I was listening to Rick Rubin’s fantastic interview with one of my favourite writers, Andre 3000, on the Broken Record podcast recently, and I got intrigued by the idea that Andre has been challenging himself to say more with fewer words.
Naturally, it only made sense to apply that premise to our weekly tour of the hockey league.
Instead of recapping four-game win streaks and three-game skids, we’ve extracted a singular life learning or grand pondering from the state of each of the 31 clubs.
Yes, it’s our first NHL Power Rankings: Deep Thoughts Edition.
Per tradition, all teams are ranked in descending order according to current level of awesomeness.
The write-ups drill down on an essential nugget of truth we should glean from the club’s recent actions. Apologies to Jack Handey.
One mistake in New Jersey doesn’t prevent you from achieving glory elsewhere.
The more damage inflicted upon Sidney Crosby, the more damage he can inflict.
“Fluke” is just the ignorant man’s word for “destiny.”
If you negotiate your own contract, you save four per cent of the money but must subject yourself to 400 per cent more math.
5. Dallas Stars
When Jamie Benn says he doesn’t want to fight you, what he’s really saying is you don’t want to fight Jamie Benn.
The best defence is a good offence.
The safest form of shootout is when no shots are fired.
If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.
Goals are overrated; preventing them is underrated.
All seven-game win streaks conclude with seven-goal losses. It’s science.
Hockey players never retire; they’re just free agents waiting for the right opportunity.
12. Winnipeg Jets
If Patrik Laine can transform himself into an elite passer, there’s no reason you can’t hold off on that fourth glass of rosé until after you deliver your maid-of-honour speech.
13. Florida Panthers
If your all-time franchise scoring leader is 26 years old, are you a franchise?
14. Arizona Coyotes
If Conor Garland is your leading goal-scorer and Nick Schmaltz is your leading point-getter, are you the most underachieving organization or the most overachieving organization?
Them pros ain’t loyal.
16. Calgary Flames
When karma comes knocking, turtle.
Nine of out 10 children love Gritty. The other one was eaten by Gritty.
18. Edmonton Oilers
Memories are longer than suspensions.
Secret not a secret: Coaches get paid to stop the puck.
If you can’t beat a man face-to-face, elbow him directly in the head when he least expects it.
The price of winning isn’t as expensive as the price of believing you can still win.
22. Buffalo Sabres
Aren’t we all just a Jack Eichel highlight away from being irrelevant?
23. New York Rangers
Flour can make it bread, man. Breadman can make it flower.
One club’s trash is another club’s treasure.
25. Minnesota Wild
It’s more efficient to lose with five defencemen than six.
26. San Jose Sharks
If you love a coach, set him free… and he will come back to haunt you behind the bench of your most bitter rival.
Always reward a man for what he has done, not what he will do in the future.
28. Ottawa Senators
The quickest way to the top is through the bottom.
In a way, we are all just interim general managers of our own lives.
30. Anaheim Ducks
Youth is wasted on the young team at the bottom of the West.
Plus/minus is an untrustworthy statistic… until your team is minus-81.