Players are skating, and NHL training camps are within sniffing distance. So we are warming up our emotional engines to conjure all the irrational excitement, hatred and other strongly worded feelings that accompany an eight-month devotion to watching men making billions playing a game.
This is part of a quick game of considering our rivals, with love (er, envy), and hate.
The Subject: The Ottawa Senators
Hate: Call them whatever you want, but most NHL tough guys/enforcers/pests/goons are a dime-a-dozen. They're always available on the waiver wire or via free agency and are surprisingly adept at "bleeding for" for whatever team is signing their checks at the current moment. Whether or not that job is worth paying someone to do is another argument for another time.
So when a dangerous and reckless player like Chris Neil manages to last 12 years with the same organization, it means management thinks he's doing something right. As you can see from the gratuitously long and NSFW video below, what Chris Neil does is lead with his elbows, start fights and scrums for no reason and basically just attack whoever is in front of him like a hungry dog let off his leash.
Envy: The Senators play to sparse crowds in a middle-of-nowhere arena, while their shady, penny-pinching owner says and does strange things instead of paying their stars who invariably end up leaving sometimes for nothing in return.
And yet, no one ever wants to move them to Quebec or Seattle. Must be nice.
And you? Which (current) Senator do you hate most, and which one do you think is an alright guy? Chances are, the player you're thinking of has already been traded, so please check the most up-to-date Ottawa roster before answering.