In a mid morning press release the National Hockey League announced the All Star game would have a few updates to make it more media friendly. Sidney Crosby would automatically be selected as the Captain of both teams. To ensure maximum safety of the players every other player would be replaced by high school (baseball) players, and the non-Crosby player votes would decide what jersey’s the youngsters would wear while playing on one of the teams.
Further highlights of the release include:
- Pierre McGuire will be the only interviewer allowed to talk directly to Crosby.
- The teams will be designated Team Sid and Team Crosby.
- Sidney Crosby himself will wear a hybrid jersey that shows both logos and team colors.
- Announcers will not be allowed to use the name of any other player in the NHL, unless it refers to Crosby taking the puck from them, skating around them or beating them to score.
- To alleviate potential confusion by fans as to which jersey they want, only Sidney Crosby’s All Star jersey would be available.
- No other players, coaches, general managers, or owners will be available for interviews during the four day festivities.
- To better align with the NHL’s marketing and training the game will be retitled the NHL One Star Game Featuring Sidney Crosby. All previous literature should be discarded, recidivists will be shot and have their press passes revoked.
I spoke with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman who said he had just one short statement to make for the record. Here it is in it’s entirety.
All questions regarding the disposition of the Phoenix Coyotes, the brutalization of Boston fans by Habs fans at a recent game, what it means to the NHL to have stable ownership for the Dallas Stars with the repeated incantation “Crosby“. After about the seventh repetition of this rapturous prayer tears of joy could be seen streaming down the Commissioners face. Similarly, questions as to how the recent resurgence of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the dominance of the Minnesota Wild received one word answers.
Reports of other games having played on the night of Crosby’s return were greeted with chilly stares by NHL operatives. Senior Public Information Minister Dan Rosen greeted the rumors of other players being worth enjoying with a sneered “Where are they all then, Area 51?”. He went on to proclaim “We are the National Hockey League, our marketing is the Best! You will like who we tell you to like, read the five stories we regurgitate about the same handful of players and be grateful we provide you with the only information you need. You Will RESPECT MY Authority!”
When he was asked how the return of the Messiah would affect his job league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan (recently retitled Arch-Bishop-Captain of Protection of the Messiah’s Guard) said they have instituted two new rules to better protect his holiness. 1) No opposing player shall approach within three feet of Crosby, any player who does so will be subject to an automatic 15 minute major penalty (time to only elapse while Crosby is on the ice) and may be subject to additional supplemental discipline. First time offenders would start with a minimum seventy five game suspension. 2) All opposing players, and team mates Crosby didn’t like who made physical contact with Crosby would receive a five season suspension from the NHL, no possible appeal.