The Barnstormer has secured the cooperation of a locked-out NHL player who has agreed to document each day he is kept out of action on the condition that we do not reveal his identity. Ever. Read all the daily diary entries of “Cheap Throat” here.
8:00AM — Woke up in my old room. Edmonton Oiler sheets, slobbering on my Glenn Anderson/Jari Kurri/Gretz pillow. Best sleep since the Bettman War started. I’ve heard rumours that Bettman occasionally wears a dress, J. Edgar styles, and sings showtunes to Bill Daly. Can’t confirm it. I believe it, though. Ever seen Bettman’s cheeks? Really red, rosey even. Like he wiped off blush in a hurry. I’ve seen strippers cheeks coloured the same hue.
8:11AM — I shouldn’t talk about strippers with my mum downstairs.
8:12AM — But, this one time, in Columbus, we had a night off, and we go to the peelers, and Jonesy decides to that thing where you put the $20 dollar bill in your mouth and the girl gets down real close and takes it from you. Except Jonesy’s still got his Smirnoff Ice in his hand, and he’s giggling a bit, and the drink spills, and the girl slips, and Jonesy twists his head to avoid getting stripper all over his face, and then he screams like a little girl. Turns out he’s pulled something. Out three weeks. Upper body injury. Dunno how long the stripper was out, but def a lower body injury. Happy fuckin’ Columbus Day!
9:01AM — Breakfast with mum and dad. Three over easy, bacon, peameal bacon (that’s Canadian bacon to the ‘Mericans), ham, homefries, cretons, bagels, 3 pancakes smothered in maple syrup (what are flapjacks? anyone know? Email the Barnstormer guys if you do), fresh OJ, vanilla yogurt and granola with dried cranberries, and Pike Place blend from ‘Bucks. Mum must think we’re going back to playing soon. Don’t know where I’m gonna put it all.
9:33AM — Mum and dad talking about The Iron Lady. Man, do I wanna jump in. Thatcher was the bomb!
9:35AM — I’d do Meryl Streep. I would. I know she’s older like, but I’d still get on that. Bet she’s wild.
11:34AM — My sister’s the first to arrive. Then my brothers and all their wives and kids. The house is nuts. Dad’s eyein’ the clock so he can crack a 50 at noon.
The bird’s all ready goin’. My mum rocks the best bird. Kills it. Kills it. I’m usually in camp or playing on Thanksgiving, so this is my first one at home, first real one anyway, since I was, like, 16. Mum usually does a special one just for me, either comin’ down to my place, or I’ll fly up here before camp. But being here with the fam is pretty cool.
12:48PM — Spent one Thanksgiving at the Marriott in Pittsburgh. ‘Course, the hotel don’t know it’s Thanksgiving in Canada, but half the team there is Canadian boys, and the staff too. So Chris is hellbent on getting a turkey, but the hotel doesn’t have one, and we don’t know the city real well to go looking, plus we got team meetings and shit, so Chrissyboy gets the hotel to gather the entire kitchen staff in a private dining room or something that seats about fifty, and there’s like thirty confused chefs and dishwashers, and he tells ‘em he’ll give ‘em 5K each if there’s a traditional Thanksgiving meal set up by 5:30. And they all think it’s bullshit, so they’re not taking off fast enough for Chrisser, so dude pulls a stack of bills out of his bag, and slams it down on the table, and screams “Fucking go get me some fuckin’ turkey and cranberry fuckin’ sauce right fuckin’ now.” And the dudes scatter. At 5:30 we ate like kings. Canadian kings. Beauty.
1:11PM — Another Thanksgiving I got crabs from a waitress in Boston. Fuck Boston. Ain’t nothing good ever come out of that racist white-bred Irish hell hole.
1:12PM — Which reminds me, wanna know something weird? Zdeno Chara ain’t got no accent. Like, none. Sounds like he’s from fucking Vancouver. Oh, sure, on the TV and shit he’s all Russian or Czech or Polish or whatever, and all “Like team for long playoffs. My shot hard. I hope Pacioretty no be dead”. But in a scrum and shit, it’s gone. Freaked me out the first time. Think he uses it to throw guys off. Won him a Norris, I guess.
3:07PM — My brother’s youngest kid is out back pissing on my mum’s garden gnomes. Just like a Sutter. That family will piss anywhere. The whole lot of them. I heard Brent pissed on the ice during practice once. Dunno if it’s true, but if it is, no wonder the Flames never made the playoffs. Damn coach pisses on the ice.
4:44PM — I dominated the family pool tourney. My brothers nearly come to blows. Nearly take a cue to the face in the final. Just like playing Swedes in pool. They all suck, but they all take losing real bad. Some Swede rookie D, can’t remember his name, never made the team, nearly took out my eye during a team tourney on an off day during camp. I took him on the ice during the skate around the next day. Woah. Kid took his beating, though. I’ll mail your teeth to ya in Frölunda when we find ‘em, Sven.
6:00PM — WE EAT! Whole family around a table for the first time in forever. Only good thing to come from Bettman’s War. The kids got their kids table over in the corner. Think the last time I ate Thanksgiving with my family I was at the kid’s table. Nana was still alive. Kept telling my dad he had gotten fat. My sister too. Think that’s why sis stopped eating meat. Nana drank her Thanksgiving dinner. Not pureed or nothing, but just a glass of cubes and a bottle of Grants.
8:35PM — Woah. Like, woah. Best. Meal. Ever. Iron Lady good. That bird was Streep! (Let’s start that, okay? When something’s off-the-hook, from now on it’s Streep.)
10:11PM — Everyone has to go. Most the nieces and nephews are asleep. Hugs all around. Dad’s on the stool, slumped over a Glenfiddich chaser. Best Thanksgiving ever.
11:18PM — Helped Mum with the dishes, and with getting Dad into the guest room. House still smells like bird. Awesome. Going to get into bed, back in my Oilers sheets.
11:34PM — I hope this thing ends soon. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of doing nothing, or like my Nana used to say: “Bored as a dead cat in the rain.” Being around the family really made me miss the boys. Maybe I should settle down, stop going all puck bunny all the time. Maybe it’s time to find the puck bunny. But who’s gonna fall for me if I ain’t playing? 6’2”, 200, unemployed. No one’s gonna love that.
11:49PM — Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Sorry there’s no hockey opening up this week. Really. Not my call.
- “Cheap Throat: The Diary of a Locked-Out NHLer“. Read all the other entries here.
- “Complicit in the NHL’s Demise: How the NHL & its players hate hockey, and how the fan is at fault” by Mike Spry
- The Barnstormer’s Take Hockey Back fan protest event