Eager and ready (?) to enter, stage left - Ben Maxwell, Greg Stewart, Matt D’Agostini and Max-Pac are all long shots to make the roster and have to steal one from a vet – a phrase Coach Carbo must recite in is sleep. All these guys have Little Tits/mid season recall potential – especially Max-Pac, who seems to be on the fast track to the bigs. At this point I have the urge to add: suck it, Brendan Shanahan. We’ve got our own budding power forward (is it bad I’m thrilled the Rangers have told to Shanny take a walk? Oh I love holding grudges).
The tits - it's nice to have such problems. Remember when Patrick Poulin was a 3rd/4th liner? (Yeah, I don’t want to think about those days either.) Dandy can still play some ‘d’, versatility which Carbo seems to cherish. You have to keep the young gun/potential 2nd/3rd line center, My Boy Chips, don’t you? (Please?)
The cellulite - Greek Lightning, whose PK time may be taken up by other players like Little Tits and Chips, and his pugilistic skills are obviously redundant given the presence of the league’s reigning heavyweight champ. He’s also the French press’s favorite to be cut if RDS/Francois Gagnon are to be believed, conveniently also deflecting any talk of El Dandy getting the axe.
The armpit hair – Detroit’s 4th line (assuming everyone’s healthy) will be the slick Jiri Hudler (who can slide all thy way up to the first line) with Tomas Kopecky (the guy who clocked Carle) and old war horse Kirk Maltby, with the Darrens, Helm and McCarty, in reserve. Um, the Habs can brag about depth and fights for jobs, but they’re still not in the Wings' league. And we’re not even talking defensive depth, where the Wings go ten deep. Did that sound dirty? I hope so.
In the VIP Room - I’m betting El Dandy sees his name on the waiver wire first, because Greek Lightning seems like a popular guy in the room, although that may be a reason for Carbo to fear a putsch, who knows. GL may only be living on borrowed time because Laraque may still be nursing – or more likely, having some young woman nurse – his sore groin for a while. However, Dandy has a habit of strutting around in pink g-strings around the locker room. (OK, that’s not true, but admit it - somehow believable.)
Chez Parée bound? Conventional wisdom says Georgy Boy, Mad Max and Begin seems to have three spots locked up, so who are we to disagree? That would mean thinking for ourselves, and we swore off that in the 80s. My heart says My Boy Chips and GL start the season, but I’m not sure GK will finish it there. We’ll see if my heart’s an ass.
Signature song – I’m Not Over, Carolina Liar. Both Dandy and GL may be saying that to themselves if they don’t make the team, because from this angle their careers are in jeopardy if they fail to make the cut. (I'm know the song is actually about getting over a break up, but the title fits and I wanted an excuse to show that I still know the music kids are listening to these days.)
8 lap dances (out of 10) – speed and sandpaper, grit and grace, whatever combination of players starts the year on the bottom art of the roster will collectively bring some intangibles every team needs to win. OK who are we kidding, these guys aren’t going to win us any games, but they can keep the Habs from losing them.
HF29: An abundance of quality 4th liners. That’s sort of a mixed blessing, isn’t it? But goddamn if Chips doesn’t play at least 70 games this year I will be pissed.
HF4: If you fill up the line with veterans and let Maxi-Pac play every 28 days, everything will be a-ok.