not only do i want the penguins NOT to visit the white house this year, i also want them to give the most thinly veiled excuses possible when asked. like oh, sorry we can’t be at the white house… sidney’s got a cold… tanger is washing his hair that day… geno just forgot how to speak english… not that we’d expect his russian to be too much trouble for the current white house staff, but all the same, 

Next time there’s a lockout because Bettman et al. have decided to throw another tantrum, I hope the NHLPA just sort of goes “well alrighty” and sets out to prove that the NHL needs the players more than the players need the NHL

What I mean is that they hire a few camera people and do things like:

  • Trying to play Sports That Are Not Hockey on ice. Personally I think Auston Matthews would be very entertaining at ice baseball
  • Buying a literal punch bowl and calling it the “Steve Cup” or something
  • Short reality-TV episodes following the lives of Tyler Seguin’s dogs
  • Roller hockey
  • Underwater hockey
  • Players launching a public health campaign about the importance of dental care
  • A Hockey with the Stars type show where they try to make hockey teams with celebrities who do not know how to skate
  • Going to the Olympics
  • Lots of PK Subban style charity stuff. In fact, just lots of PK Subban. He doesn’t need hockey to have fans
  • Helping out with other union disputes. Just. News articles about fast-food worker strikes in Pittsburgh and there’s Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury holding up signs
  • Zdeno Chara could get a job retrieving things off high shelves or something
  • Disney on Ice
8

When Pens winger Phil Kessel arrived at Ricoh Coliseum for Pittsburgh’s optional practice on Friday, he was met with a surprise.

Instead of finding his gear in a locker stall, it was set up on a chair outside of the locker room, complete with a case of Coke-a-Cola, cups for coffee, some signs and a big sign above it all reading “The Phil Zone.”

The prank was the brainchild of center Evgeni Malkin and head equipment manager Dana Heinze.

The backstory is this. On Thursday the Pens were playing against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. However, there were only 24 locker stalls available and 25 players in attendance.

Heinze approached Malkin out of respect and asked if he would mind being placed in a chair, since he was not playing that evening against the Devils. Malkin, of course, was fine with it.

Heinze set out to find “the nicest chair possible,” and set up his gear on the seat. As the team arrived for the morning skate, Kessel began chirping both Heinze and Malkin. He even tweeted a pic of the seat saying: “Pigeon couldn’t even get a regular stall.”

So Malkin and Heinze put their heads together for some payback.

“It wasn’t my idea. It was Dana. He said we need to answer,” Malkin said. “I wanted to answer today and Dana helped me.”

04/07/17: Phil Kessel gets pranked + Inside Scoop: Payback for Phil