Monday, March 15, 2010

Cold Cases: The NHL's other missing items

Crime sceneHockey fans are well aware of the recent mini-drama involving Sidney Crosby's equipment from Canada's gold medal game. The stick he used to score the winning goal went missing along with a glove, leading to a Canada-wide search and a $10,000 reward.

The equipment was eventually found, and the hockey world breathed a sigh of relief. But not so fast. It turns out that Crosby's gear was only one example of a growing problem. NHL-related items have been going missing for years, and there are currently several ongoing investigations.

Here are ten example of high-profile ongoing investigations into NHL items that seem to have disappeared.

The item: Daniel Alfredsson's Stanley Cup ring
Missing since: 2004
Case details: Alfredsson famously guaranteed that the Senators would win at least one Stanley Cup. However, there is no evidence that the ring from that championship is currently in his possession.
Investigation status: Progress has proven difficult, as every time the victim is questioned about it he gets upset and storms away.

The item: The Toronto Maple Leafs' first round draft picks
Missing since: September 18, 2009
Case details: A review of the NHL's draft list shows that the Leafs do not have either of their next two first round picks, despite those picks being critical to their rebuilding effort.
Investigation status: While Leafs GM Brian Burke has denied that a crime took place, every Leafs' home game this year has produced 18,800 new eyewitnesses who confirm that a robbery was pulled off.

The item: Brian Campbell's clavicle
Missing since: March 14, 2010
Case details: The clavicle, last seen Sunday morning, has since been replaced by a loose pile of jagged shards and bone-colored dust.
Investigation status: While investigators are said to have a suspect in the case, a thorough sweep of the crime scene failed to uncover any evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, or Olympic medals.

The item: Sean Avery's medication
Missing since: About two weeks ago
Case details: Avery appears to have recently gone off the medication which had prevented him from acting like an attention-starved sideshow, saying ridiculous things, having any discernible personality, responding to outside stimuli in any way, and being an effective player.
Investigation status: No firm leads, but authorities strongly suspect that Larry Flynt is involved.

The item: A Philadelphia Flyers playoff-caliber goaltender
Missing since: 1996
Case details: Oddly enough, the team's front office seems completely unaware that anything is missing.
Investigation status: If we can't solve it now, there's always next year. And the next. And the next...

The item: The piano on Lee Stempniak's back
Missing since: March 3, 2010
Case details: The item apparently holds great sentimental value to Stempniak, since he hadn't been seen without it since November 2008.
Investigation status: Let's just say everyone's pretty sure it will turn up on its own.

The item: Scott Gomez
Missing since: 2007
Case details: Gomez signed an enormous free agent deal with the New York Rangers. He's never been heard from since.
Investigation status: Prime suspect Glen Sather claims to have an alibi, insisting that Gomez was traded to another team in the off-season. But a brief examination of the player's stats and the NHL's salary cap rules reveals that to be clearly impossible.

The item: Tomas Kaberle's copy of the NHL standings
Missing since: 2008
Case details: It's really the only possible explanation for the whole NTC thing, right?
Investigation status: Authorities are anxious to locate the item prior to this year's draft, since it will give Tomas plenty to think about when he's traded to the Oilers.

The item: Personal items from several Montreal Canadiens
Missing since: March 11, 2010
Case details: Various players reported the recent theft of several cans of shoe polish.
Investigation status: It's the strangest thing, they were right here until those two fans walked by and... oh good God, they couldn't have.

The item: Matt Cooke's karma
Missing since: 1999
Case details: Philosophers believe that the karmic effects of one's deeds will actively impact present and future experiences. However, this delicate universal balance seems to have been mysteriously absent during Cooke's NHL career.
Investigation status: Good news! The Boston Bruins have located the missing item, and have promised to personally return it to Cooke this Thursday.


  1. I'm a flyers fan, and I totally agree with that...but since Michael Leighton was a desparation waiver claim...I see nothing wrong with this year's first round exit.

    maybe JFJ can get a GM's job somewhere allowing the Flyers to trade Boucher for a real goalie...

  2. Can someone explain the canadiens theft one?

  3. I guess I'm not the only one licking his chops for the game on Thursday. Anyone know if Canadian T.V. will be broadcasting it?

    If not, how about those interwebs?

  4. Great post! I hope Avery never finds his meds, he's so much more fun without them.

  5. I think Alfredsson's ring must be from the 2005 Stanley Cup finals. Ottawa vs. the Seattle Metropolitans. Blacked out in most of North America, sadly.

    On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how these names wound up on the Cup in Sharpie? Please contact the Hall of Fame with any information.

  6. Seems Alfie has a better case for lost Cup memorabilia than one former Swede Leaf captain.

    I keep this little tidbit on hand for moments like this:

    "But I will tell you one thing," [Sundin] said emphatically. "The Toronto Maple Leafs will win the Stanley Cup while I'm still with the team."
    ~14-May-2005. You know... during that 'wikked' Leaf's SC run in 2007.

    Link (since updated with a lovely 404 - go get some microfiche folks!):

  7. Hilarious as always. And yes, Avery desperately needs to throw his Tortocyclin in the trash.

  8. Hehe - awesome. Particularly the part about Kaberle being traded to the Oilers. Hadn't thought of that one.

    Have another one for you - I've suddenly noticed that comments such as "Yeah, well the Canadiens have won a cup every decade..." have completely disappeared. Think you could track that one down?

  9. I used to be the biggest fan of DGB. I've read his stuff faithfully and repetitively for well over a year now. He's simply the best and I will miss him and the hours of laughter he's induced with his brilliant comedic mind. But I can no longer read someone I no longer respect. Why do I not respect him any more? What has he done? It's actually so unbelievable and sickening that I can barely bring myself to type it out. You see folks, I realized tonight that DGB follows Damien Cox on twitter. I just can't be a fan of someone who follows the tweets of that moron Cox.

  10. @I'm done with DGB

    It's obviously just for investigative purposes and comedy mining.

  11. @I'm Done...

    I swear, I only get it for the articles!

    Actually, Cox has got his fastball back since Burke came to town. With the exception of when he goes back to one of his dead horses (like fighting), I'm enjoying his stuff again.

  12. Coincidentally, the NYR fans had missed Avery's personality for quite a while, but fortunately (for NYR fans, not for anyone else), it seems to have been found.

    And when speaking of Avery, I believe he holds the key to getting NHL to make an instant rule against headshots.
    In a proper setting, he simply needs to make a legal headshot against a proper opponent and knock them out for the season. Brodeaur @ march 25 would be the perfect one as NHL seems to believe it's appropriate to make rules whenever Avery targets Brodeaur.

    Now that his medication has gone missing, there's a chance that it may happen. It will be known as The Avery Rule pt. II

  13. The item: Vesa Toskala
    Missing since: traded by Leafs to Anaheim
    Case details: Newspaper reports suggest Toskala was thereafter traded by Anaheim to Calgary, but that can't be right, can it?
    Investigation status: A closer examination of the statistics attributed to Toskala during his time with the Leafs, especially his save percentage, leads all NHL GMs (except Darryl Sutter) to conclude that Toskala never stepped on the ice for the Leafs - no goalie could possibly miss that many.

  14. awesome post...the only other "missing item" I can think of right now would be NHL Commissioner - missing since 1993...

  15. Missing: a stale ass Wellwood joke from a DGB blog

  16. I swear I get a little bit of a broner everytime I see that there's a new DGB post..

    Funniest part about the Crosby story, Patrice Bergeron had the stuff. Apparently sitting on the bench and taking 8 faceoffs at the olympics wasn't enough for him.

  17. I would say the Flyers goaltending has been missing since 1989 myself.

    I think Tortorella hid Avery's meds since he is less than useless without them. I keep forgetting he is on the team that's how invisible he's been.

  18. Habs fan trolling here, Good post. Funny stuff.

    Gomez has been amazing lately. I really don't have to tell you though you'll find out in about 10 minutes ha ha ha.

  19. It's sad when a troll's prediction doesn't come true. In this case Jaybird. Gomez still missing.

  20. Since 96? That's being too nice. I'd say they've been missing one since the late 80s

  21. Ha, great article.

    Anyone see this story about Janet Gretzky? Very funny.

  22. well playeed again sir. number 1 & 2 were spot on. And the flyer goalie situation. Going back to Ronald Hextall.. hularious.