Two Minutes for Asking: July 1st Woes


by Rookie, Staff Writer,

MONTREAL, QC. — Welcome to Two Minutes For Asking, the All Habs Network’s new advice column for hockey fans. Please be warned that it might not always be good advice, and it might not be what you want to hear, because hockey fans already know what they want, so why did you even ask in the first place?

Dear Rookie: A lot of my favourite players will be free agents on July 1. What should I do if they sign with the wrong teams?

First of all, I’m not sure if anything this year could be more harrowing than watching Malcolm Subban get drafted by the Boston Bruins. So take heart, because the worst is most probably past us. I’m still figuring out how to deal with that draft day disaster. I’ve been hatching schemes to get him back that are so awful and elaborate that Nicolas Cage should make movies about them.

Second, brace yourself. Do your research. The fact that you already know your favourite players will be free agents is a step in the right direction. No one wants to forget about an impending free agency and suddenly be thrown for a loop when their favourite player goes to the other side of the continent. Trust me. Last year, I realized on June 30th that one of my favourite Habs prospects was set to be a UFA on July 1, when he (obviously) signed with another team. I was upset. It was not a pretty sight. Don’t let it happen to you!

Next, decide on a plan. Maybe you’re going to a barbecue or a lake or something for Canada Day. You can make sure that you’re never more than ten steps away from beer in case news breaks and you really, really need a drink. Or you could plan on wearing that player’s jersey all day, out of superstition. Maybe if you talk about him often enough, he won’t go to the wrong team. (Sounds crazy, I know, but I’ve seen it happen.) Or you can just be completely pessimistic and expect the worst, that way you’ll be ready for any outcome.

You can also try denial. My sister once claimed that Mike Komisarek was abducted by aliens, and that some other dude with the same last name now plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. She believed this for an entire season. I’m not kidding. Maybe you can start coming up with improbable scenarios of your own! Maybe he had to be put into the Witness Protection Program and replaced with a robot. Maybe he has some strange form of amnesia. Maybe he has an evil twin. The possibilities are endless! You could maybe watch a soap opera or a later-season episode of Lost if you need inspiration.

You could prepare to turn your back on him as soon as he’s on another team. This seems to be a popular option for most NHL fans. Just practice saying “He’s a bum!” or “He’s so greedy! It was all about the money!” to make sure that you’ve really got the delivery right. Remember that if a player leaves, it’s because he, without a doubt, hates you. As such, you must never speak of him again. (We used to have the option of blaming it on management, but that’s so 2011. Only a charlatan would blame this sort of stuff on Marc Bergevin right now.) Prepare to boo him the next time he plays the Habs. He earned it! It was all about the money!

Being prepared for Canada Day hockey heartbreak is the best thing a hockey fan can hope for, especially in times such as these, when contracts and trades sometimes make no sense at all.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Malcolm Subban to save.

Do you need advice on something hockey-related? Email erica [at] and she’ll give you advice that may or may not be worth taking!