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Loose Change: Toddler takeover

Call me paranoid if you want (although calling me paranoid only makes you look paranoid) but we’re under attack and by “we” I mean anyone over 30 years of age.

This is not a general populace paranoia – on that stage we’re overrun by the overwhelming smell of support hose and thousands of cars all (perpetually) signalling left – this is a paranoia based on shaky numbers, insufficient research and very odd statistical anomalies.

Have you noticed how the NHL is steadily being infiltrated by all these young players? Used to be you had to be at least 20 to step onto NHL ice, but now there are 18-year-olds roaming freely and scoring at will (not Will; he’s been sent to the minors).

The world’s population is getting older daily, yet the NHL is getting younger yearly. Three years ago the average age of players in the league was 27.9 yet this year it’s down to 27.6. By 2062 the average age of an NHLer will be 12. We are being infested with rookies – and don’t be enticed by their “innocent” peach-fuzzy smiles. They’re heinous.

What’s the problem, you’re thinking? Aren’t younger players more energetic, athletic and exciting?

Rationale like that is both stupid and short-sighted (unless you’re one of them trying to sway the vote, which is, in this case, very nicely played). You obviously haven’t thought through the damning repercussions.

Look at these facts:

• We now have a special YoungStars Game as part of the All-Star Weekend celebration. Only players in their first or second seasons can participate. After that you’re put out to pasture (and reportedly shot).

• We’ve gone from “dangerous” old-school wooden sticks to safer CSA-approved carbon-fiber ones. Rumor has it Fisher Price is at work on a pliable model that is guaranteed not to shatter (it also plays a tune when you score).

• This obsession with second, third and fourth jerseys isn’t just a fashionable cash grab craze. It’s leading to the eventuality of, yes, you guessed it, sleepwear. Soon you will be able to buy an authentic Detroit Red Wings “jersey” complete with feet!

• Chris Chelios is suddenly, at 48, too decrepit and too ancient to play in the league he’s played in since the ‘20s (not his 20s, the 1920s). Perhaps someone knows the evil truth and has relegated him to the American League to shut him up.

• Have you noticed how the games are starting earlier and earlier in the day? The NHL brass says it’s to make the game more marketable for the U.S. television networks when we all can see how a 7 p.m. start time can infringe on a nine-year-old’s bedtime (Don’t fool yourself, it’s coming).

• The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a complete sham now. No one can grow a beard anymore without it looking like parched moss on a sidewalk. And you can kiss goodbye to the whole drinking-champagne-from-the-Cup thing, too. You think the NHL wants evidence of 16-year-olds drinking bubbly?

Sure you can choose to sit idly by, ogling at the speed and natural ability of these newborns. And you can marvel at them and reminisce back to the days when your nose too could (voluntarily) touch your butt. Or you can choose to join me in an effort to win back what is rightfully ours. We can fight for our place in this game and prove that oldsters also need a say. We can show these young punks that we won’t take this disrespectful insubordination lying down.

Let us unite as one and take back what is ours.

Let’s say around 4 p.m.?

Too late?

How about 2 then?

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. 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? Check out his website at

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For the first time ever, you have a chance to buy original Hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoons straight from the source (I finally wrangled the rights from my Taiwanese overlords). They are perfect as gift even if the recipient has the exact same name as you.

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