MONTREAL, QC. — I came to a very important decision while watching the Canadiens play the Red Wings, and, like a child who wants something from Santa Claus, I’ve decided to do something about it:
Hi. It’s me, Rookie. Sorry I haven’t written in so long.
I know that I ask for a lot, and that you don’t usually give me what I want, but I have an idea. Now, I know that not all of my ideas have been good (Infinite simultaneous penalties, possibly resulting in 1-on-1 goalie time? Not my best work.) but then again, neither have all of yours (seriously, just put the kibosh on those pesky TV networks and their ads on the glass.) And maybe I didn’t expect an All-Star Game draft to be a good idea, but you won that round by making some great TV. Here’s my idea, however crazy it may seem:
The Canadiens and the Red Wings need to play each other more often.
Now, I know that you’re thinking about all of your funky conference realignment, or whether your American TV ratings prefer the Flyers, or if it’s fair to the other teams, but I don’t care. Just make it happen. Tonight’s game was incredible, and it wasn’t just because the Canadiens scored seven (or nineteen, or sixty-three, or however many) goals. It’s because there’s some kind of weird magic that happens during Original Six matchups, and we don’t get to see enough of it. Even the low-scoring games are more exciting than I can say.
Now, think about it: the Original Six are probably your biggest cash cows, outside of maybe a certain Penguin/SportChek employee. You could sell so many tickets and so much ad time. You’d make fans happy, which would be quite an accomplishment.
You’d be giving a nod to history. Yes, I know that the “history” argument is a tired one for a Habs fan, but you know I’m right. “Original Six” is one of those hockey buzzwords that everyone loves throwing around; it gets said even more often than “clutch!” People would tune into these games. I’d watch two Original Six teams play each other if one of them was my biggest rival. That’s a lot of eyes on six teams.
No, I’m not being unfair to the new teams. I probably like the Blue Jackets more than the majority of hockey fans do. I just think this would be a worthwhile change to make in scheduling. The Habs play the Buffalo Sabres approximately fourteen times a season, and someone gets injured every time, not to mention that the entertainment value pales in comparison to the average Original Six game.
Please, NHL? I’ll eat all my vegetables, and I won’t tell any lies, and I’ll stop making fun of Brad Marchand’s nose. I don’t care what it takes. Take all of the Buffalo Sabres games, if you need to. The Red Wings and/or Blackhawks can play whoever the Western equivalent of the Buffalo Sabres is, because it’s an absolute shame that the Canadiens only face them once a season.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I appreciate your prompt response.
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)