Full disclosure heading into this thing: I didn’t invent Christmas. As much as I like, nay, need to take credit for a multitude of things, this holiday isn’t one of them. So too goes for the idea of using it to the advantage of making ideas for a topic simpler.
I’m just a busy man. Between wrapping gifts (putting them in bags) and volunteering at the homeless shelter (not volunteering anywhere, ever) I have little time for talking with my hands. If there’s something I can exploit – maybe make a profit off of – I’m going that route. After all, that’s what this holiday is about. Profits.
So, here’s what I’m doing – I’m making a list of who’s been naughty or nice and I’d be shocked if our editor checked it twice. I also know when you’re sleeping. No, none of these gifts are delivered by “Raanta Claus”.
Patrick Kane – conventional wisdom tells you to leave the best for last. That way, your reader is left grasping for the hope that their favorite is also yours. Having been trained at the school of ‘Do What I Want’ the obvious choice is tops on this list. I can’t imagine a player on the Blackhawks more deserving off all the prizes and chocolate oranges (what’s up with that anyways?). Kane is well on pace for a career season and is giving Alex Ovechkin a run at MVP consideration. Also, if you don’t think Ovi is in consideration, Kane is better than whoever you think is.
Gift: all the prizes
Andrew Shaw – chances are, if you took a holiday photo this year with your family, Shaw was standing in front of it. It’s amazing to think everyone was so concerned with who would replace coveted butterball and annual stocking/mouth stuffer Dustin Byfuglien as our “net…presents”. Who would of thought scrappy little Shaw, who everyone labeled as the next Daniel Carcillo, was not only that replacement, but a damn fine hockey player? Keep busting your ass, Shaw.
Gift: Sean Avery’s Guide to Pissing Off Goaltenders (in paperback)
Brandon Saad – it really is amazing to watch Saad play. Throughout the consistency of solid hockey are flashes of brilliance that bring you to your feet even if they don’t lead to a tally. All signs are pointing toward “Superstar” status for Saad – which is no simple feat given some of his teammates. Clearly, I mean that in a good way. Perhaps most satisfying is he shows no signs of being an idiot with any fame that comes his way.
Gift: In lieu of gifts, please donate to the following charities…
Corey Crawford – I’d feel bad for Crawford and his soon-to-be-allowed-to-be-considered-serious injury if I thought he was sitting in a room feeling sorry for himself. Fortunately, I know he’s working his ass off in order to get back. Having to deal with the early mistake of not having a backup goaltender on the roster could have/would have doomed a lot of teams. But, Crawford soldiered on continuing the successes he gained during the previous season.
Gift: league-wide respect, local respect
Michael Kostka – listen, Mike…do you mind if I call you Mike? I know you look like the guy who plays Thor and that somehow has vaulted you into fan lore, if not the lineup too….but listen, I’m here to remind you that you’ve played in five games this season. Yeah, you were injured. I get that. But, let me ask you this…are you still injured? I ask because you’re kind of playing like shit. And you’re slow. So, let’s work on, like, everything and then regroup in the New Year. See you in Rockford.
Gift: Captain America action figure
Jeremy Morin – look, I’m not sure what you did and to who, but you’re on this list. It’s entirely possible someone may have added your name themselves. I’m almost convinced you’re a good person and deserve the Indian Head instead of cartoon swine, but dude…what did you do? Tell me. Please. Well, whatever you did, don’t do it again.
Gift: Kyle Beach jersey
Nikolai Khabibulin – I can’t officially be mad at you. It isn’t your fault you’re 40 years old and unable to move post to post without going onto the LTIR. They knew what they were getting when they brought you back. I also can’t blame you for the money you’re making not playing. If you weren’t injured you wouldn’t be playing anyways. Let’s be honest, a line graph of your minimal appearances were all headed downhill except the goals against. I bet you’d even clear waivers, too.
Gift: Last five pages to Of Mice and Men
Brennan still believes in Santa. Ruin it for him on Twitter @midway_brennan