Ah, the hockey offseason. It’s finally drawing to a close – soon there will be no more long stretches of weeks where all we have to ponder are rehashes of trades that don’t exist, of offer sheets and second-round picks, of postulations on what exactly each and every GM is thinking. No, soon we will be back in the easy rhythm and flow of a game every few days, with new material to nitpick and gnaw on almost faster than we can process.
However, the end of the offseason does have its up sides – if you can call them that. The players arrive back in town, informal practices are free and open to the public (and I encourage you ALL to go and take lots of photos and post them so I can pretend like I’m there), and then, the pinnacle of September – golf tournaments and fundraisers happen!
The Boston Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament happened yesterday. This gallery makes it seem like lots of fun was had, lots of money was probably raised, and Marc Savard loves to golf. However, with more than a quick look through this gallery, a few things come to the attention of the careful viewer. MHC wants this gallery to stop existing, but no – I’m inclined to disagree. We can use these photos to analyze our team! Let’s start at picture number one.
Okay, photo one isn’t all that interesting.
Moving on to photo two – Steve Begin.
New guy. O bviously trying to make a good impression on the fans – he’s an ex-Hab, and clearly he’s smart enough to know that some fans will need winning over. His interviews so far are quality, but – Mr. Begin, that golf swing looks AWKWARD. Maybe a little more time at the driving range would have been beneficial. Aside from that little piece of fail, we’ve got a mostly acceptable photo here – standard polo, decent black shorts, relatively normal shoes. Passable. Mr. Begin gets bonus points for getting involved right away as well.
Photo three lures you into thinking that this will be a gallery of passably-dressed hockey players (okay, hockey players dressed like MY DAD) who have gotten into much better shape between last season and now.
Patrice Bergeron appears to have worked out a bunch over the summer, which I actually believe I’ve read somewhere recently; his golf swing looks nice, the standard-issue polo shirt fits well, but otherwise he appears to have dressed like he’s about sixty years old in this photo. I’m not digging the belt and plaid shorts combo too hard, but the shoes are okay. Change the pants and maybe we’re in business, Mr. Bergeron.
Next photo is where the fail enters a little more hardcore, though. Derek Morris.
Okay. I know you’re the new guy, and I like how smily and happy you are to be here, clearly, but WHAT ARE THOSE PANTS? Sir, you lived in NEW YORK CITY before this. I bet you can infer how much I like New York City (answer: I DON’T. Except for maybe Greenwich Village. And one or two bars on 3rd Ave.) but it is the FASHION CAPITAL of this country, if not the ENTIRE WORLD. Mr. Morris, I know you were only there from March until the end of the season, but it’s hard to live in a place like NYC and not at least learn a few tips! As much as I hate him, Sean Avery is quite the fashionista, too. You have no excuse for those shorts, sir. Although I am fairly curious about that sleeve tattoo. Maybe as golfing partners, DMo can take a tip or two from Savard.
Pretty sure Savard never goes out without a hat on if he can help it; he’s looking pretty fly here with the all-whites around that terrible yellow polo, which somehow looks okay on him. In the immortal words of Tim Gunn – he MAKES IT WORK, and that’s just the way Savard seems to permanently function. No matter the situation, his passes always seem to find his teammates’ sticks. He is arguably one of the best passers in the game, making his Team Canada snub a bit nonsensical. His talent is overlooked by pretty much all but one team, and that’s the one that currently holds his contract, the team who consequently he also wants to finish his career with. I, for one, would be perfectly comfortable if Savard signed a long-term deal with the Bruins next year.
Photo five makes my heart hurt a little.
I’m not going to tiptoe around this, because it’s just a hardcore, solid fact: Blake Wheeler and Matt Hunwick are good-looking dudes, awesome hockey players, and one of them may or may not be my favorite Bruin whose name doesn’t start with T and end with -im Thomas. But. They are DRESSED JUST LIKE THE MAN WHO IS MORE THAN TWICE THEIR AGE. No offense to Ray Bourque, of course. Let’s not focus on that for now, though, because there’s another highly noticeable factor here – Blake Wheeler looks HUGE. I mean, I’ve been flipping back and forth between this photo and one from last year.
Gone is the rookie fresh out of college, and in its place is some sort of alternate-universe creature with shoulders like the Hulk. It’s great that he’s bulked up, and it’s fantastic to hear that he’s been working with Cam Neely on getting more physical in the corners – but if the extra pounds mean that we don’t get to see spectacular moves such as this: then I’m not happy. Clearly. I expect Wheels to keep his speed, and not turn into Jumbo Joe 2. We all know how well that turned out.
Matt Hunwick, on the other hand, looks much healthier than he did at the beginning of summer, but sir, there is no excuse for that Tigers hat, the brown belt, the poorly-fitting weirdly-colored blue shorts, or the I-Wanna-Be-Like-Ray glove. Your shirt is too big, your pants are too small, I’m really excited to see you play again – I want Hunwick D-paired with Andrew Ference so hard it (nearly) physically hurts – but that’s about all I’ve got.
Ray Bourque could wear clown shoes and a rainbow wig and I’d be totally okay with it – he just needs to tell his son Chris to quit being such a failboat and we’d be completely, 100% okay. Moving on.
Photo six makes me simultaneously want to laugh and sob my brains out.
David Krejci has the excuse of being European, I guess, or whatever, and at least he’s not wearing white socks halfway up his calves like I’ve seen him do at Ristuccia (just the way my grandpa used to!) but…are those saddle shoes, Krejci? Saddle shoes? Like I said, laughing/crying wicked hard right now. The shorts and cap match okay, and he looks happy, and his golf swing is nice, but I can’t look at any of those things – I can only look at the fail that is THOSE SHOES. Fortunately for him, Krejci has the benefit of having signed a sweet contract early in the summer, and he’s an awesome player, so really, he can do what he wants.
Weirdly, this leads me to thoughts of Phil Kessel. What if it were Kessel in that outfit right now? Would I be happy that he’s still participating in Bruins activities, which might mean that he still wants to be here, so I would not care about the outfit fail? Or would that be overlaid by a veneer of scorn – get off the golf course and into some normal clothes and sign your damn contract already? Kessel wasn’t present at this event, so the issue doesn’t have to be pressed, fortunately for the collective brains of speculators everywhere. Hopefully he wants to be here and with any luck, Bruins fans will get to see him at similar events in the near future. He may not work exactly to the specifications of the B’s defense-oriented, gritty system, but diversity is what is going to get this team through the playoffs.
Photo Seven, or Michael Ryder’s Pants Are Way Too Big.
If they were any longer, they’d be man-pris, and that’s just… not ok. Aside from that, he looks fine. I like the shoes matching the hat dealio. This whole outfit is really just walking a very fine line between totally acceptable and absolutely awful. I could come up with some elaborate corollary between this outfit and his contract…but let’s be honest, it’s 1am, and I’m not going to go there.
Photo Eight: Mark Stuart, the cheesiest grin in all the land.
Not much going on in this picture, and most of his outfit is an enigma, considering that a good percentage of the fail in these photos has involved the pants. He had a good season last year, but like the unknown that is his shorts, we haven’t heard much about him so far this offseason. He should have a solid year coming up. Nice cap, which adds an interesting touch.
Missing, but not forgotten: two key parts of the B’s, Milan Lucic and Tim Thomas, two of the grittiest, hardworking parts of this team who were representing the Bruins down in New York City. Dressed fabulously, of course.
So there you have it – the result of boredom, sudden inspiration, a late night, and some terrible golf outfits. How many days until the puck drops?
Photos courtesy of Steve Babineau/Boston Bruins.