Skip to main content

Loose Change: In the rough

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

On the surface it sounds like a straightforward explanation: Blues stud defenseman Erik Johnson injures himself while driving a golf cart. More specifically by jamming his foot between the accelerator and the brake. Who among us hasn’t done that? Show of hands? Anyone?

Frankly, I find golf carts akin to death traps. Sure, they only go six miles per hour and weigh 92 pounds, but if a behemoth like Johnson is susceptible to “cartocide” that easily, what chance do we heathens have?

Of course, we’re taking Erik Johnson at his word. When it comes to 20-year-olds golfing with friends and beverage carts, what could possibly go wrong besides that old dreaded foot ‘tween the pedals thing? Seems there is more to this story than what we are hearing. It also seems the only way to accurately clear up this mystery once and for all would be by going to the source. Erik Johnson? No, I meant the golf cart.

As you might well expect, the golf cart in question is presently nowhere near a green, a bunker or anything resembling foliage. He (let’s call him Herb) is cordoned off in a small area, behind some yellow police tape, hanging out with the three guys who trim Holes 7 through 13.

Herb looks sullen. Why? Well, mostly because I’ve wanted to use the word “sullen” in a column for some time now.

Loose Change: So, how you been?

Herb: How the heck do you think I’ve been?

LC: You sound bitter.

Herb: After what I’m accused of, how should I feel?

LC: Are you saying people aren’t getting the real story?

Herb: Look, we were all having fun. Things started getting a little of out hand and the next thing you know this mammoth kid is crying about his boo-boo. I thought he was joking at first.

LC: Did the injury happen as he described?

Herb: He’s saying his foot slipping off of me caused his knee to blow? Come on...I felt something too you know. I think I may have cracked my accelerator pedal.

LC: So you doubt he’s even injured?

Herb: No. He yelled enough obscenities at me and stuff about “guaranteed contracts” that I knew he wasn’t faking.

LC: So he was mean?

Herb: Damn right. I can only stand being called “old tractor parts” so many times. It hurts. And when it hurts, I get emotional. And when I get emotional, I cry. And when I cry, I rust.

LC: Where do you go from here?

Herb: Officially I’m “in for service,” which is a fancy way of saying my worth is being evaluated.

LC: And?

Herb: And if they find any mechanical flaw we could be talking “recall” or possibly a “retrofit” of some kind.

LC: So you’d be forced to wear all that safety harnessing and rubberized junk?

Herb: Yeah. I’ll look like a set of monkey bars.

LC: Any last words for Erik Johnson?

Herb: Well, I hope he is OK. Having that kind of money in the clubhouse might get this vinyl tear repaired before winter hits.

LC: So no hard feelings with Erik and this whole sordid mess?

Herb: Well, I would like to ask him to change the spikes on his golf shoes.

LC: Was he slipping around the course?

Herb: No, I have scuffmarks. That hurts!

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 other Thursday in the summer 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


Kevin Fiala

Why Los Angeles Won the Kevin Fiala Trade with Minnesota

Adam Proteau says it's baffling why Minnesota traded Kevin Fiala. Now, Minnesota's struggling while Fiala's thriving in Los Angeles.

Mats Sundin

Five NHLers with Memorable Returns in Opposing Colors

From Chris Pronger's return to Edmonton to Guy Lafleur's first game back in Montreal, the NHL is full of franchise stars having big returns as the opposition.

Mitch Marner

Fantasy Weekend Rundown: Mitch Marner Aims for Leafs Record

This weekend is a huge opportunity for fantasy hockey teams to pull off a comeback win. Jason Chen previews every matchup in the NHL.