Puck Daddy - NHL

From the Dept. of Self-Congratulatory Nonsense: For the second straight year, we're honored to have a place on The Hockey News's annual "100 People of Power and Influence" list.

In 2008, we were given the Mr. Irrelevant-esque No. 100, finishing behind such luminaries as a dude donating his brain to science and Maple Leafs free-agent coup Jeff Finger(notes). In 2009 ... well, just look at'er: They gave us the Gretzky! Which, in Canadian media terms, is better than being No. 1 overall, right?

So No. 99, with a bullet.* At this rate, we should become the most powerful entity in hockey right around the time when the Fisher/Underwood baby's grandchild is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame ... which will have been relocated to a glass dome on the surface of Mars. Assuming, of course, that medical science can keep our brains alive in some sort of android body, preferably with kung-fu grip and lasers for eyes.

This blog doesn't suck (or sucks less) thanks to the efforts of Sean Leahy, Dmitry Chesnokov, Ryan Lambert, Ross McKeon, Matt Romig, Scott Pianowski, Dobber on the fantasy column, Pagnotta and Spector on the chat and everyone else who has contributed, read, commented or communicated with us in the last year. Special thanks to Yahoo! Sports blog guru Mark Pesavento and Yahoo! Sports overlords Dave Morgan and Jamie Mottram for making this all happen.

Now, as has become tradition, we proceed to tear down and disparage the people ranked in front of us on the list ...**

The field ...

No. 98: Peter Moore, EA Sports Worldwide. First of all, your covers curse more than a voodoo priestess stuck in rush hour traffic. Pity poor Patty Kane! Second, your refusal to add "skinny, medium, fat, fat" as an option on NHL 10 and previous releases shows a complete lack of respect for old school gaming and the only combination of players than can win Poland the gold. Most of all, we can only assume your company's success has contributed to the delinquency of a philandering golfer. For shame, sir!

No. 97: Larry Landon, PHPA director. A labor leader for minor league hockey players who is so effective that most of them earn at least three or four dollars an hour more than the drive-thru guy at Burger King (though significantly less than the one at Wendy's; hey, when it's real, you know that it's real). Job consists mostly of keeping young prospects from openly weeping upon hearing they're going to live in Wheeling, West Virginia for the foreseeable future. Is seemingly powerless to prevent his clients from being forced to wear this.

No. 96: Craig Simpson, HNIC analyst. Not for nothing, but are you [Gretzky] kidding us?

No. 95: Nick Kypreos, Sportsnet. OK, so he's an insider that occasionally misses the mark and some people don't dig him and he once appeared on "Arli$$". But honestly, we're just bitter he was allowed to pose with a prop in his photograph, because we didn't even know that was allowed. That's it: Next year, we're working an Imperial Walker from "Empire Strikes Back" and the Eric Staal(notes) porno bobblehead into the frame.

Ah, who are we kidding: Next year, we're going from Gretzky's number to Wellwood's caloric intake ...

Condolences to John Bitove of XM Canada, who will have to explain to loved ones that he finished behind the mastermind of this nonsense.

** Obviously all in good fun. Thanks again the THN for their continued support of this silly blog and to all of those who made the cut for the list this year.

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