Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Seriously, let's just play hockey

Well, the Stanley Cup playoffs are continuing, but it's also time for IIHF World Hockey Championship. This is the tournament where NHL players who aren't still trying to take home that world's largest champagne glass get to showcase their skills with a bunch of guys from their home countries. For hockey fans, it's kind of like pre-preseason. And, of course, leave it to Canada to stick their noses into the goings-on of the tournament, at least in relation to their team.

Some of you may remember that a few select Canadians decided to try and pass legislation prohibiting the NHL from airing telecasts of playoff hockey on Saturday afternoons. Well, now a parliamentary committee has decided to call Hockey Canada officials, to defend their choice of team captain. It seems that the Official Language Committee of the House of Commons has some issues with Shane Doan, and alleged remarks made to a French-Canadian referee in 2005. Nevermind that Doan was cleared of the supposed slur. He's apparently not fit to lead Team Canada on the ice.

We understand, Canada. We know the pain that you must be feeling right now, with the realization that, most likely, those who hoist Lord Stanley's Cup this year will once again come from a location that doesn't see ice outside of the hockey arena. We even get that, sometimes, the pressure of making actual decisions that affect the lives of your constituents is just too much to bear. After all, look at our President (who's still probably in shock that he wasn't voted off of American Idol). We'll also accept that, because Hockey Canada gets governmental funding, you technically have some level of say.

But come on. Trying to dispute the choice of captaincy simply due to an alleged comment, made during a game, when emotions run high? It's not like he stepped out and made these statements during a radio broadcast. And he was talking about a French-Canadian. You remember... they're from the part of Canada that even you aren't that fond of.

Tell you what, Canada. Let's meet in the middle on this. You let Shane Doan remain as the captain, especially since the Phoenix Coyote could use the boost after his team's last season. We'll pretend that we don't send people across your borders simply for cheaper products and medicine. And we'll both pretend that Vancouver is a suitable replacement for every city in America when it comes to filming television episodes.

Then we can sit around together, drink beer, and hope that someone can knock Anaheim or San Jose out of the Cup chase. At least the other teams are familiar with snow.

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