I’m placing myself on waivers.
Seriously. I no longer believe I can be part of Jets Nation. Not in the wake of the Peter Budaj, Patrick Holland and Eric Tangradi ménage à mess that went down on the Sabbath and continues to spawn more head-scratching than you’ll see at a lice clinic.
First the Winnipeg Jets wanted Budaj. Less than 24 hours later, they didn’t want him. Now? The poor guy’s psyche has been gutted like the Montreal Forum in 1998. After all, this loyal foot soldier who served le bleu, blanc et rouge for the past three National Hockey League crusades has been banished to The Rock. Yes, in a shoddy exercise of heinous hocus pocus by the peculiar man who generally (mis)manages the Jets, Budaj has gone from the mecca of hockey, Montreal, to Portage and Main to the oft-angry shores of the Atlantic Ocean, where he shall stop rubber for the St. John’s IceCaps of Newfy Land. All that in less than 48 hours.
Quick! Someone order that man a shot of screech! He’s going to need it!
Surely Bye Bye Budaj is quietly cursing the fates that conspired to deliver him from a cushy job as Carey Price’s caddie to the demoralizing realization that not even the outfit with the worst starting goaltender in the NHL (hello, Ondrej Pavelec) has any use for him. I mean, it’s one thing for les Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin to deem you expendable. He has street cred. But when Kevin (The Possum) Cheveldayoff tells you that there’s no room for you in the Winnipeg goal crease…well, that’s like saying Charlie Sheen couldn’t use a good lawyer.
Lord knows what warped thoughts scatter through the grey matter that’s located between Kevin the Possum’s ears. Let’s just say the Jets general manager has irregular ways.
That’s why I’ve placed myself on waivers, hoping someone will take in a homeless wanderer. I’m confident, though. I’m certain there’s another hockey nation out there, waiting with open arms, when a refugee from River City comes knocking on the door.
My first inclination is to approach Habs Nation, because once upon a time—in a distant galaxy when Guy Lafleur had all his hair and the Roadrunner was a right winger named Cournoyer, not a cartoon character making sport of a hapless, conniving coyote—I pledged allegiance to Le Tricolore. Oh, yes I did. I worshipped at the shrine of le Club de hockey Canadien. Loved les Habitants, I did. Used to curse CBC most Saturday nights for force-feeding us one of the Hewitts and the Toronto Maple Leafs rather than treat us to Danny Gallivan and Les Glorieux, La Sainte-Flanelle.
I even made a weekend pilgrimage to Montreal one summer during the 1970s, just so I could wet my whistle at Brassierie Henri Richard on Avenue du Parc. It was a Saturday afternoon, the tavern wasn’t terribly active and the Pocket Rocket himself was working behind the bar. Served me a quart of brown pop with an O’Keefe label on it, as I recall, then signed a paper placemat that featured a caricature of the former Canadiens captain.
So, ya, I think the prodigal daughter might return. Trouble is, if I were to be plucked off waivers by Habs Nation, I’d have to root, root, root for P.K. Subban. Don’t know if I can go there.
I’m uncertain what it is about P.K., but I’ve never been able to warm to him. He’s brash. He’s cocky. He’s loud. He’s a showboat. And now I find out he farts in front of the net. Yes, he farts. In front of the net. On purpose. Is this why Peter Budaj requested a trade?
P.K. and Habs run out of gas in Beantown!
Habs’ defence running on fumes!
P.K. toots own horn!
Habs roar from behind, beat Bruins!
P.K. raises big stink about not getting C!
Yup, P.K. and confreres are going to be the butt of some really bad jokes, but here’s the deal: The Habs don’t stink. Kevin the Possum’s brain farts do.
Habs Nation, here I come! Maybe.
Patti Dawn Swansson has been writing about Winnipeg hockey and the Jets for more than 40 years, longer than any living being. Do not, however, assume that to mean she harbors a wealth of hockey knowledge or that she’s a jock journalist of award-winning loft. It simply means she is old, comfortable at a keyboard (although arthritic fingers sometimes make typing a bit of a chore) and she doesn’t know when to quit.
She is most proud of her Q Award, presented to her in 2012 for literary contributions to the LGBT community in Victoria, B.C.