Not like I've seen any of it.
Supposedly, there were members of an NHL "street team" (read: unemployed actors) hitting locations all around the city and giving out keys. You take the key, go to the grand opening of the NHL store on Friday, and you can "Unlock Your NHL Dreams."
They were supposed to be at Grand Central Station in New York between 2:00 and 7:00 on Thursday, and I went twice, once on my lunch break at 2:15 and then again after work at 6:15 and I couldn't find them. I did see Antonio Banderas (look, Gawker confirms it, he was there!) but no NHL. After I got back to work, I emailed my pal Doug, a Sabres fan and a real nice guy who I had the pleasure of attending one of the Sabres/Isles playoff games with last season. Like me, he works near Grand Central, so I emailed to ask him if he had gotten a key. Here's what he said:
No key yet. Just went and did a pretty thorough walk-through to blow off some steam from work. Nobody there from the NHL that I could see...Anyhow, I am gonna try to brave the elements and take a walk by one of the other supposed Street Team locales on my way home to try and find a key.
No word if he found one. Oh, and did I mention it was pouring rain in New York this afternoon? That's a hockey fan for ya.
Later, I emailed AHF contributor Ben Zelevansky to relate how Doug and I struck out, and he wrote the following:
I just came from GCT (Grand Central Station) myself, as it happens. No street team, no indoor team, no nothing. The NHL - wasting the time and abusing the trust of its fans...whoda thunk it? My new NHL dream is to kick Gary Bettman in the nuts.
Perhaps this isn't surprising. After all, the grand prize of this contest, or the "ultimate NHL dream" is- wait for it.... tickets to an NHL All-Star Game in Georgia!
Tickets to a game where the players don't care in front of an audience that doesn't understand? Christ, if you're you're offering up NHL fantasies in the All Star Game, why don't you let me skate a shift? It's not like there's any hitting going on anyway.
Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to the NHL store opening tomorrow.
Not to be a dick, but I'd go to a Klan rally if the Stanley Cup was there. I'd feel bad about it, and tell every man present that Willie O'Ree is ten times the man they are, but I'd go. The Stanley Cup remains the one thing about the NHL that Gary Bettman seems powerless to fuck up. It is the past, present and future of the greatest game on earth, it fits eleven beers in it's bowl and you can motherfucking read it if you want to. And I've never seen it in person, but I will today. And I will read it.
There's an NHL dream for ya.
Incidentally, do you know ANYONE whose idea of an NHL dream is seeing the All Star Game in Atlanta? It'd be nice, sure, but DREAM?
Therefore, in the spirit of Ben's new NHL dream, to kick Gary Bettman in the nuts, I'd like to propose a far better NHL dream, and one that hockey could provide-
The NHL gives the winner of this contest a pair of lower bowl tickets to games 4-7 of the Stanley Cup finals sitting next to (wait for it)......... Kurt Russell.
There's a goddamn dream for ya.
That's a guaranteed great seat to go see the Stanley Cup being hoisted next to not only a great American hockey fan, but Snake Fucking Pliskin.
If any of you readers have some other NHL dreams, I'm all ears-
Comments are wide open...