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Loose Change: How I spent my three-day vacation

I’m not here right now to take your call, but if you’ll leave your name and number and a brief message I’ll be sure to phone you back when I get the chance. I’m probably out buying groceries right now. Oh how I love my grocery shopping. There’s this nice man who works at the deli counter there who reminds me of my Uncle Philip. My Uncle Philip, oh he was a dear, dear man. Poor soul died from accidently ingesting rat poison. Of course, I think it had more to do with that hussy of a wife of his. Never could keep away from the boys, that one. Anyway, pork loins are on sale this week. I don’t eat them much, but that is a good deal. Oh, did I mention I saw this really odd-looking squirrel this wee... (beep)

Hi Mom. It’s me. Not sure if I told you or not, but I’m down in Florida covering the NHL GMs meetings. They hold these things a couple times a year and they like to make it seem like they’re doing something important or noble for the game, but really it’s just a chance to get in some mid-winter golf and play hold ‘em poker with other people in your income bracket.

Seriously, if the meetings are ever held in early March in Edmonton, you know there’s some serious stuff on the agenda.

So, today they opened with this 60-minute presentation from NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly and director of player affairs Glenn Healy that dealt with the seriousness of blows to the head and the serious damage they can cause. I’m not sure you could call their plea “effective,” but I have to say that was one serious light show and that man Healy sure can dance. Truthfully, I think I saw Brian Burke well up a little during the closing number – Complaining to Sustain my Cranium - I think it was called.

Then there was this proposal to have the Zamboni re-surface the ice after the third period instead of before a shootout. They made it out like it was a fair competition issue, but an insider told me gas prices got jacked up astronomically after 9:30 p.m., so I’m thinking it’s more of cost-cutting measure.

They talked about the Phoenix Coyotes and their financial woes and how pathetic it is that they can’t support a team. I really thought their GM Don Maloney would be pissed at hearing this type of thing until I realized he hadn’t even arrived yet. Apparently the Greyhound bus broke down outside of El Paso and he might only make it to Florida in time for the final round of golf and Pong tournament, so he asked us to save him a couple apple fritters; I think Ken Holland said he’d take care of that.

Commissioner Bettman was a little upset at all those players skipping the All-Star Game and how it makes the league look bad. Some GMs argued they’d rather have a player miss that than the real games. Then Gary got mad and Bill Daly started swearing. Then some GMs started that old, tired “you want a piece of me?” crap, even though they’re way too chubby to be thinking of street brawling. Before long, though, everyone calmed down and started apologizing and stuff. That led to Bob Gainey suggesting a group hug, which looked like it was going to pass until Lou Lamoriello called the whole idea stupid and everyone just sat down.

And, yeah, they talked about fighting in hockey and how some are concerned about a serious injury or something worse happening in the league. One of the guys mentioned that poor fellow who died while playing senior hockey and one of the GMs tried to look the story up on the Internet to clarify the details. But a bunch of the GMs just headed for the window saying they noticed this “really interestingly-colored bird” and that all the other GMs “really need to see this.”

But when we all got to the window there was no bird; we all just noticed how nice of a day it was and how much of a waste it was to be sitting indoors discussing such petty details as fighting in hockey. After all, we could be playing a compelling round of golf since it was after noon and we were all eligible for a sizable discount.

So we adjourned and vowed to pick up the rest of the agenda bright and early tomorrow morning. First up: should the Ice Girl go to satin or stick with Lycra?

Personally, I think it’s time for a change, but we’ll see…


The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday only on Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at


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