Hear ye, hear ye, will the First District Night Court of the Blogosphere please come to order!
The Honourable Harry T. Stone presiding.
Today we will hear the case of Brendan Shanahan v. New York Rangers. Mr. Shanahan will be represented by Mr. Scotty Hockey, while the Rangers will be defended by Mr. Glen Sather. The jury of New York Ranger fans will hear each of your arguments and decide the outcome of this case. Opening statements, please.
Scotty Hockey: Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that my client, Mr. Shanahan has been disrespected by the defendant New York Rangers and seek to prove that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, they need to tender him a contract. Thank you.
Glen Sather: I feel that we, as an organization, have done nothing wrong, have no need to offer up a deal and will not do anything of the sort.
Judge: All right gentlemen, I will begin hearing your arguments. The floor is yours, Mr. Hockey.
SH: Thank you. I would like to submit into evidence Prosecutor's Item No. 1, the NHL Official Stats and Media Guide. Within it you will find the details of my clients famed NHL career.
Take a listen to these numbers: 20 seasons played, three Stanley Cups won, 1471 points in 1667 games—including 120 in 160 for the defendants. And he got those while battling back from several major injuries that would have ended lesser players' careers.
GS: Your Honour, those numbers reflect the past, while we are an organization looking towards the future. Mr. Shanahan is 39 years old, there is no way he can duplicate those numbers now.
SH: I am just trying to present my client's history to show how much he has contributed in the past and the veteran leadership he can still provide.
Judge: I'll allow it. Want to see a magic trick?
GS: No. No, I don't.
Judge: Yeah, I guess you see a disappearing act every day with all of that money you waste. Zing!
GS: Not funny, your honour.
SH: [snickers] If it may please the court, I would like to summon a witness. Will Mr. Donald Brashear please take the stand?
Mr. Brashear, do you like the Rangers?
Donald Brashear: No.
SH: On the night of December 30, 2006, what were you doing?
DB: Playing the Rangers.
SH: We knew that. I meant, what were you doing during that game.?
DB: The usual - hitting people, slashing, spearing, starting scrums after whistles. It's what I do.
SH: And what happened when my client, Mr. Shanahan, confronted you over your actions?
DB: He beat me up.
SH: Excuse me? Did you say that a 37-year-old man beat you up?
DB: I'm not proud of it.
SH: Did you stop taking those aforementioned liberties? The hitting, slashing, spearing...
GS: Your honour, if I may cross examine?
Mr. Brashear, the next time your played the Rangers, and every time since, did you continue to act the fool? I mean, did you continue to cause disarray on the ice by attacking skill players and starting confrontations?
DB: Of course. If I didn't, I wouldn't still be in NHL.
GS: I rest. If I may call my witness, Ms. Cindy Crosby to the stand? Ms. Crosby, when your Penguins beat the Rangers in five games last season, where was Mr. Shanahan?
Cindy Crosby: I don't know.
GS: She doesn't know. She DOESN'T KNOW! That is because Mr. Shanahan was invisible on the ice!!!
SH: Objection! Many of the Rangers were invisible in that series!
Judge: Sustained. Prosecutor, just present your case, don't make outrageous claims.
GS: Sorry, your honour. I would now like to call Markus Naslund to the stand. Mr. Naslund, welcome to New York. Do you feel that you can still make an impact in the NHL?
Markus Naslund: I do. As you can see in that record book, I have played 14 seasons in the NHL and scored 823 points. I just got tired of Vancouver so I stopped playing as well.
GS: I find that hard to believe, as the captain of that team...
MN: Hey! It's tough when you are the only scorer and opposing teams key in on you.
SH: If I may cross, your honour? Mr. Naslund, you said you were the only scorer? Did you not play at times along the immensely talented Sedin twins?
MN: Well, yes. But...
SH: That is all. You may step down.
Your Honour and members of the jury, Mr. Naslund scored 194 points over the last three seasons, and had a minus-23 while playing in 245 regular season games. He also played in 12 playoff games and had just five points.
My client, however, played in 222 games, had 189 points, was a plus-29—and did it while playing alongside several players less talented than the Sedins. Dawes, Callahan, Drury, Prucha..
GS: But Naslund is younger and faster.
SH: And has never won a damn thing! Not to mention younger is meaningless when you signed the guy for just two years...
Judge: [banging gavel] Stop your bickering. You sound like Dan and Ms. Sullivan. Bailiff Bull, can you step in and separate these two?
Geez. Once you two calm down you can offer up your closing arguments.
GS: It's my team and I can do whatever I want. Piss on old-time hockey and piss on Shanahan. We don't need him, we have Mr. Naslund now. Suck on that, Scotty.
SH: Ladies and gentlemen, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup this year. On their roster was a certain Chris Chelios. Chelios, an elder statesman who had already won two Cups, didn't play every game and scored just 12 points. But he was there when his team needed him and he provided the guidance needed to get that team to the promised land.
This isn't an either-or thing with Mr. Shanahan and Mr. Naslund. We are stuck with Mr. Naslund after the drunken spending spree of Mr. Sather this summer, so he will get plenty of minutes on the ice. But his presence doesn't render Mr. Shanahan useless. He wants to play in New York, and he will do so at a discount.
GS: Bah! I already picked up Patrick Rissmiller and Dan Fritsche to fill out the roster and be useless grinders. I don't need Shanahan!
Judge: Mr. Sather! You already closed! Another word and I will hold you in contempt of court!
GS: [stamps feet, chomps on cigar]
Judge: I thought so. So I leave it to you, Ranger fans of the jury, to deliberate and determine a verdict. Place it in the comments and we will determine the sentence at a later date.