Thursday, July 24, 2014

The most awkward passage from every team's Wikipedia page

I love Wikipedia. It’s a great source for information and anecdotes about just about everything you could imagine. Granted, not all of that information is true, or vaguely accurate, or even spelled correctly. But it’s interesting, and you can learn a lot. NHL teams are no exception, and all 30 have extensive Wikipedia pages that go into exhaustive details about the franchise’s historic highs and lows.

It’s that latter category that can be especially fun. So I spent some time reading through the site’s version of each team’s history and picking out the most ridiculous passages. Here are my selections for the strangest, funniest, or just plain saddest direct quotes from each NHL franchise’s current Wikipedia page.

Anaheim Ducks

Another well known blunder occurred in October 1995 when Wild Wing, attempting to jump through a “wall of fire”, accidentally tripped causing the mascot to land on the fire and set his costume ablaze.

Yes, this is an actual thing that really happened. If you’ve ever wanted to watch footage of a mascot face-planting (beak-planting?) and catching fire, repeatedly, set to the soundtrack of a Beastie Boys song, then you’re in luck.

Arizona Coyotes

The franchise would not win another playoff series for 25 years.

Is that good? I feel like that’s not good.

Boston Bruins

[Frank] Brimsek had an award-winning season, capturing the Vezina and Calder Trophies, becoming the first rookie named to the NHL First All-Star Team, and earning the nickname “Mr. Zero”. The team skating in front of Brimsek included Bill Cowley, [Eddie] Shore, [Dit] Clapper and “Sudden Death” Mel Hill (who scored three overtime goals in one playoff series), together with the “Kraut Line” of center Milt Schmidt, right winger Bobby Bauer and left winger Woody Dumart.

Man, they just don’t make clever hockey nicknames like Mr. Zero and Sudden Death any more. Then again, they don’t make blatantly racist hockey nicknames like the Kraut Line anymore either. Maybe ease up a little there, 1930s Boston.

Buffalo Sabres

During a face-off and through the fog, Sabres center Jim Lorentz spotted a bat flying across the rink, swung at it with his stick, killing it. It was the only time that any player killed an animal during an NHL game.

I’m glad someone took the time to clarify that NHL players killing animals during games is relatively rare. I’m pretty sure that’s in The Code somewhere.

Calgary Flames

Harvey the Hound is the Flames’ mascot. [...] Harvey is famous for an incident in January 2003 where he had his tongue ripped out by Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish as he was harassing their bench.

This also actually happened. Apparently, being an NHL mascot is a much more dangerous job than you’d think. I wonder if a player has ever killed one during a game.

Carolina Hurricanes

In 2006–07, the Hurricanes finished third in the Southeast and eleventh overall in the Eastern Conference. This finish made them the first champions since the 1938–39 Chicago Black Hawks to have failed to qualify for the playoffs both the seasons before and after their championship season.

Nice try, nefarious Wikipedia vandal, but your made-up “facts” aren’t going to fool any real hockey fans. I mean, really: The 2006 Hurricanes winning the Stanley Cup? As if that ever happened.

Chicago Blackhawks

According to Jim Coleman, sportswriter for the Toronto Globe and Mail, [owner Frederic] McLaughlin felt the ‘Hawks were good enough to finish first. [Coach Pete] Muldoon disagreed, and in a fit of pique, McLaughlin fired him. According to Coleman, Muldoon responded by yelling, “Fire me, Major, and you’ll never finish first. I’ll put a curse on this team that will hoodoo it until the end of time.” The Curse of Muldoon was born — although Coleman admitted years after the fact that he had fabricated the whole incident and became one of the first widely known sports “curses.”

A quick power ranking of the many things I love about this passage:

5. The use of the phrase “in a fit of pique.”

4. The completely unnecessary scare quotes on “curses.”

3. That the curse applied to regular-season standings and didn’t actually prevent the team from winning multiple Stanley Cups over the next decade. Oops. Always take a minute to think your curses through, spurned NHL coaches!

2. The almost casual mention of the entire thing being completely and totally made up.

1. “Hoodoo it until the end of time.” I have no idea what that even means but I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to start working it into every conversation I have.

>> Read the full post on Grantland

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