By Rob Ficiur
Last week, strangers dressed up in scary costumes came to my door asking for candy. It was great weather for Halloween 2015. If sports celebrities dressed up in their proper costumes on Halloween, what would they look like? Here are a few ideas:
1. Connor McDavid dress up like Wayne Gretzky – In McDavid’s final year of Junior hockey there were so many comparisons to Gretzky and Crosby it was hard to imagine he would live up to the hype. When Edmonton won the 2015 draft lottery (also known as the McDavid Lottery) the comparison to Gretzky multiplied. Mc David wears number 97, Wayne wore 99; both are centers; both are left handed shots; and all these comparisons before he played a game. Now a month later there are even more comparable. In October, McDavid had five goals and seven assists in twelve games. His twelve points tie him for 12th in NHL scoring. Not bad for a first month. It seems like the Gretzky costume fits, and McDavid is enjoying wearing it.
2. Quebec Nordiques jerseys everywhere – Fans everywhere should have worn their old Quebec Nordiques jerseys to pressure the league to re-admit this city back in the NHL. Realistically very few people outside of Quebec City had Nordiques jerseys when the team moved to Colorado in 1995. As the NHL considers expansion, Quebec City may be overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Does Quebec City have an NHL size rink? Yes, replies the NHL but will they have the big corporate dollars to keep up with the other NHL teams. Will the new Nordiques have fans? Yes, yes yes – when Winnipeg rejoined the NHL they sold out all their home games in a few minutes; Quebec City will be faster than that. However, will this small market expand the NHL brand as much as an expansion team in Seattle or Houston might? (News update: Seattle and Houston are un-tapped NHL markets but neither one applied for a franchise so they are not likely to get one.) There are many great hockey reasons to expand into Quebec City- and just as many marketing reasons to stay out of the small city. If all NHL fans had worn their Nordiques jerseys on Halloween it would have shown the NHL what we thought.
3. Johnny Gaudreau (5 foot 9 inches 157 pounds) could dress up as Martin St. Louis – (5 foot 8 inches – 180 pounds). Both diminutive hockey stars were told they were too small to play in the NHL. Both came to the NHL through US College programs. In their top college seasons both players averaged over two points a game. Finally both players came up through the Calgary Flames organization. St. Louis finished his career with 972 games, two scoring titles and a Stanley Cup; apparently no one told the goalies that Martin was too small to score. Johnny Gaudreau would like to look like Martin St. Louis, not just at Halloween but all season long. The Calgary Flames hope this story has one difference; they got rid of St. Louis after two seasons and then spent the next fourteen years watching him thrive for other teams. They will want to keep Johnny Hockey on their roster, size or no size.
4. Alex Anthopolous mask to be worn by the Toronto Blue Jays new General Manager – Blue Jays fans were shocked last week when it was announced that GM Alex Anthopolous would not be back for the 2016 season. With a new President taking over, AA felt he was no longer the right fit for the organization. In English that means AA wanted to do things differently than the new President wanted it done. No matter what Jays fans will be loyal to Alex because his shrewd trades took the Jays from an average team to a contender. Whoever is hired as GM would do well to wear an Alex Anthopolous mask his entire first year while fans still love their Canadian born General manager. Seeing the masked AA General Manager fans will think that stories of Antopolous’ firing was just a bad dream.
5. Toronto Blue Jays’ President Mark Shapiro – Costume should be Cleveland Indians World Series attire- Shapiro, who served as Cleveland Indian’s General Manager since 2001 and more recently as president, will need to hide his face. Once Jays’ fans find out his style of leadership pushed their beloved Alex Anthopolous out the door, it will take decades (or a World Series title) before Jays’ fans will forgive the new president. If Mr. Shapiro will wear his Cleveland Indians playoff and world series attire, fans will see that this man’s track record is… well.. Ok the Indians won two playoff rounds in his decade plus of leadership. Cleveland Indians Playoff and World Series Jerseys are as extinct as the Dodo bird, but Jays fans don’t want to know that is person who is behind the costume of their new team president.