The Puppy Challenge is starting to sweep through the NHL. No, it doesn’t involve dumping a bucket of puppies over one’s head. Although we understand that’s how Cruella DeVille went ...
No, the Puppy Challenge involves three basic steps:
1. Adorable young fan with amazing seats makes a sign informing a specific player that his or her parents will get them a puppy if that player scores a goal.
2. Player sees that sign, and is thus motivated to do the 2016 version of Babe Ruth hitting a home run for a child in a hospital bed, which is scoring a goal to get a privileged young person a gift from his or her parents.
3. Player scores a goal. A puppy finds a home. Heart-eyes emoji.
It began with Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators winning the Puppy Challenge for a young fan. It continued with Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets not only scoring a goal on the young fan’s birthday as the sign requested, and scoring a hat-trick for good measure.
Now players like Sidney Crosby are being asked about the Puppy Challenge, as the Pittsburgh Penguins star told NHL.com he’s ready to make some canine dreams come true: "Hopefully there's a lot of kids getting puppies there.”
So the Puppy Challenge sounds like it’s a thing.
Which means it’s time to hopefully have fans asking for puppy-winning goals, and players winning puppies with goals,enter into an informal covenant together.
Please, fans and players, repeat after us:
1. "I, [fan with a sign asking for an NHL player to score a goal and force my parents to purchase a puppy for me], do solemnly swear to name said puppy after that player, for that it what the family did with Bobby Ryan and what Cam Atkinson hoped that other family would do. I pledge this with the full understanding that the name can be first or last in nature, or in some special cases be in reference to a player's nickname. Which is to say that 'Captain Serious' would be a fantastic name for a bulldog."
2."I, [NHL Player], so solemnly swear that I will follow the lead of Cam Atkinson and offer to pay for the adoption of the puppy and cover whatever additional costs the family might incur during the adoption process. It’s the least I can do when a child’s sign gives me the inspiration to do my job better, unlike such alleged motivations as winning championships, financial gain and the appreciation of my peers."
If we can all sign off on these rules, there will be no bones of contention or reason to growl about it. If we don’t … well, it could lead to someone barking up the wrong tree.
Oh, and, and if you're a parent that wants to allow their child to participate in this but doesn't want a puppy, a word of advice:
If you go to a hockey game and don't want to get a puppy for your kid, just tell them to hold up a sign asking Ryan Getzlaf to score.
— Brian McCarthy (@brianmccarthy1) January 26, 2016