The NHL skills competition goes Saturday night, and I, like many of you, will be waiting with bated breath and whispering humbleness to learn who truly is the league's fastest skater (among the 1o guys competing).
Joffrey Lupul is convinced that it's Phil Kessel. So convinced that, when Kessel texted him and specifically asked not to be included in the fastest skater event, Lupul flexed his assistant captaincy and vetoed his Toronto Maple Leafs' teammate.
Then, in what's becoming an All-Star weekend tradition, we got our annual moment of hilarious Phil Kessel-related pathos captured on a cell phone camera, as Lupul took a photo of Kessel's name on the board and sent it to his linemate:
Lupul then ignored a second text from Kessel that read "You must be joking".
Uh, no, Phil. If you watched the draft last night, you would know that Team Chara has every intention of winning. If you wanted to be have your wishes respected instead, you should have either a) defected to Team Alfredsson, or b) not been so damn fast.
Silly Kessel. Lupul can't be pressured. Did you see him last night during the draft? He was damned unflappable. Heck, today he tweeted:
"Gary Bettman just told me I handled the boo's very well last night... And that's coming from an expert in that field."
I'm assuming Lupul spelled boos correctly and this tweet isn't actually a reference to the Leafs' winger and the league's commissioner getting drunk together.
And before you tell me that the league brass aren't hanging with the players, consider that Colin Greening was added to the competition only after Brendan Shanahan suggested it. From NHL.com:
However, soon after Chara had his phone in his hand, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Senior Vice President of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan walked into the room. Bettman greeted Chara and Shanahan quickly offered his opinion on whom Chara should select as the rookie to take part in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater.
"Greening just won the Ottawa competition," Shanahan said, referring to Senators rookie Colin Greening.
Lupul went to the board, stuck Greening's name up, and Chara offered Shanahan a thank you for the help.
Greening better hope he does well. If he makes Shanahan look silly, he's gonna be facing a Wisniewskian ban the next time he makes a questionable hit.