Ottawa Senators Off-Ice Power Rankings - May 2014

by Chet Sellers

Yay, the season's over! Finally, the Senators can stop worrying about on-ice distractions and focus on what really matters - using social media to show people how well their summer's going!

We've always tried to use these power rankings to analyze the inner lives of the men we cheer for between the boards, to figure out who they really are in order to give a greater dimension to their heroics. Well folks, we got a real treat this month. If you listen to our podcast, you'll already know about our admiration for new-wave Swedish documentarian Patric Persson. Persson's recent cinéma vérité work with Erik Karlsson has been daring and provocative - it's taken a man we thought we knew and peeled away his layers one by one, revealing nuance, shadow, and leave-in conditioner. And it's given us enough material to really start to understand what it means to be an NHL superstar.

So we're going to try something a little different this month. We're not here to celebrate the life Erik Karlsson's talent affords him; we're here to study it. We can take important lessons from Erik Karlsson about what it means to be a star, and in understanding that, perhaps take one step closer to becoming stars ourselves. We think we've figured out what it takes. Let's go!

1) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Staying on top means staying thirsty, and staying thirsty means staying hydrated. But you can't just pop any old bottle – you've gotta let people know how wet your water gets. Imagine getting caught with a case of Montclair in your fridge – what is this, junior? You don’t start leg day at 5 am so you can drink water that’s NOT from a tropical island.

But remember the athlete's koan – expensive water, cheap wine. Wine is just getting poured in a boring old glass, bro, and after that it could be anything. Don't shell out for that stuff.

Also, maybe get a second fridge? For food?

2) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Let's be honest – if you're not grilling, you're not cooking. There's no point. Open fire, hunks of raw meat, braving the elements, tongs – these are the prehistoric triggers that help you channel the primal warrior spirit you need to succeed on the ice. You don't get that from julienning a leek, bud. But hey, you can always go out to eat if you want fancy vegetables. There are people whose job it is to cook them! Not your job, though. Your job is to fire steaks like you fire point shots. Brews are in the drinks fridge, eh. Yeah, behind the Fiji.

3) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Look, it doesn't matter what you're doing – grilling, lifting, routine traffic stop – your flow is your fortune. You have to manage it the way you manage your investment portfolio. Find someone you trust to handle it and pay them well. Check in regularly. Keep your secrets to yourself.

But your hair isn’t just an investment, it’s a member of the family. When a family member needs a little pick-me-up, you make a day of it. You try to think about what they want. You make them feel special. After all, you never know how long you’ll have together.

Whoa, this got deep, huh? Come on – throw some jelly in that salad and we’ll get sushi. I know a fusion bar that puts ribs in it.

4) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Going out? How’s your hat game looking? Sure, after all that hair care it seems silly to hide your light under a bushel, but sometimes you want to keep things low-pro, you know?

Don’t overthink the hat, either. Yankees, Dodgers, maaaybe Cowboys if you’re going for kind of a dressed-down thing because you’re taking the S-Class to the collision guys again. Going with a team like the Mets is hipster for sure, but at least it's still New York. Bottom line, when it comes to hats you want to stick to cities with a Nobu. You’re a citizen of the world now.

5) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
What? ABBA rules.

6) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
People are always going to be telling you you’re awesome, because you know what? You are awesome. But you can’t let it go completely to your head, or pretty soon you’re yelling at the waiter when your truffle fries are under-shaved, or worse, humiliating people for your own amusement. No, you need to keep a sense of humour about yourself. So when your buddy manages to put one over on you? You chuckle and let it go, at least until you have the chance to draw a cartoon grain silo on his forehead and suggest he try the hora, the famous Balkan circle dance. Because you’re esoteric!

7) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
And don’t forget a little humility. Just because you’re really, really good at one thing – hockey, the most important thing in the world after malaria tents – doesn’t mean you can or should be good at everything. In fact, having a hobby you suck at is a great way to show people – ladies especially – that you’re a regular guy!

Sensitive guitar bro is always a good look, but don’t feel limited here. Maybe paint a few landscapes? You could always try sailing, assuming your calves don’t look like picnic roasts when you wear shorts. Or building furniture is kind of a cool retro thing, if you trust yourself around sharp objects. Just don't be one of those dudes who gets really into hunting, because those dudes do NOT shut up about it.

8) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Never forget why you're here – sick talent, yeah; sick flow, obviously - but also the fans. You know, the ones in the stands who keep booing whoever your defensive partner is tonight? The ones on Twitter who keep bagging on your boss and laughing at your dirty jokes?

It's important to keep perspective on this - you get the fusion sushi, the Fiji water, all kinds of positive attention - and in return you occasionally have to sign some stuff and say hello to strangers. It's not a bad tradeoff when you actually think about it. But hey, I forgot to mention - make sure you have Purell. Always.

9) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Above all, don't forget who your friends are. When you're famous, it's so hard finding people who like you for you. So when your neighborhood buddy from old times flies across the ocean to be with you, cherish him. And if he puts your life on the internet all month? It's cool – you're just living it, man.

10) Erik Karlsson (last month: 2)
Got all that? Cool - so, quick trip to Hawaii? Sure, what the hell. See you next month!

NOT RANKED: Eugene Melnyk; suit shopping; crepe beefs; finding out you can't take off your mask; making your partner more like you; M/s relationships; veterinary obstetrics; ball so hard, got a broke clock; ball so hard, Gary Bettman wanna fine me; having a designated driver; buying a shovel; carbs, man; the other corner of the Punnett square; humoring a former co-worker; sealing your fate.
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