NHL Power Rankings: The Team Apology Edition


Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

I believe it was the error-free Kanye West who once rhymed, “Don’t ever fix your lips like collagen / And say something when you gonna end up apologin’.”

In a stroke of brilliant ignorance we should all strive to attain, the rapper made no apology for butchering the word aplogizin’.

Regret is probably my most frequently experienced emotion (way up there with spite and hanger). Sorrys spill from my lips like they’re injected with collagen (they’re not, sorry). Which is to say I can respect a good apology.

We’re all fallible. We’ve all wanted to delete that tweet, to unsend that email, to fly back in time and swipe left. To maybe not trade Filip Forsberg just quite yet and see if he can amount to something.

“It was embarrassing. I was a jackass. That’s not the right way to treat anybody,” Mike Babcock, a man whom many consider the gold standard of hockey coaching, said post-game Monday night. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ bench boss had read his response to a reporter who asked about running with an Auston Matthews–Mitch Marner line earlier in the day.

He apologized. Everyone moves on.

In that same Spirit of Sorry, we regretfully present the NHL Power Rankings: Team Apology Edition.

I feel terrible about this, but what you’re about to read is not nearly as insightful or witty as I’d hoped. That’s on me.


1. Tampa Bay Lightning

“Sorry about taking a blowtorch to your stats, goalies. Next time, we’ll try to cut back on the awesome.

Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov”

2. St. Louis Blues

“Dear Flyers fans, we’re sorry we hoodwinked your general manager into giving us Brayden Schenn (30 points, plus-19) and stuck you with Jori Lehtera (zero goals, two points, minus-4). By ‘sorry,’ we mean not at all sorry, suckas!”

3. Winnipeg Jets

“Sorry we ever doubted you, Connor Hellebuyck. Turns out, you are a No. 1 goalie in this league.”

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

“We apologize in advance to the mystery player who loves playing for us that we’re gonna blindside with a trade.”

5. Nashville Predators

“On behalf of our general manager, David Poile, we wish to issue an ironic apology to the other 30 GMs of the NHL for giving you access to his cell number.”

6. Columbus Blue Jackets

“The cannon seemed like a good idea at the time, and now we’re just too stubborn to find a way to decrease its volume. Maybe that’s on us.”

7. San Jose Sharks

“Hey, fantasy owners. Sorry ’bout yer luck. I keep shooting tons, but I just haven’t scored for you yet. Give me time. — Burnzie”

8. New Jersey Devils

“Sorry to all the dudes we made shave. We ran the analytics, and it turns out facial hair has little to no impact on team speed.”

9. Vegas Golden Knights

“Sorry we’re busy playing chess while the other teams’ Twitter accounts are playing checkers.”

10. New York Islanders

“RE: This Josh Ho-Sang thing. Maybe we’re messing it up.”

11. Chicago Blackhawks

“We’d like to offer our sincerest apologies to all of our loyal Chicago Blackhawks supporters — notably the ones who find they get chilly easily — for failing to schedule more indoor games.”

12. Detroit Red Wings

“You can’t believe we’re paying Stephen Weiss three more years to not play hockey? Imagine how we feel.”

13. Calgary Flames

“We’re generally regretful there’s a shortage of old time hockey, and we will never apologize for anything Matthew Tkachuk feels like doing.”

14. Los Angeles Kings

“Sorry we fooled you into thinking Dustin Brown was washed up and Anze Kopitar was on the decline.”

15. Anaheim Ducks

“Our condolences to all the hockey teams who feel the need to use injuries as excuses as we hobble back into the race on one leg.”

16. New York Rangers

“We’re regret to inform the public we have not yet taken the proper steps to install Chance the Rapper as our permanent rinkside reporter.”

17. Carolina Hurricanes

“Is it too late to ask for a do-over on our logo?”

18. Minnesota Wild

“We regret to inform you that Eric Staal, 33, has been our most productive player. When we signed him, he was supposed to be a complementary piece, not the fulcrum of our offence the way he was in Carolina.”

19. Ottawa Senators

“Kyle Turris has five points in five games for Nashville. Matt Duchene has zero in the same number of games for us. We’re not saying sorry just yet, but we’re starting to think about it.”

20. Dallas Stars

“Sorry for all this upper-body, lower-body nonsense in hockey.”

21. Washington Capitals

“We’ve done our best to let our opponents know where Alex Ovechkin likes to shoot from, but, alas, we appear to have failed in our efforts.”

22. Colorado Avalanche

“The Ryan O’Reilly trade? We’ll take the hit for that one. But, hey, look! Six pieces for Matt Duchene! Let’s let bygones be bygones, shall we?”

23. Pittsburgh Penguins

“We’re sorry we haven’t marketed Kessel as Phillipe until now (watch the video below). We realize we’ve been keeping most of our good nicknames in house and will endeavour to rectify this mistake.”

24. Boston Bruins

“Ignoring a shocking reversal of talent, we’ve been starting Tuukka Rask (3-7-2, .897 save percentage) more often than Anton Khudobin (5-0-2, .935 save percentage). As we sit outside the playoff picture, we deeply regret this decision. Also: the Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton trades.”

25. Vancouver Canucks

“Sorry, Danny and Hank, we could’ve sworn you were out there for 21 minutes, not 11. Forgot to carry the one.”

26. Philadelphia Flyers

“Sorry for paying Radkos Gudas good money so he can just hand it directly over to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.”

27. Florida Panthers

“To all of our loyal fans who continue to pay for tickets despite 21 years without a playoff series victory, we’d like to send our regrets to both of you.”

28. Arizona Coyotes

“Oopsy. We totally thought our season started on November 10, not October 10. curious: Is there anything the league can do to bail us out on this one?”

29. Edmonton Oilers

“We’ve given it some thought and wish to un-sign Milan Lucic for seven years and $42 million. If you’re cool with that, maybe we can consider undoing the Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle trades as well.

Furthermore, we’d like to apologize in advance to the other 30 teams for winning the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery and to our fans for passing on Rasmus Dahlin and instead taking a forward with the No. 1 pick.”

30. Montreal Canadiens

“Nous sommes extrêmement désolés. Juste extrêmement, extrêmement désolés. Pour tout.”

31. Buffalo Sabres

“We sincerely apologize to the city of Buffalo for making you think drafting Jack Eichel would make us good again. After giving up 3.48 goals per game, we now realize that we should probably have invested some of that $80 million into our defence.”

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