October 20, 2011
Yesterday, we learned about the New York Rangers victory hat, a shabby but spiffy black fedora the team picked up in Europe and established it as an award for standout performances.
It was just one of a handful of similar trinkets from around the NHL, such as the Washington Capitals' hard hat, the Pittsburgh Penguins' shovel, or the Buffalo Sabres' Lady Gaga wig, bestowed upon the player whose "gaga" play inspires the team to perform like "little monsters." That's Christian Ehrhoff(notes), sporting it above.
We'd be remiss if we failed to mention the Detroit Red Wings' python, which is draped over the defenseman whose shutdown game is both "suffocating" and "cold-blooded." Here's Nicklas Lidstrom(notes), sporting the nonvenomous constrictor during a postgame interview, as he often does.
Many former Red Wings have said it's a genuine honour when, postgame, Mike Babcock calls you up in front of the boys and tells everyone that you get to "wear the snake."
And, of course, there's the Toronto Maple Leafs' Egyptian cat mask.
Made of fine leather and representative of the Egyptian cat goddess Bast, Maple Leafs players award it to the skater who purr-plexed and purr-forated the opposing defense.
And you definitly don't get it if you performed your duties purr-functorily or were a purr-imeter player. And so on.
In Tampa Bay, the "crusader of the game" gets "caped", meaning that he is given the highly-coveted of wearing the bejewelled, crushed velvet cape for which every player in the Lightning lineup strives.
And finally, it's a wonder no one ever talks about the Abe Lincoln stove pipe hat and beard combo that the Chicago Blackhawks have been sporting the past two seasons, awarded to the player who scores four goals in a week.
Here's Pat Kane chatting with Scott Oake, sporting the outfit after achieving the "fourscore in seven" -- otherwise known as a Gettysburg -- last season.
Okay, most of these are made up.