Puck Daddy - NHL

Racing to catch back up with the hockey world after a week in the woods, it was refreshing to see things as unpredictably predictable as ever.

Patrick Kane(notes) gets pinched for a cabbie assault, giving the world a fabulous new nickname (20-Cent) and a mug shot that's enthralling for its creepy Spencer Pratt-ism and its odd Mona Lisa semi-smirk. Luckily, the cab driver's lawyer appears to be Lionel Hutz, so Kane's got a fighting chance.

Kane's running afoul of the law allowed Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe & Mail to tee off on "the integrity of bloggers" for offering hasty assessments about an unsettled case ... after which Dowbriggin naturally commits the same editorial crime. Which bloggers? No idea. They were evidently important enough to build a column item around but not important enough to name in the hallowed pages of the newspaper. In fairness, we're not exactly innocent in making sweeping generalizations about other forms of (mainstream) media; but this came off as nothing more than cheap heat.

Otherwise ... well, the hockey world kept spinnin'. The Chief once again aimed his guns at another writer who dared disrespect the multiple talents of Pavel Datsyuk(notes). Jim Balsillie continued make faulty assumptions about the inner workings of the NHL. Dany Heatley(notes) goes nowhere.

You can leave hockey for a while; the thing is that it doesn't necessarily leave you. While up in Maine for a week of good reading* and tasty diversions**, The Game was everywhere I looked. Like the Philadelphia Flyers mini-Stanley Cup pictured above, which was found where all forgotten relics of the past are found: in an antique shop.

Coming up, strange hockey tchotchkes from around the Great State of Maine, where the lobsters are always boiling and the local drivers are strict constructionists when it comes to the speed limit.

And here ... we ... go.

A Daniel Briere photo-puck from his Buffalo Sabres days may be stretching the concept of "antique," but they sell used beer coasters up there, too. Sabres fans are no doubt yelling at their screens right now that the nail is about three inches too high.

This is from the awesomely named The Man Store in Bar Harbor, which features everything from beverage coolers to "Life Is Crap" shirts to autographed photos of Wilt Chamberlain. From the top left, clockwise:

1. A sporty Boston Bruins hat, one of the few pieces of hockey headgear in a store dominated by the NFL.

2. A fine pewter sculpture of a Bruins logo that hangs on a beer mug.

3. Stanley Cup patches for the Bruins.

4. The completely random pairing of a St. Louis Blues-era Wayne Gretzky with a Winnipeg Jets-era Bobby Hull.

5. Finally, a 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup patch that we're convinced some wise-ass Bruins fan placed there as a goof.

Look, we don't want to say that Paul Kariya's(notes) star isn't shining as brightly as it once was, but when one asks where they can find his framed photo and the answer is "by the half-price wine corks," ... well ...

This is killer: Buried deep inside an antique shop were these old sports pages featuring hockey writing in 1939. "The Detroit Red Wings, who will meet the Bruins here Tuesday night, will probably be definitely in or hopelessly out of the play offs ..."

Did everyone have a nickname back then? And what's that in the standings, next to losses? TIES?!?! It's a miracle anyone even watched hockey back then.

This Gretzky Hall of Fame class postcard set was $6; I fully expect to see it on eBay for $6,000 one day after having passed it up.

Big Chicken Barn, a massive antique shop just outside of Ellsworth, Maine, had a few Flyers-centric items, including this Eric Lindros(notes) Christmas ornament and this Mikael Renberg Starting Lineup figure. I hate when artists get the details wrong; Lindros never skated with his head up.

Finally, to complete the Legion of Doom line, here's John LeClair's(notes) USA Hockey bobblehead doll, which could have been yours for $8. But honestly, who's buying LeClair when the Lowell Lock Monsters doll is lurking right behind him? Especially when LeClair isn't even sponsored by a Scion dealership.

I also had a nightmare about wearing a Blue Jackets jersey with "10 Babes" on the back for some reason, and defending it as not being a Jersey Foul. Stupid scotch.

* Read "The Death of WCW," which was ultimately satisfying if scattershot and incomplete; and finally read "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain, which I highly recommend to fellow bloggers as a glimpse into another obsessive, consuming lifestyle choice.

** The lobster roll remains an overpriced but completely humbling culinary experience. Mount Desert Island Ginger by Atlantic Brewing is an idyllic summer beer experience. Blueberry pie and french vanilla ice cream is the devil's bait.

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