Let me start by thanking you for reading my list last year. It seems that you must not have received any of my letters in the previous 20 years. So I wanted to make sure you knew how thankful I was.
I know I asked for four sweeps, but I’ll take 16 wins anyway you want to give them to me.
If you’re reading this, you can see that I didn’t leave you milk and cookies this year, instead opting for that special edition of beer made from the championship ice. I know… I play hockey and can only imagine what comes off the ice in the Zamboni. But I know the good people of Golden definitely filtered it a whole bunch before bottling it. Enjoy! I figured the reindeer basically drive the slay and you have to have GPS in that thing by now… it’s 2022 for goodness sakes, Santa!
So, after you brought me everything I asked for last year (albeit seven months later…), my list this year is very simple because I don’t want you to think I’m greedy or anything.
So here we go:
- A second Stanley Cup. This one might be the hardest to pull off because I know fans from 31 other teams are also asking for this, but I really want another one. This is always going to be No. 1 on my list… so you know I’m serious, Santa! But if you can’t ensure the Avs win it, are you able to work your Christmas magic to make sure some teams don’t? Because I have a few names on the naughty list I think you should see!
- Speedier recoveries. I appreciate you helping me out with this one ahead of schedule with Artturi Lehkonen and, to some extent, Valeri Nichushkin. But it would be super helpful if you could do something with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabe Landeskog. This isn’t just for me or about wins and losses. No way, Jose! It’s about the health and well-being of the players on the team! I’ve heard rumors that with the Dogg hurt, players are eating regular pasta and not the much healthier choice of Chickpea pasta. The faster you work your Santa magic on whatever part of his upper body is injured, that would really ensure the health of our remaining players stays intact. And although I also really want to rush Gabe back, my wife really wants you to help him recover… she said she doesn’t want to watch until he comes back! She’s clearly worried about his knee and seeing the team without him pains her too much!
- Some humility for Cale Makar. Recently, it’s been brought to everyone’s attention how much arrogance Cale Makar has in his game. It’s been a problem since he was a kid and he played in a second-tier junior league… the one that no one ever questions regardless of the skill and talent prospects have shown on the ice. Then he had the audacity to go to a state school EVEN AFTER the coaching staff that recruited him was let go, thus releasing him from his National Letter of Intent commitment. He could’ve easily bailed on the program and tried to make a name for himself for a program that had little success before, elevating it to new heights. But no, he chose to stay and honor his commitment to the team… what a jerk! If he had any humility he would’ve gone to an Ivy League school with the largest athletic budget and no sense of superiority over its opponents! And finally, and perhaps the most telling sign of his lack of humbleness, is how he had the gall to stay with the team that drafted him instead of twice orchestrating trades to get to the nation’s biggest media market before ever playing a game in the NHL… you know, like truly humble and grounded players do!
(And the ‘S’ on Cale’s cape probably stands for ‘Stanley Cup’ and not ‘reverse Swept.’)
- Mikko Rantanen to get some credit. Everyone on the Avalanche is hurt. Mikko’s play in this stretch has not only saved some games (see the Sunday matinee in Nelly’s hometown against the best bottle tosser in the league), but has also given the team some sense of respectability. He salvaged the last two weeks for this team and saved the defending champions some embarrassment. He’s kinda like Batman… but he actually is the hero we need right now. It would be nice to hear his name in conversations along with the fourth or fifth best Maple leafs players.
- I’d also like you to keep the Altitude crew the same right now. I love Mark Moser with Adam Foote and Mark Rycroft. Given the unenviable task of filling the hole left by our beloved Peter McNab, this trio (plus Katie Gaus) has been a great fit. I like the intermission crew, too!
- The salary cap to jump up a few dollars. That would really help out with a few of the other requests.
- A high five from Bernie. I’ll be out there in March… can I get a high five from him? Do you know him? Can you make some calls for me?
That’s all I want, Santa! Pretty simple stuff. Numbers 2-7 are just gravy, so if you could please focus on No. 1 the most, that would be great.
I’ve been really good this year so I hope you can help me with this VERY REASONABLE wishlist!
PS – I’ll also take a Mikko Retro Reverse 2.0 and a bunch of the Stanley Cup merch that didn’t sell. I know you have the hook-ups with the NHL.com shop and the people at Altitude Authentics. No need for the elves to make those.
PPS – Can you also do anything with my hair that might make it look a bit more like Alex Newhook’s?