While discussing the lack of balanced scoring for the Calgary Flames recently, second-year winger David Moss came up with the following pearl of wisdom: “We definitely need scoring from different guys other than Iggy, Tangs, Lanks, Juice and Lombo.”
In case you’re wondering and/or your powers of deduction have completely abandoned you, ‘Mosser’ was talking about Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Daymond Langkow, Kristian Huselius and Matthew Lombardi.
I don’t know for certain how this came about, but I do know the tried and true method of dispensing nicknames in hockey these days is to add “ie” or an “s” to a guy’s last name or shorten it somehow.
For example, Scott Niedermayer is ‘Nieds.’ But it gets a little confusing because so is his brother, Rob. Chris Pronger is ‘Prongs’ and Rob Blake is ‘Blakie.’ Of course, Fernando Pisani is almost certainly Fernie rather than the shortened version of his last name, if you catch my drift.
Among hockey’s myriad of off-ice problems is that there is an enormous dearth of original or even remotely creative nicknames.
It wasn’t always that way, mind you. Names such as The Golden Jet, The Rocket and Pocket Rocket, the Chicoutimi Cucumber, Mr. Zero and The China Wall once dominated the game. Now you’d be hard-pressed to find more than a half-dozen or so that aren’t derivatives of the player’s name, although Keith Tkachuk’s nickname Walt is a really, really good one.
When I was covering the Toronto Maple Leafs a few years back, some of the reporters tried to see if we could get some support for ‘The Answer,’ which was the nickname attributed to Allen Iverson, then of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The only problem was that we tried to hang it on Aki Berg. Not sure why that one never took off. At one point, when the Leafs’ line of Mats Sundin between Mikael Renberg and Jonas Hoglund was going through a particularly hot stretch – really, it happened occasionally – I tried to make The Tre Kronor Line stick, but it never seemed to catch on.
So, what do you say? How about we come up with some quality nicknames and see whether or not we can make them stick? Submit your choices to via the comments section below and we’ll print the best ones in a future blog entry. The only rules are that they have to be truly original and, unless they’re really witty – along the lines of Terrible Ted for Ted Lindsay or Leapin’ Lou for Lou Fontinato – they cannot be a derivative of the player’s name.
I’ll start. Sidney Crosby could be the Cole Harbour Kid. Dion Phaneuf, The Punisher. Jordin Tootoo: The Guy Who Runs Around Like a Maniac and is Going to Kill Somebody Someday.
So, what do you say…?