flailing all over the ice, Brian Burke
knew he'd found his first-line center.
With all the attention paid to the move, you'd think Kadri was the first prospect ever called up to the NHL. That's nonsense, of course, as call-ups are a common part of the game. So common, in fact, that the league has prepared a little known set of guidelines that all new call-ups are required to review before playing their first game.
A copy of those guidelines was recently leaked to me, and I've reproduced them below.
Dear miscellaneous rookie,
Congratulations on your recent call-up, and welcome to the National Hockey League!
While you're no doubt excited about this opportunity, you're probably wondering how to behave now that you've reached the game's highest level. To assist you in this important career step, we suggest you carefully review the following tips on what you should and shouldn't be doing in the big leagues.
Do: Take the opportunity to say goodbye to your teammates before leaving the minor league affiliate.
Do not: Do so by bursting out of the coach's office shouting "so long, scrubs" while throwing wadded up dollar bills around the dressing room.
Do: Be prepared to do interviews with members of the media.
Do not: Violate official NHL policy by accidentally saying something that could be construed as vaguely interesting.
Do: Ask the referee for the puck after you score your first goal against an NHL goaltender.
Do not: Ask the referee for the puck after you score your first goal against Pascal Leclaire.
Do: Look forward to the fun and excitement of visiting various exciting cities around the continent.
Do not: Look too disappointed when you find out your first game is in Edmonton instead.
Do: Take the opportunity to politely greet any NHL players that you've admired since your youth.
Do not: Prepare for a friendly handshake by quickly discarding your gloves the first time you meet Zdeno Chara.
Do: Expect that now that you're making an NHL salary, you'll be tempted to try to purchase the first expensive vehicle you see.
Do not: Ask the zamboni driver if you can take it for a test drive.
Do: Look forward to being mentioned by Don Cherry on Coach's Corner.
Do not: Be surprised when he mispronounces your name, even if it's something seemingly simple like "Smith" or "Jones" or "Cherry".
Do: If you have family in Toronto, splurge on front row tickets for the first time your team comes to play at the ACC.
Do not: Score your first career goal during the opening ten minutes of a period, since they won't be there to see it.
Do: Tell your girlfriend before you leave that while it will be difficult living in separate cities, you hope that you can find a way to continue the relationship.
Do not: Become distracted during this important conversation by the supermodels waving champagne glasses and honking the horn of the running convertible in your driveway.
Do: Be prepared to feel as if you don't quite fit in at first among the guys in the dressing room.
Do not: Make the situation worse by insisting on showering in your bathing suit.
Do: Continue to play the same sort of tough, physical game that helped you get called up in the first place.
Do not: Play that way against Gregory Campbell. Um, you're just going to have to trust us on that one.
Do: Take the opportunity to ask questions during practice if there is something you don't understand.
Do not: Ask "Hey, Coach Wilson, will we still be using this same system next month once the new head coach has started?"