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Loose Change: So how about that weather?

The upside to being away from your desk so much is the inability of creditors to know your exact whereabouts. The downside is that you’re deluged with phone messages and email upon your return.

I have roughly six messages, three of which came with extravagant claims to “increase my size” and, just so you know, I subscribed to all three. How a topical cream will enhance my readership I’m not sure, but I’m still learning all this new technology, so it’s probably smarter to just play along.

The rest of my inbox is dominated by questions about the whole Phoenix franchise moving thing – although there is the odd question in there about Mike Keenan, Patrick Roy and the social significance of butter knives. There is a question or two about this Stanley Cup playoffs thing, but frankly I’m getting more drama from reruns of The Muppet Show (Fozzie may be pregnant).

Regardless, I promise to answer all of your (somewhat) coherent questions with my usual aplomb and unrivalled brilliance. Plus I need to fill space or the editor moves my desk back to “the asbestos room.”

So, let’s get to your questions.

Question: Dear Great Looking Writer (it was smeared, that was my closest guess), I don’t know a lot about legalities and macro economics, so could you explain to me the whole Phoenix Coyotes situation in plain English?

Answer: The Phoenix Coyotes are an ice hockey team that used be another ice hockey team a lot further north (Winnipeg, third igloo on the right) some years ago. This team has been situated in the Arizona desert since 1996 and the people of Winnipeg called off the search years ago.

So now, totally out of the blue, the Coyotes are in some sort of financial trouble – making ice from a cactus is very expensive – and the current owner, WhatwasIthinking McSuckersson, wants to sell the team because he owes a lot of money to a lot of people.

One guy – Jim Balsillie – wants to buy it and another guy – Gary Bettman – won’t let him buy it, so the two of them have agreed to meet on June 22 to let the courts decide.

The whole country of Canada will be watching; so will a part-time intern from Court TV and a guy who claims to have a hockey/shuffleboard blog in Arizona.

(Who will win? I’m going with the short bald guy.)

Question: Canadians are pompous asses. I was one of those Phoenix residents at the Save The Coyotes Rally. There is a lot more support for hockey here than you might think.

Answer: OK, not counting your brother, your friend, Bull, who does everything you say (how’s that rash, by the way, Bull?) and that chick from the WWF who thought it was about real coyotes, how many diehard fans were there to save the Coyotes? Huh? Twenty-seven? Really? I was thinking closer to 40. Good job, then.

Question: Who has a better chance of salvaging their series, the Hurricanes or the Blackhawks?

Answer: The Blue Jackets.

Question: If it is a Detroit-Pittsburgh final, who will win?

Answer: I saw this one last year. It had a great intro, but the plot fell flat really quickly and the car chase at the end was so gratuitous and badly put together (you could see the strings). Save yourself the heartache and rent The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (interestingly, Marian Hossa’s in both).

Question: Why does pro hockey work some places in the south like Raleigh and Tampa Bay, but struggle in other places like Phoenix and Nashville?

Answer: Technically it’s a complex formula involving the trajectory of the planets and four signs of the zodiac. Personally I think it’s the exquisite combination of on-ice cleavage and perfectly roasted popcorn. The Nashville vendors burn everything.

Question: By the way, how do you pronounce “Balsillie?

Answer: If you work for him it’s YOUR EXCELLENCY; the people at the NHL pronounce it WEE-ZIL.

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 cartoon, brings you Loose Change every second Tuesday through to June 22. 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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