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.”
“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity of the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away… It was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
I’ve noticed in some posts and responses that people are surprised they found The Beast attractive. People, he’s supposed to be somewhat appealing. The Beast isn’t that far off from your average mountain man looking hairy guy. He’s basically just a few steps beyond Nick Offerman.
He has to be appealing for the story to work. If Disney went full Kafka and had the Beast crawling out from under the bed looking like Gregor Samsa, I don’t care if you didn’t change a single word, there ain’t no way in hell Belle was sticking around.
Of course now I’m imagining a Beauty and the Beast reboot starring Dan Stevens as Belle (cause he’s handsome, get it) and Nick Offerman as the Beast. No makeup or CGI necessary.
The plot is basically them sitting around that big library drinking scotch and talking about stupid stuff. I smell a hit.