Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Mailbag: Casting an NHL season of Survivor, rare jersey numbers, and the worst-case scenario for the Leafs

It’s August and nothing is happening. Let’s open up the mailbag and argue about reality TV, bigger nets and how bad it can really get for this year’s Leafs.

Note: Submitted questions have been edited for clarity and style.

You’ve mentioned on the podcast a couple times that you and the family are big Survivor fans, so you seem like the ideal person to bring the NHL and Survivor together. Which current NHLers (players/coaches/executives) would make the best pre-merge tribe? – Scott A.

This is true. Survivor is like the only regularly scheduled program my family watches (everything else in YouTube, Netflix or sports). So yeah, let’s take a crack at a ten-person tribe.

To state the obvious, we’re not looking for the ten best Survivor players. That would be boring. Instead, we need to check all the boxes in a typical reality show lineup. Here’s the best I can come up with, although I’d want to hear some alternate versions in the comments.

Nathan MacKinnon: The guy who seems cool at first and takes a leadership position but turns out to be out of his mind and eventually makes half his tribe hate him, even though nobody will say that to his face because they’re secretly terrified of him.

P.K. Subban: The super-charismatic dude who is immediately loved by half the tribe and hated by the other half.

Brad Marchand: The guy who’s super annoying and knows it, and uses that to drive everyone else out of their minds and probably ends up winning.

Joe Thornton: The lovable goofball who everyone wants to keep around even though he gets winded a few seconds into every challenge.

Marc-Andre Fleury: The super-nice guy everyone is rooting for who gets blindsided in the season’s saddest moment.

Phil Kessel: The awkward guy who looks like he’s never done a sit-up in his life but turns out to be amazing at challenges and kind of makes you feel bad about yourself for some reason.

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