Monday, November 5, 2012

Voting for the President of the NHL

Both Mitt Romney and President Obama are in Ohio today campaigning for the Presidency of the United States.  I love government, but I am so tired of politics – especially living in a swing state.  The last four years have been very frustrating to me.  Washington has become a bitter partisan battlefield while entitlement and politicking take away the importance of sound leadership in government. 

The only things these two men have in common are $10,000 wrist watches.
So, to take a break from my frustrations, I imagine both Mitt Romney and President Obama are campaigning for the imaginary position of Presidency of the NHL, lockout notwithstanding.  If you can admit to yourselves the short comings of the current administration and the misguided good intentions of the contending candidate, you’ll be able to enjoy the 100% hockey humor below.  If you’re Canadian, just keep on enjoying the exchange rate.

Dear voters for the Presidency of the NHL,

I had the privilege of spending 15 minutes with both candidates running for the Presidency of the NHL.  I called in years of favors to be able to spend a few minutes with each candidate.  Ohio is an important state to both candidates for the Presidency of the NHL as the 2013 NHL All-Star game is scheduled to be played in Columbus. Ohio has seen tough times in the NHL - both with the Barons and  Blue Jackets.  These last 48 hours are important to both candidates, which is why they are blitzing Ohio with political ads.  There is so much crap on TV right now that it's hard to know fact from fiction.  An Obama ad suggests that Romney wants to eliminate the Boarding Penalty, and Romney runs a spot suggesting that Obama wants to eliminate luxury suites from NHL arenas.  To clear up confusion and to help voters choose, I take the time to definitively list their stance on NHL policy after interviewing both gentlemen.

Obama - his official hockey nickname would be "Barry."

-          Supports funding money losing teams by implementing luxury tax on NHL teams making more than $250,000 per year in operating income.
-          Would have raised the luxury tax on the Browns to keep the Cleveland Barons from folding.
-          Wants to eliminate fighting and the blue lines from the game.
-          Supports free agency at the age of 38, 4 year max lenght contracts, elminating salary arbitration, but is somehow calls himself pro-player.
-          Despite the financial struggles of teams in non-traditional markets – supports two expansion teams in Seattle and Kansas City while refusing to let existing teams relocat to foreign countries
-          Career Game played in order to qualify for full pension benefits has been reduced to 50 games played.
-          Any hockey player refusing dental treatment will be fined by the IRS.
-          Believes backup goalies should make the same money as starting goalies.
-          Wants to outlaw “butterfly style” goaltending.
-          Wants to reduce the size of goaltending pads further to increase scoring.
-          Mike Milbury will be appointed as Czar of the Goaltenders union.
-          Bobby Clarke would be appointed Czar of Rookie Development
-          To create jobs, rosters would be expanded to 35 players and increase the league minimum salary to $5million, with a single player cap at $7 million.
-          Eliminate all funding to Junior ROTC programs in order to support youth hockey in Houston, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands.
-          Two-thirds of all tickets to NHL games are to be free, the remaining one-third cost $1200 a piece.
-          Referees and linesmen are no longer required to have previous officiating experience prior to becoming an NHL official.
-          Team apparel shops will be required to sell American made merchandise only, guaranteeing that jerseys will cost $600 a piece.
-          Has never visited a Canadian NHL team or city before, but vows to prevent them from ever losing their NHL franchises.
-          The Canadian National Anthem would be sung at all NHL games.

Clearly Obama is anti-goalie and pro-expansion.  From his days in Chicago, he helped make it illegal to own a goalie stick in his district.  While in youth league hockey, his appointments to the youth hockey board repeatedly stated that the NHL rule book, while having provisions for goalie equipment, doesn’t guarantee a team’s right to a goaltender.  Financially, 15 out of 30 NHL teams have lost money since the lockout, but he supports expanding the league further in non-traditional markets.  Currently, he blames the lockout on the rich owners.  While a big proponent of bringing the NHL to non-traditional markets, do the rest of us have to pay higher ticket prices so 30 million people in Seattle and Kansas get an NHL team? 

Romney - his official hockey nickname would be "Rommers."

-          Believes that a team losing money and not attracting fans can move to a market that will best serve the popularity of the sport.
-          Teams must have an average attendance above 90% capacity in order to receive financial assistance from the league.
-          Blames loose expansion policy for the subsequent relocation of the Cleveland Barons.
-          The ‘puck over the glass’ would no longer be a penalty, but assessed like icing.
-          Paul Ryan will make it legal to replay fights in arenas.
-          Publicly funded arenas must have passed a vote or referendum in order for the team to receive financial assistance from the league.
-          Wants to re-institute the two-line offside pass.
-          Would relocate two US NHL franchises to foreign countries, like Canada.
-          Full face shields would be mandatory, taking away a player’s right to choose.
-          Wants to eliminate the instigator penalty and touch-up icing.
-          Didn’t support the WHA merger or putting two NHL teams in Florida.
-          Supports eliminating the salary floor so that guys who wouldn’t be first line players in the AHL aren’t making $3 million dollars in the NHL
-          Re-runs of AirWolf would be played during all intermissions league wide.
-          Teams receiving assistance from the league would not be eligible for the Stanley Cup playoffs. 
-          Player’s pension plans would be privatized.
-          Would fire Gary Bettman within 7 seconds of winning the election.
-          All NHL broadcasts would be on FOX and feature Foxtraxx and the glow puck.
-          The limit on stick curvature will be changed to one inch.
-          Limits on goaltender equipment would be repealed.
-          Players would be required to be naturalized citizens before receiving team medical treatment.
-          Any player who signs with a KHL team will receive a lifetime ban from the NHL.

Romney is clearly a pro-capitalism, supporting the owners provided they show fiscal responsibility for their teams.  He does seem to want to set the game back a little by bringing back the two-line pass, eliminating the instigator penalty, and making people watch Airwolf during the intermissions.  How can we trust a guy who’s never had to worry about where next month’s travel hockey dues are going to come from?  He was in charge of Massachusetts youth hockey program after the Mighty Duck hockey bubble burst.  Youth hockey saw a dramatic decline as the Bruins sucked while the Patriots and Red Sox were winning championships.  He also will take away the players right to choose by implementing full face shields as required equipment.  Oddly enough, Planned HockeyMomHood doesn’t provide skate sharpening services.  Romney feels that the league has grown too large in size while being on an unsustainable financial path.  Even with hundreds of millions in financial assistance to less fortunate teams, 15 teams have lost money since the last lockout.  NHL teams should have the latitude to make decisions to get a return on their investment, even if it means relocation.

The decision is yours to make in that voting booth, and regardless of which way you decide – GET OUT AND VOTE.  If you do nothing else, get out and vote!!!  After that take a few minutes each week, outside of partisan ideals, and educate yourself on the role of government in this great nation.

Joe Biden could reprise the role of 'Dominic Santini.'

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