Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
Look, man. I get it.
I get that the NHL is by far the most "niche" of the four major North American sports, and that the league has to occasionally resort to some odd, offbeat tactics -- like the Winter Classic and HBO 24/7 -- to drum up interest.
But this Guardian Project the League is running? It's just about the most inane, and least comprehensible, thing the NHL has done to trick people into watching a Wild game yet.
Not that I don't see the motivation on the league's part. Morons flock to the movies to see "Iron Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3" and didn't care that they sucked. America Loves Super Heroes. This is irrefutable fact. And yet, even if we are to ignore that the basic tenet of this League should be to promote the PLAYERS as being superhuman -- since they are -- this is still a misguided, poorly executed gong show of a promotion.
(Coming Up: Brodeur happy with the hook; Teemu rules; Buff for MVP; Zidlicky could be done; the T-Shirt Blues; one photo explains the Battle of Ontario; Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) is quite good; Dwayne Roloson(notes) heads to Tampa; Steckel's head shot on Sidney Crosby(notes); and epic fight; and the Wiz is happy to be done with Long Island, but does Tavares want out too?)
The Penguin's super powers include the ability to fire ice missiles and look, as Greg pointed out the other day, suspiciously like Cyclops from the X-Men. The King has a force field and carries a shield. I'm not sure why he would need both of those things.
If you really want a laugh, check out the project's Twitter page, which is chock full of information you never wanted to see, or indeed, imagine. "The Duck Guardian is described as 'Rebel with a trust fund.'" I don't even know what that means! Ducks, stereotypically, don't have trust funds as far as I know. And what could one rebel against? Eating bread quietly next to a park bench?
Also, the Coyote Guardian is, and I quote, "a mysterious drifter of the American desert." Boy if that doesn't just conjure up some unpleasant images.
Now, I know, I know, this isn't aimed at me. It's aimed at children, who are idiots, and adults who like comic books, who are worse. And according to some stuff I read about this whole fiasco, there are plans for a comic book, a novel (because who wouldn't want to read this?!), a TV show and a movie. I can't tell which is a worse idea, but currently I'm leaning toward the film.
When "X-Men 3" came out every review basically said, "There are too many mutants now, who can keep track of who they are and their motivations?"
Well, the NHL is about to flip the script so hard, with 30 freaking Guardians, that they can only possibly hope it will flop back around to coherence. And, knowing the league as we all do, you know it'll feature WAY too much of The Penguin (unfortunately, no umbrella and monocle) and oddly ignore The Star and the Canuck no matter how good they are.
Also, it will likely gross 2.1 hundred dollars.
How much money do you think they paid Stan Lee for this? Couple hundred grand, easy, right? Judging by the quote-unquote quality of the two Guardians the league has unveiled so far, he literally ran each team's name through Wikipedia, found out one fact about them ("The Flame can be made of fire, eh?") and passed it off to some intern to sketch up and send to the League for approval.
Oh and don't worry, guys. There will be villains for these Guardians to protect... something... from. While none have yet been named, one has to suspect General Disinterest, Overexpansion Master and Dr. AnyonewholooksatSidCrosbythewrongway will comprise at least part of the daunting rogues' gallery our dear Guardians will have to overcome.
All the Guardians will finally be unveiled at the All-Star Game, and so I have a proposal: Let's all go vote for Chris Pronger(notes) 80 or 90 times each and find out if any of these characters' Kryptonite is getting elbowed in the face.