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CKA Uber
 Philidelphia Flyers
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:52 am

Top Shelf: A gift for every NHL team

Ryan Dixon 2008-12-17 11:33:00

The Hockey News holiday gift exchange is not unlike the NHL season itself: plenty of surprises, both good and bad.

The main difference is, we set our salary cap at $20 per gift, so even if you donate a considerate, useful present to the pile only to unwrap four cans of beans, an Archie comic and a roll of toilet paper for yourself, the sting is still quite bearable.

NHL teams spending in excess of $50 million on salaries are understandably a little more concerned with what they get in return. Some must feel they’re getting fair (in relative terms) value for their money; others, not so much.

Either way, everybody deserves something from Santa’s sack of goodies this season. Here’s what I think the Sleigh Man has in mind for each NHL club:

Anaheim Ducks
– The quiet confidence to turn the page and move on from the loud, successful Brian Burke era.

Atlanta Thrashers – A reality check, so they can finally embrace the fact Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be a Thrasher beyond next season and act accordingly.

Boston Bruins – The address of every pundit who picked the Bruins to be an also-ran this year, just so Milan Lucic can go door to door, asking a few friendly questions.

Buffalo Sabres – A team stylist who begs them to wear those awesome, vintage blue and yellow jerseys every time out.

Calgary Flames – Even more Iggy pop.

Carolina Hurricanes – Some indication as to whether 2006 will ever send them the Eric Staal and Cam Ward they so desperately miss.

Chicago Blackhawks – The perspective to admire how far they’ve come and the determination to see the whole thing through.

Colorado Avalanche
– Not Peter Forsberg. For the love of God, not Peter Forsberg.

Columbus Blue Jackets – Just one more year of grace while these kids keep developing.

Dallas Stars – Something to make ‘The Pain’ go away.

Detroit Red Wings – Just a little note reminding them they’re still the defending champs and that, deep down inside, every NHL team still fears them the most.

Edmonton Oilers
– An early start on mimicking last year’s incredible late-season push.

Florida Panthers – A homerun when Jay Bouwmeester is dealt.

Los Angeles Kings – A couple more quiet pickups that turn out as well as Kyle Quincey has.

Minnesota Wild – A healthy Marian Gaborik, so they can trade him and move on with life.

Montreal Canadiens – Half the hype and twice the results of the season so far.

Nashville Predators – A fresh pack of re-enforced sticks so Shea Weber can keep firing bombs.

New Jersey Devils – One more playoff run with a rested Martin Brodeur in net.

New York Islanders
– An Island unto themselves where they can sit down and sort out this whole mess.

New York Rangers – A break. They’ve played more games than everybody and been to Europe already.

Ottawa Senators
– The courage to trade Jason Spezza.

Philadelphia Flyers – Santa is actually going to take a player away from Philly because they’re so freakin’ good shorthanded.

Phoenix Coyotes
– That No. 8 seed to legitimize this team’s progression and give fans an actual reason to like hockey.

Pittsburgh Penguins – The Art Ross and Hart for Malkin, the Conn Smythe for Sid.

St. Louis Blues – Assurance that if they stay the course, relevance is right around the corner.

San Jose Sharks – Twenty-three factory-defect calendars, so when April rolls around, all the players think it’s October.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Somebody else’s blueprint for success.

Toronto Maple Leafs – A whole bunch of suitcases cause change is a-comin’.

Vancouver Canucks – The knowledge that with their style of game and Roberto Luongo in net, they’re Canada’s best playoff hope.

Washington Capitals – Santa’s just going to ask Ovie to hop on the sleigh and tour around the world, spreading joy to all.

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