Every once in a while, I enjoy gauging how closely NHL fans are paying attention to the happenings around the league.
The best way to do that? Not a reader survey. Not a personalized visit to your house, like I was Jason Spezza delivering season tickets. No, I prefer to do it the old-fashioned way – with a (satirical) test.
So break out your pencils, erasers, cheat sheets and abacata (yes, that’s a plural form for abacus), and prepare to be probed in the latest edition of Screen Shots’ How Well Do You Know Your NHL?
1. While you were reading these seven words…
(a) Brian Burke got seven seconds closer to being Maple Leafs GM.
(b) NHL highlights did not air on ESPN television.
(c) Mats Sundin decided not to decide whether he was ready to play hockey again.
(d) Ray Emery bit down on a borscht-drenched sandwich, swallowed a shot of black market vodka and cried silently to himself.
2. If you melded the DNA of Sean Avery and Ryan Hollweg, the result would be:
(a) NHL chief disciplinarian Colin Campbell faking his own death and starting a new life as a sheep farmer in Wales.
3. To make amends for its ill-received Def Leppard experiment, the NHL will hold an unprecedented mega-concert at its 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal, featuring ______________, ________________, and _________.
(a) Creed; Limp Bizkit; Nana Mouskouri.
(b) former Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis; Carol Channing; the Original Broadway Cast of Hairspray.
(c) wind chimes; pan flutes; whatever the hell else made Jethro Tull so inexplicably popular in the 1970s.
4. Following the freak mishap suffered by Blues defenseman Erik Johnson, the NHL Board of Governors is considering the institution of a new rule that:
(a) Confines all players to their couches from their final game of the season to their first pre-season game of the following campaign – and enlists sportswriters to show them how it’s done.
(b) Mandates bubble wrap and styrofoam shards as the sole materials to be used for every NHLer’s off-season wardrobe.
(c) Forces players to purchase their own golf cart insurance.
(d) Demands 46 percent of their insurance payout.
5. The odds of Sidney Crosby saying something even remotely controversial are slightly worse than the chances of:
(a) NHL commissioner Gary Bettman accepting the premise of a reporter’s negative question.
(b) The Atlanta Thrashers doing the right thing by burning every last one of their new third jerseys, and burying the ashes in a leak-proof container at least 1,000 feet below the earth’s surface.
(c) Making it through a season without the “The” in “The Hockey News” being dropped by people and media outlets that aren’t sticklers for accuracy.
(d) The NHL rulebook being properly utilized by the officials.
6. The time-honored tradition of bestowing NHLers with nicknames by adding a ‘y’ or an ‘er’ to their surnames means rookie Predators winger Patric Hornqvist will be referred to as:
(d) Mr. Qvister.
7. To be penalized with anything more than a three-game suspension by the NHL, a player must:
(a) Decapitate a member of the opposition and impale their head on a stick at center ice – with a camera present and filming the scene.
(b) Commit the same dangerous infraction 1,482 times over the course of a month.
(c) Sell season tickets to residents of Hamilton, Ont., for a franchise that has yet to relocate to that city.
(d) Sue the league for control of his website.
8. True or False: answers to the above seven questions can be found at the end of this column.
(b) I’m an idiot.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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