Peristy Business Insider: April 23, 2014

By Luke Peristy

It was like any other evening and I was watching The Last Play at Shea (as usual) when the phone rang.

Me: "Hello?"

Operator: "Would you like to accept a collect call from...'Dat Mullet tho'...? Please press 7. Now."

Me: [Reluctantly presses 7]

Mullet: "Lukaaaaaaas, my main man! What's up, bro?"

Me: "Well, you know, since Sens hockey is over I'm not really doing much. Just waiting for hockey to bring meaning to my life again."

Mullet: "Wow, sounds like you're in a real existential funk . . . anyway, the wheels of the blogger industry must continue to turn. Have you thought at all about what you're going to write about this summer? Chet's got his Power Rankings, and I think you could use a thing as well. How about it?"

Me: "Sounds good in principle, I guess. I might as well try to fill the void in my soul where playoff hockey should be by creating web content that literally tens of people will read. What sort of thing did you have in mind?"

Mullet: "No idea. I don't like to micromanage. You know what, let's just do what we always do and steal something from Down Goes Brown. Are you familiar with his Grab Bag articles?"

Me: "Down Goes Brown writes articles about Joel Quenneville?"

Mullet: "What? No. Just pick a bunch of random categories to write about and stick to the same format every week."

Me: "Ok . . ."

Mullet: "Oh yeah, and give it a catchy title, too. Something with a pun in it. I hear that's kinda your thing."

Me: [Smugly] "Well, I've always thought of myself as a cunning-"

Mullet: [Interrupting] "Don't finish that sentence. What's wrong with you?"

Me: "Ham! I was going to say ham! You know, like a bad actor."

Mullet: "Don't patronize me. Anyway, I'd love to help you figure the new format out, but I've gotta finish this guest post for Second City Hockey called 'Seven Ways Joel Quenneville's Mustache is like Paul Maclean's Mustache'. I'm sure you'll be fine. Talk to you later, Lukas."

Me: "Actually, it's just-"


Me: "...Luke."

So without further ado, here is the inaugural edition of Peristy Business Insider.

Note: This column is not associated with any business, insiders, or business insiders, and if any of my future employers are reading this, it's not associated with any Peristys, either.

Opening Monologue

In which I rant incoherently on a topic of my choice.

Have you seen this, have you heard about this? A group of passionate Sens fans are organizing a rally in support of Jason Spezza. Now this may surprise you, but the response from the people I follow on Twitter has not been overwhelmingly positive. I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps they underestimate the effectiveness of the demonstration of literally tens of Senators fans on Parliament Hill. Maybe it was the last Jason Spezza support rally that stopped him from being traded four years ago. Who can possibly know such things?

Would a rally on Parliament Hill be the first way I chose to throw my support behind the captain of MY Ottawa Senators? Probably not. However, given that the Senators fan base is sometimes found wanting for positive energy, I wouldn't want to dissuade any Sens fans from branching out from their usual activity of making crank calls to the Team 1200. Different people show their love in different ways. Let's not be judgmental of our fellow fans just because they wish to frolic in the spring air with maypoles and Spezza jerseys rather than making snarky tweets from the safety of their parents' basements like normal people.

You do you, Sens fans! I will be cheering you all on from the safety of my parents' basement.

Speed Round

In which I use all the jokes I didn't think were good enough for Twitter. Today, let's look at the Round 1 playoff match-ups.

Boston vs. Detroit: Predictions for future headlines for the Boston-Detroit series: "TATAR FOR NOW","WITHOUT A CARON THE WORLD", "OH SHEAHAN YOU SEE", "DON'T BE KRUG", "FRANZEN YOGHURT", "PATRICE IN OUR TIME", and "DEKEYSER (WIL)HELM II".

San Jose vs. Los Angeles: One of the idiosyncrasies of the new playoff format is that two of the best teams in the NHL are meeting in the first round. Is that a bug or a feature? Later this week on Bonk's Mullet dot com, we'll be joined by an entomologist who thinks he knows the answer . . .

Colorado vs. Minnesota: Meanwhile, two of the worst teams in the playoffs are also meeting in the first round. [Holds earpiece in ear] Wait, sorry, let me clarify that statement. I'm not saying that Colorado is bad, I'm just saying they're . . . possessionally challenged.

Tampa Bay vs. Montreal: I was going to make an Anders Lindback joke here, but it was a colossal disappointment and I had to make a Kristers Gudlevskis joke instead. Maybe if I'd just started with a Gudlevskis joke to begin with, this section wouldn't have sucked so much. I told Anders Lindback a joke once, but it went over his head and into the net.

I think we're done here.

St. Louis vs. Chicago: Despite the rave reviews this series has been getting, I haven't been able to watch any of it. It is the Mad Men of playoff series.

Pittsburgh vs. Columbus: Marc-Andre Fleury is posting a sv % of .899, but Pittsburgh still leads this series 2-1. That's not a good sign for the Columbus Glass Slippers Blue Jackets. We should all blame ourselves for this. Bandwagons were never meant to carry crowds of this size.

Anaheim vs. Dallas: I'm not an artist. I don't know anything about design or colour palettes or anything like that. That said, I'm not sure the colour scheme of "spearmint mouthwash vs. artificial pumpkin pie filling" is really working in this series.

New York (Rangers, obviously) vs. Philadelphia: I've got nothing here. The Metropolitan Division is like the Western Conference of the Eastern Conference in the sense that I don't actually care about what goes on there.

Top 3

In which I arbitrarily rank three items. Since it's the playoffs, let's look back at the Top 3 Ottawa Senators overtime winners.

No. 3: Chris Phillips sends the 2003 ECF to a Game 7.

Let's get one thing out of the way. How freaking good was Marian Hossa? That's Hall of Fame defenseman Scott Stevens he goes around, and he does it in the middle of the clutch and grab era, no less. I sometimes I think Ottawa should have maybe kept that guy around, but Milan Michalek is cool too, I guess. [Spends three hours watching Hossa highlights on YouTube]

This Chris Phillips goal forced a Game 7 after the Senators were down 3-1 in the series. Ottawa would go on to lose Game 7 in heartbreaking fashion, but like the expression goes, "It's better to have won then lost, than never to have won at all." (Isn't that right, Tampa Bay?)

No. 2: The Senators win an actual game in overtime against the Leafs thanks to Mike Fisher

The most surprising part about this video (other than the Senators beating the Leafs) is how understated the goal horn is. It only lasts 12 seconds or so. If Ottawa beat Toronto in a playoff game in overtime last week, that horn would still be going today.

I also can't help but think that Jacques Martin would have been absolutely raked over the coals on Twitter for putting out a line of Vermette-Fisher-Neil in 2OT of an elimination game, but it worked out for him. His job would be safe for several more hours.

Hey, wait a second. Who is that at 54:17? Could it be? IT'S CLAPPER MAN! Thumbs up, Clapper Man!

Of course, Ottawa would go on to lose Game 7 in heartbreaking fashion, and wait a second this all seems just a little too familiar.

No. 1: Daniel Alfredsson sends the Senators to the Stanley Cup Final

Expect anything different?

When I think back through all the most memorable playoff OT goals I've watched, they all seem to happen in series that the Senators ultimately lose. So many memories are tainted with later defeat. Not this one, though. Alfie's series winner against Buffalo was the high water mark of the Pizza Line years, and is the gold standard for Ottawa overtime success. Somebody build that man a statue, already!

Tweet Bag

In which I answer your questions delivered through the medium of Twitter.
Intimidation is not Bonk's Mullet's game. He rules by soft-power. He's a big believer in the phrase "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer." How else would you explain this picture?

"Bonk and Adnan sitting in a tree, H-U-G-G-I-N-G..."

Technically Ottawa didn't trade Daniel Alfredsson, but if they had, it would have looked something like this on

July 5Daniel Alfredsson, RW
Sadness, Anger, Future Negative Emotions

I'm not sure if I can narrow down the extensive list of most regrettable Senators trades trades down to just one, but I'll throw out some options that are on the short list.

One could make the argument that the Craig Anderson for Brian Elliot trade was one of the more disastrous trades in Senators history. When Anderson played his first game for Ottawa, the Senators were a hilarious 18-31-9, and were neck and neck with the Oilers (who else?) for the worst record in the league. As much soul-destroying as that season was, at least Ottawa had a stacked draft to look forward to. Of course, what happened next was Anderson went 11-5-1 with a 2.05 GAA and .939 sv% for the rest of the season, whereas Brian Elliot posted a 2-8-1 record with a 3.83 GAA and .891 sv%. This caused the Senators and the Avalanche to literally switch places in the standings, and the Avs picked Babe-rial Mandeskog (as he's known on Tumblr) 2nd overall in the 2011 Entry Draft. Don't get me wrong, I love Mika Zibanejad with an intense passion that would make Pablo Neruda blush, but I still can't help watching the Avs this post-season and thinking about what could have been. But, as the father of the bride might say during a wedding toast, "I don't think of this trade as losing a Landeskog, so much as I think of it as gaining a starting goaltender", which is probably a healthy point of view. Still, though . . .

The first trade that I can remember genuinely upsetting me occurred in 2000 when the Ottawa traded Ron Tugnutt and Janne Laukkanen for Tom Barrasso. The conventional wisdom was that Tugnutt couldn't be trusted in the post-season and the Senators needed to bring in a goalie with more experience and cantankerous emotional instability. 11-year-old me didn't care for the conventional wisdom. Tugnutt ("Tuggers" to his friends) was a fan favourite and also happened to be having the best season of his career, whereas the 34-year-old Barrasso was looking decidedly washed up. What happened next was that Barrasso's play in Ottawa was uninspiring, the Senators lost to the Leafs in 6 games in the 1st round of the playoffs (as was the style of the day), and Tugnutt put up a 1.76 GAA and .945 sv% in 11 playoff games for the Penguins that season. I bet Marshall Johnston was really em-barrasso-ed with the result of that trade. [Raises hand for incoming high-five]

However, if we're going to take speculation and emotion out of the equation, the most regrettable trade in Senators history has to be Martin Havlat and Bryan Smolinski for Tom Preissing (who scored 38 P in 80 games with the Sens), Josh Hennessy (who had 1 goal in 26 NHL games), Michal Barinka (who never even played for the Sens), and a draft pick that turned into Patrick Wiercioch (who is better than Jared Cowen right now). This must have been the karmic retribution for the Alexei Yashin trade. Saying that the Sens got fleeced on this deal is an insult to sheep. The only thing preventing me from driving to John Muckler's house and picketing it until the end of time is the fact that Havlat was going to test the free agent market anyway. Muckler knew this and figured he better get something for Havlat while he still could. What he got was 39 points and a draft pick he wasn't even around to use, so any return on Jason Spezza that's better than that will be considered a win for Bryan Murray.

I'm going to make some assumptions about you, here. I'm going to say that you grew up in Ottawa during the late-70s/early-80s, and because there was no suitable local team, and because children are insufferable front-runners, you naturally gravitated to the Islanders. It wasn't a bad choice, mind you, because apparently there was a rule in the NHL in the 80s that only franchises with orange and blue team colours can win multiple Stanley Cups. But I digress . . .

Anyway, in 1992 you had a local team to cheer for and the Islanders weren't that good anymore (or ever again), so you jumped ship. Does that sound about like what happened? If not, I'm going to say that your father was an Islanders fan. Kids only cheer for hockey teams that were good when they were kids or their dad's hockey team. No exceptions. (Guess which one is the reason for all the Leafs fans in existence.)

Anyway, it could be worse. At least the Islanders didn't get good after you bailed on them. Also, Ottawa impossibly has better ownership than the Islanders. When Charles Wang sells the team, the temptation to go back to the loving embrace of Long Island will be intense, but stay strong! One day Eugene Melnyk will be forced to sell as well. It will all be worth it in the end.

Your Moment of Sen

Clarke MacArthur is shorter than I imagined.
 Never change, Sens fans.

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