can focus on keeping it there."
5. "Maybe go back to the old days of the no-instigator rule where if you're 180 pounds you can fight another guy who's 180 pounds on a nightly basis. That was fun. Maybe not at my age anymore, but it was fun coming into the game that way. It was more fun for the fans."
Here, here! And here's video of the Islanders blogger panel and the wacky Bill Guerin comedy: