leg that apparently hangs off of his hip.
(Scene: A boardroom in a downtown skyscraper. Brendan Shanahan sits at one end of a long table, preparing for the hearing. After shuffling a few papers, he's ready to begin.)
Shanahan: OK, first up we need to hear from the Maple Leafs. Send in Phil Kessel and Randy Carlyle.
(Phil Kessel walks into the room.)
Shanahan: Uh, where's Randy?
Kessel: Oh, he's on his way.
(Carlyle, sprawled out on top of a fainting couch, is carried into the room by several MLSE interns.)
Carlyle (with the back of his hand to his forehead): Fighting! Enforcers! Oh the humanity! However could an NHL team do such a thing!
Shanahan: Uh, Randy…
Carlyle: Won't somebody please think of the children!
Shanahan: Good try, Randy.
Carlyle: Not buying it, eh?
Shanahan: Not especially.
Carlyle (getting up from the fainting couch): Want to fight about it?
Shanahan: Maybe later. But first I want to talk to Phil. Phil, you're here because you slashed John Scott twice. It sure seemed like intent to injure. Let's start with the first slash, how can you justify that?
Kessel: Before the faceoff, John Scott told me he was going to attack me. He's much bigger than me and has far more experience fighting, so I felt that I needed to take action to protect myself. Whether it's on the ice or on the street, a person in imminent danger of being assaulted has a right to self-defence, and so I did what I had to do.
Shanahan: Hm. That's pretty convincing.
Shanahan: And the second slash?
Kessel: Oh, I was just trying to break his ankle.
Kessel: Seriously, screw that guy, am I right?
Shanahan: Well, I appreciate your honestly, even though you probably just extended your suspension by another game.
Kessel (under his breath): That's the last extension I'll be getting in this town…
Carlyle: Wait, what?
Kessel: Nothing coach!
Shanahan: Phil, if you could just sign your statement, we're done here.
(Shanahan hands Kessel a pen. Kessel starts to write, then pauses to shake the pen.)
Kessel: It's out of ink.
Voice from outside: DON'T WORRY PHIL, I WILL SAVE YOU!
Kessel: Oh Christ.
(David Clarkson bursts dramatically through the office's plate glass window.)
Shanahan: The door was unlocked...
Clarkson (striking a heroic pose): No time for that now. PHIL KESSEL IS IN TROUBLE!
Kessel: Actually, I can just get another pen, Dave, it's not really a big deal…
Clarkson: MUST PROTECT PHIL!
Kessel: No, actually, the situation is completely under control and…
Clarkson: WE'LL GATHER THE TROOPS! STORM THE INK FACTORY! THERE WILL BE BLOOD AT DAWN!
Carlyle: I'm on it.
(Carlyle pulls out a long vaudevillian cane and slowly reaches for Clarkson's neck.)
Shanahan: Cool cane.
Kessel: Thanks. We just had it made.
Shanahan: OK, now it's time to get the Sabres side of the story. Send in John Scott and Ron Rolston.
(Rolston enters the room, wheeling a large crate. He smashes the crate's lock with a sledgehammer, and John Scott emerges.)
Shanahan: John, why don't we start with you. Can you explain your actions leading up to the altercation?
Scott: (staring straight ahead)
Rolston: Yeah, he's not much of a talker.
Shanahan: I'm getting that impression.
Rolston: Oops, almost forgot feeding time.
(Rolston tosses an oddly shaped slab of raw beef in Scott's direction.)
Scott: (unhinges jaw; devours slab whole)
Shanahan: Was that a human femur?
Rolston: Don't you worry about what it was.
Carlyle: Completely disgusting. You ought to be ashamed. (Takes out a notepad; writes "Reminder to self: Feed Orr/McLaren.")
Shanahan: OK, well let's move on to you, Ron. You certainly seemed to be sending a message by having Scott on the ice. Given the situation, why leave him out there?
Rolston: I realize it may have seemed over the top. But I'm the coach of the Sabres now, and I have to respect the fact that Buffalo fans prefer a team that plays rough.
Shanahan: They do?
Rolston: Oh sure. Every fan I talk to is always saying stuff like "We love rough" and "This team was way better in the rough days".
Rolston: Or "I can't believe we fired rough and hired you, oh man our franchise is so screwed".
Rolston: Come to think of it, that last one doesn't even make grammatical sense.
Shanahan: You keep working on it. By the way, is he OK?
(Shanahan looks over at Scott, who is gnawing on the boardroom table.)
Rolston: You're going to want to avoid making eye contact.
Shanahan: Thanks for the warning. OK, our next witness is… wait, that can't be right.
Tyler Seguin: Hey guys.
Shanahan: You have nothing to do with this case.
Seguin: Sorry. I'm legally mandated to show up at least once in every Phil Kessel story. It's a Toronto bylaw.
(From the street below, a tour bus with a hot tub on the roof begins honking its horn impatiently.)
Seguin: So, are we almost done, or…
Shanahan: We're getting there.
Seguin (noticing Kessel): Oh, hey Phil.
Kessel: Hey Tyler. How's Boston?
Seguin: Actually, I got traded this summer.
Kessel: Oops. Now I feel kind of awkward.
Clarkson: I WILL SAVE YOU FROM YOUR FEELINGS, PHIL!
Kessel: No, David, it's fine. Look, just take a deep breath and think about what you're about to…
Clarkson (flips the boardroom table): YEEEARGHH!
Shanahan: OK, I think we need to wrap this up. Does anyone have any final statements they want to get on the record?
Scott: I've just always found that any discussion of justice is complicated by Plato's Euthyphro dilemma, which states that if we are to have independent moral standards then some actions must be right or wrong in themselves independent of a higher authority.
Seguin: Ah, but then you'd be ignoring Swinburne's response that contingent moral truths cannot be denied without inherently contradicting…
Scott: (immediately uppercuts Seguins' head, which explodes)
Shanahan: OK everyone, thanks for coming. I'll release the video announcing my decision once I've taken my medication to remove all traces of my personality. You can all leave now.
(Everyone begins to file out.)
Shanahan: Oh, by the way, you'll have to take the stairs. The elevator is being repaired.
Carlyle: Wait, you mean there's an open elevator shaft just down that hallway?
Carlyle: That's an incredibly dangerous situation!
(He thinks for a moment.)
Carlyle: Phil, you go.
Clarkson: FEAR NOT, PHIL!
Kessel: David, I'll just take the stairs…
Clarkson: I'LL FIGHT YOU, GRAVITY!
(Clarkson hurls himself down the elevator shaft.)
Clarkson (voice fading as he plummets): I REGRET NOTHING….
Rolston: OK, now is this over?
Shanahan: Now it's over.
Rolston: Completely over?
Shanahan: 100%. Done. Finished. Everything has been resolved, and the situation is absolutely and completely over with.
Rolston Which means...
Shanahan (checks watch): Any second now…
Jonathan Bernier: Hey, anyone want to fight?
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