Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thrashers Christmas Carol Pt. 4

Don Waddell brooded in his office, reading over John Anderson's contract and looking for a clause that would let him dock his pay for shoving athletic supporters in the GM's face.

Having lost a great deal of sleep the night before, Waddell felt fatigue pulling at his consciousness, and soon he was dozing in his chair.

He awoke in darkness and felt a chill. A deathly silence filled the air in the Thrashers' executive suite, almost overwhelming the smell of equipment from the locker room.

Waddell walked down the hall toward the media entrance, pleased that this terrifying day was finally over and he could head for the sanctuary of home. He rounded a corner and suddenly found his progress halted and his face buried in a musty black shroud.

Sputtering, Waddell backed up a pair of steps and gawked up into a hooded visage. The smell of death and borscht emanated from the figure, and the robe was emblazened with a Thrashers crest on the front and a captain's "C" on the left shoulder. Waddell didn't need Darren Eliot to explain that this was the Ghost of Thrashers Seasons Future.

"Oh, great, another one of you. Ok, what big lesson to you have to teach me," Waddell asked.

The spirit didn't speak, only reached up and pulled back his hood. Waddell was astonished to see the face of Boris Valabik.

"Boris? You're the Ghost of Thrashers Seasons Future? And you're the captain? What is this? You are barely competent to be in our third defensive pairing right now."

Still not speaking, the spirit beckoned for Waddell to follow as he moved toward the elevator. The ghost stared ahead stoicly as the Otis elevator brought them from the basement to the main concourse. Unnerved, Waddell tried to remain just as impassive, but was unable to resist snickering when the ghost ripped a squeaker.

Though he was certain he'd been the only person left inside Philips Arena, Waddell found himself looking out at a crowd of a few dozen people in the atrium when the elevator doors opened. Surprisingly, none of the people seemed to notice the 6'7" shrouded Boris Valabik and the GM walking among them, and when Waddell tried to speak to one, it was as if he didn't even exist.

The spirit lead Waddell through portal 6 and out into the belly of the arena where a game was being played on the ice below. The Thrashers were taking on the New York Rangers, but the stands weren't even half full. Waddell was still taking all of this in when a small cheer came up from the crowd and the goal light was lit at one end.

An announcer whose voice Waddell couldn't recognize came on the PA system stating "That is a hat trick for Ilya Kovalchuck! This is the Kovalchuck's 40th goal of the 2014-2015 season and the fourth hat trick!"

Waddell beamed as he turned to the Ghost and smugly said "See? Everything is going to be just fine! Kovy is still here and he's playing better than ever!"

Slowly, the spirit turned to look at Waddell. Without speaking, he pointed a long finger at the scoreboard hanging high over the ice.

Irritated, Waddell looked where the ghost had indicated. It took him a second to realize what he was being shown, then his jaw dropped and the smugness fled from his face. The score was 3-0 New York.

"Kovalchuck is playing for the Rangers!?!? But I'm going to offer him the league maximum to stay here! Why would he leave?"

The spirit bent over and picked up a copy of The Winger magazine from a seat in front of them and handed it to Waddell. The GM flipped through the pages, noting that he was still listed as the General Manager. Under his picture, he read a quote from himself explaining that Ilya Kovalchuck had decided to take less money to go to New York, wanting to play with the more gifted players on their roster and have a chance to win a Stanley Cup.

Near the back of the program, there was a section with updates on former Thrasher players who had moved on to other teams in the league. Tobias Enstrom was listed as a Norris Trophy finalist playing for the Sabres and Bryan Little was being touted as the next Adam Oates feeding passes to Alex Ovechkin in Washington.

Finally, he found an insert with the current standings. The date at the top of the page read "March 28, 2015." His eyes skimmed down the standings, looking for the Thrashers. It was not until he reached the second to last spot in the Eastern Conference that he saw his team listed. Right above the New York Islanders.

"But... we've made no progress at all. We're still terrible and all of our best players are gone. How could this happen?"

The Ghost of Thrashers Seasons Future didn't speak. Only stared into Waddell's soul, leaving him to watch his own reflection in the spirit's eyes.

The GM fell into despair, shutting his eyes as tight as he could and clutching at his own hair. It was all too terrible to bear, that his labors lead the team to such desolation.

When he finally opened his eyes, he found himself again sitting in his office alone, the lights dim and silence all around him. Was it all a dream? Was the team really doomed? Where was Craig Patrick's phone number?


Big Shooter said...

Where is the happy ending where Waddell wakes up and realizes its Christmas day and he hasn't missed it yet?


Anonymous said...

Amazingly enough, this will all happen. You forgot the part where Bogosian is playing for the Maple Leafs, Lehtonten is a star goalie for the Edmonton Oilers, Ron Hainsey decided to pursue an acting career instead of playing for the Thrashers, and Nathan Oystrick is a two-time Stanley Cup winner for the Phoeni...uh, Winnipeg Jets. The Falcons have been to two Superbowls, winning one, the Atlanta Braves have battled the NY Mets and Florida Marlins for National League supremacy for years, the Hawks have been to the playoffs every year since 2008, and the Thrashers have been...forgotten. Thanks for ruining my Christmas.

Mortimer Peacock said...


I salute your moral and literary courage.


P.S. Happy B-Day. I'm sorry I missed the official celebration. The Flames are beating the Senators.