They’re baaaack! And one of them is totally PO’d with the Winnipeg Jets.
I refer, of course, to my two Hens in the Hockey House, who know all and aren’t afraid to tell all about the only National Hockey League club that apparently believes quality goaltending is an afterthought.
Take it away, ladies…
Question Lady: I’m kind of nervous about getting into a discussion about the Jets with you…you look really sour. Kind of like the way Melania Trump looks every time The Donald tries to hold her hand. Are you not fond of general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff’s handiwork?
Answer Lady: Does a vegetarian order a double Whopper with cheese? Is the White House fond of fake freaking news?
Question Lady: Oooooh, you are some kind of owly. But, hey, now that you’ve mentioned the White House, I note that the Pittsburgh Penguins say they’ll accept an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if President Trump tosses down the welcome mat to celebrate their Stanley Cup victory. Do you think Trump actually knows any of the Penguins by name?
Answer Lady: Probably just Evgeni Malkin. If there’s one thing Trump knows, it’s Russians. Actually, Malkin could become the first Russian to visit the White House during The Donald’s era who won’t have to hide in a closet.
Question Lady: So much has happened since the Penguins were feted for their championship. I don’t even know where to begin. I…
Answer Lady: Sorry to interrupt, but I guess that makes you just like the Jets—they don’t know where the hell to begin either! So far, their off-season has been brought to us by the letters W, T and F!
Question Lady: Ouch. That’s harsh.
Answer Lady: Harsh? You want harsh, girlfriend? Harsh is jacking up ticket prices at the Little Hockey House on the Prairie—and probably the cost of hot dogs and beer, too—and then doing sweet petite to improve a roster that wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs. That’s harsh. And flipping ballsy.
Question Lady: Okay, but what makes you think Chevy’s finished giving the club a makeover?
Answer Lady: Oh, get a grip, girl. He’s going to give his roster a makeover like Johnny Depp is going to break bread with the Trumps.
Question Lady: Geez, that’s your second or third Trump reference already. What’s up with you and The Donald?
Answer Lady: What can I say? I get a kick out of real life cartoon characters.
Question Lady: Okay, back to the Jets. What were you saying about Chevy?
Answer Lady: Chevy does the same thing every…freaking…summer. His scouts instruct him what pimple-poppers to claim in the NHL entry draft, then he does the Howard Hughes thing and becomes a recluse. He hides out at his cottage. But I don’t blame it all on Chevy. The Puck Pontiff, Mark Chipman, is the commander-in-chief. Most people know that, even if mainstream media won’t mention it. Chipman is just like that new goomer in Phoenix who’s running everyone out of town. The only difference is that the Puck Pontiff isn’t as obvious as Andrew Barroway.
Question Lady: Were you surprised that Barroway got rid of Shane Doan, the last surviving member of the Jets original NHL franchise?
Answer Lady: Doan’s best-before date expired about the same time as Jaromir Jagr’s. But why is a guy who’s owned an NHL franchise for less than a month making that decision? What’s Barroway’s hockey background? What’s his hockey expertise? Don Cherry’s empty beer bottles have seen more shinny than Andrew Barroway. Shouldn’t Doan’s status be a general manager/head coach’s call? Whatever, a guy like Doan, who’d been the face of the Coyotes franchise for two decades, deserved better than an eight-minute chin-wag and a handshake from GM John Chayka in a coffee shop.
Question Lady: With Dave Tippett now the former head coach in Arizona, do you think Paul Maurice should be looking over his shoulder?
Answer Lady: Name me an NHL head coach who shouldn’t be looking over his shoulder. Other than Mike Backcock, that is. If the local lads soil the sheets in the first couple of months next season—and if Tippett is still available—cries of impeachment shall ring out from the rabble. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Vegas bookies list Maurice as the odds-on favorite to be the next head coach fired, especially given that the Puck Pontiff and Chevy don’t seem interested in providing the poor sap with any new weapons. Like a freaking goaltender!
Question Lady: Come on, girlfriend. You don’t really believe the Jets will do nothing, do you?
Answer Lady: Here’s my prediction—their big free agent signing will be Chris Thorburn. Yes, that Chris Thorburn. Chevy gave credence to that possibility the morning after the Vegas Golden Knights laid claim to Thorbs’ bare knuckles in the expansion draft. Thorbs will be back. Remember where you heard it first.
Question Lady: Yikes! I think the rabble will be lighting torches and brandishing pitch forks if that happens. It’d be like a scene out of an old John Wayne western movie where the angry mob storms the sheriff’s office to get the bad guy and string him up.
Answer Lady: Like I said, little lady, remember where you heard it first.
Question Lady: What about that tall drink of water from Finland that the Jets plucked in the first round of the entry draft on Friday night? Can he help?
Answer Lady: Does Kristian Vesalainen play goal? Negative. Does he play defence on the left side? Negative. The Jets need goaltending help STAT. But the way other NHL outfits are gobbling up the available talent, they’ll have to settle for any old schmuck wearing a mask.
Question Lady: Hey, Batman wears a mask! Maybe he can play goal for the Jets!
Answer Lady: It’s even too late to get him. Batman just died.
Question Lady: Holy five-hole and kaPOW! I guess Chevy will have do it via free agency or trades.
Answer Lady: Trades? Chevy isn’t allowed to make trades without pontifical blessing. All he does is talk about the trades he almost made.
Question Lady: Is there anything about the Jets that you like?
Answer Lady: Of course. Absolutely. This isn’t a hot mess like in Vancouver. I like the Jets’ incredible young talent. Boffo kids. They’ve got game. Unfortunately, the decision-makers don’t. They’re afraid of their own shadows. That’s why I’m frustrated and PO’d. I see GMs in other NHL towns plugging holes, filling gaps and fleshing out their rosters, but all we hear in River City is the sound of crickets.
Question Lady: Well, I must take my leave. Time to travel and enjoy summer. You?
Answer Lady: No plans. I guess I’ll see you in October. Until then, don’t forget your sunblock and, if you stumble upon anyone wearing a mask in your travels, tell him to call 1-800-UR-5HOLE pronto. That’s the Jets’ goaltender hotline.
Patti Dawn Swansson has been scribbling about Winnipeg sports for 47 years, which means she is old and probably should think about getting a life.