Note: Now, before you read this piece, I'd like to make sure that you know this is satire. Taking this piece too seriously is a lot like freaking out if you are shot with a Nerf dart when you were aware that there is a Nerf gun in someone's hand. This is in no way an attack on who Tanner Glass is as a person (he is an awesome guy off the ice and works plenty hard on the ice), but these jokes all come at his expense, which isn't such a bad thing, because he can probably afford it. Now, let's get to the silly.
This offseason when we heard that the Rangers signed Tanner Glass, who was the worst player in the league last year according to advanced statistics, many of us were, understandably, rushing to convenience stores and supermarkets to acquire as many tins of canned fruit and dry meat as we could for the storm that was a-comin' o'er the mountains to send cows into the air and kill Superman's dad (do you think that the dog has survivor's guilt?). Was I the only one who was looking around like a stimulant-riddled meerkat searching for that kindly, white-bearded prospector with a straw hat so that I might quickly absorb any little bit of folksy wisdom he might have to get us through the next three years? I looked left, I looked right... I even looked within for that wise old muddy-overalls-wearing prospector, and I found nothing. Well, that's not true. There was a huge, horned demon with hematite goat eyes and skin like the astral sea that slowly smiled and simply said, "Doom," in a voice that sounded like an iceberg freeing itself from the glacial cliffs of Antarctica and crashing into the dark, stormy ocean... but that guy is always there.
There has been a lot of grumbling about Glass on the Banter lately. We're just ten games into the season, as a 5-4-1 team, and people are making Glass out to be the scapegoat for all the team's troubles. Glass is the reason Derek Stepan, Dan Boyle, Ryan McDonagh, and Kevin Klein are hurt (holy crap that is a lot of injuries). Glass is the reason why the power play has only scored in one game this season. Glass is the reason Henrik Lundqvist got shelled early in the season. Glass is the reason we signed Glass. Glass is the reason... Y'know, all that stuff.
So, let's not blame Glass for everything. I mean, he's a role player that can kill penalties and actually isn't too bad at i-
Glass on the PK is brutal. Top guy wide in box should be sunk in between hashes cutting off both pass play options. pic.twitter.com/cAMQaiPYq7— Nick Mercadante (@nmercad) November 2, 2014
Never mind, he's terrible at that too. At least he can fight and defend his teammates and discourage players on the opposing team from taking advantage and roughing up our important players ri-
Thank God Glass was in the lineup to keep Kane from hurting McDonagh tonight. Oh, wait ...— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) November 2, 2014
Seriously, what the @&*%.
Okay, but we only have him for another two seasons after this one, at a cap hit of $1,450,000.
You guys couldn't hear it, but I let out a long, pained sigh when I typed those numbers out. It was a borderline death rattle. Just close your eyes and think of two more seasons after this one at that cap hit and listen to the sound that comes out of your mouth... can you hear it? Yep, spooky stuff. Like part of your soul jettisoning from the main soul into the mystery and chaos of life outside of the body because, in this particular case, the devil it doesn't know is probably better than the devil it does know. Sure, we can find a way to bury his contract in the minors or give him the Mike Rupp treatment and send him far, far away and let him be another team's mistake, but until that day comes his contract is the nightmare that follows us in our waking life.
So, I got to thinking about what I would do to make his contract go away. What lengths would I go to in order to get Glass's contract off the books or even severely reduced to a more reasonable number. What number would that be? I don't know, let's say the veteran's minimum. That seems like it would've been a good amount to give a fourth liner. Or heck, we could have just re-signed Dan Carcillo who fit very well with the team last season. Nope, too late for that.
Now, I'm not a hero, but I would do some pretty heinous stuff for the greater good in order to open up a roster spot for a guy like Ryan Malone to be a regular in the lineup or have a guy like Jesper Fast get a chance to contribute in a bottom six role. What kind of things would I do? Well, take my hand my precocious little hedgehog; we're going to go deep into my mind for a little while.
I'd Ruin Someone's Day
I hate upsetting and inconveniencing other people more than anything. The very thought of it pains me. But I would walk right up to a beautiful, happy family that wore smiles on their faces in such a way that they looked like they didn't know what it was to frown, and I'd ruin their day. I'd walk right up to their table at a happy little restaurant that had stop signs and surfboards and posters of Marilyn Monroe on the walls, and just reach out with very clearly dirty hands (let's go with topsoil mixed with the hands you get when you work with leather or on oil rigs) and eat right from their plates. I'd make sure to do it after hearing it was someone's birthday and that this was their big day, maybe little Caleb is turning twelve today. Maybe Caleb just ordered a big, juicy burger and he is looking adoringly up at his proud Pop and saying thank you with a look from eyes filled with innocence, love, and warmth.
I'd grab that burger right from his hand, making sure to knock over drinks left and right as I do it, and just start speaking in some fictional tongue that requires a great deal of gesticulating as if I was justifying what was happening or simply wasn't accustomed to American norms. Perhaps, in my head, I would be telling them of the tent that I live in the woods of a remote forest of Eastern Europe where I spend my days painting the faces of dead celebrities on football-sized rocks and try to sell them to people who don't know what celebrities are. By the time the police arrive to drag me out of the restaurant and away from the shards left from the shattered comfort and dreams of that family, I'd spit out what was left of their bloomin' onion and just bellow, "LET'S GO RANGERS," probably while crying. But it would be worth it. I'd regret it every day for the rest of my life, but I'd almost certainly do it.
I'd Take on a Hyena in Single Combat
Wow, the stakes got raised in a hurry here, didn't they? Just hold on before you tell me I'd get wrecked. I'm going to have a trident and a net, like a retiarius gladiator... but with more clothes and some really good boots. A good pair of boots seems essential in animal combat. Now, I have no training with tridents, spears, polearms, halberds, javelins, or weapons of similar design, but I like my chances against a single hyena because I'm also saying that I get to choose what kind of hyena I fight. It's only fair guys, they're giant mutant murder dogs and I'm a hockey blogger. Why a hyena? They're bigger than a dog and smaller than a tiger. They're just big enough to be absolutely terrifying, but just small enough where you feel that you could hold your own with a trident.
Of course, we all know that there are only three kinds of hyenas in the world; Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and Ed. Obviously, I'm going with the Ed subspecies. It's true that Eds are loose cannons and wildcards and you can never be sure what they are capable of, but if Whoopi has taught us anything, she has taught us that a sharp blow to the top of a hyena's head will momentarily stun it leaving it open for a quick netting and goring from a trident. I wouldn't feel good about doing this and I still think that this at least only a 60% chance of survival for me, so I'd obviously want to be injected into some kind of scenario where I had no choice but to fight and attempt to slay the hyena. Let's just say I catch him trying to pick the lock of an orphanage in the middle of the night, with a little miner's helmet with a flashlight on it, and I confront him about it and he's just a total dick and turns on me. Then it would totally okay to do what I have to do to get Glass' contract off the books, right? I just lost myself, so if you're still with me consider me amazed.
I mean, he's clearly up to no good.
Turncoat for Just a Night
Fine, I'll do a hockey one since this is, technically, a hockey blog. I'm not happy about it though. I grew up and currently reside in New Jersey, or, as I like to say, behind enemy lines. As many Rangers fans who are NJ residents know, it is not uncommon to go to the Prudential Center and watch the Rangers play a road game against the Devils. You take your life into your own hands when you go, but there are thankfully plenty of blue jerseys there to make you feel safe.
For the Rangers and for you guys, I'd subject myself to fraternizing with the enemy and listen to drunken theories and lectures about why I'm wrong to love the Rangers while I wear a Rangers jersey. I'd offer little no resistance and slowly start to nod my head and display body language that suggests I am open to discussing the notion of me changing allegiances even though the very idea of it feels like a rusty railroad spike being forced up my nasal cavity with the encouragement and influence of an impossibly tiny and loud hammer. After they have said their piece, I'd go to the Devils' shop (seriously, just read those two words) and buy a Devils jersey. I don't know, let's say a Patrik Elias jersey (at least it would be someone I respect). I'd toss my Rangers jersey into the garbage and start screaming about being New Jersey through-and-through while high fiving everyone way too hard while I was dying inside.
Face paint. Smartphone case with the team logo. Adding Devils fans as Facebook friends. Sharing wings with them. WINGS. I'd do it all. The worst part is that other Rangers fans would witness it and would lose heart and probably assault me for doing it. I'd let it happen. I wouldn't press charges. I'd let them throw candelabras, coins, carrots, chair legs, or whatever else they want to throw. I'd understand.
After the game was over and the stadium emptied out, I'd rummage through the dumpsters outside of the Prudential Center late into the night and find my Rangers jersey, blubbering the whole time, and hold it close to my bosom. "I'm so sorry, baby. So, so sorry... but you made me do this. Three years? THREE? What were you thinking, baby? Shhh. You're s-safe. Safe now. Shhh. You know I'd do anything for you. It's over now, it's over." And there I would stay, waist-deep in the filth of Devils' fans, until the sun rose and then I'd whimper all the way back home, my face covered in face paint spoiled with tears, snot, and what I can only hope would be sauce from hot wings. I'd do that to get rid of Glass' contract. I'd do it in a heartbeat.
Swallow a Battery
I spent a lot of time thinking about this. What is the most dangerous thing that I can swallow that I won't choke on, but when people hear what it is they still say, "don't do that!!!" I settled on a single AAA battery. I haven't figured out of it is better to have a fully charged battery (seems dangerous) or a dead battery (seems dangerous) go down my throat. The fully charged battery might trigger some kind of awful chemical reaction and cause me to... I don't know, explode or catch fire? While the dead battery might leak battery acid and immediately kill me. I once got battery acid on my hands when I was a kid from my Game Boy and let me tell you something, that'll ruin your pizza party in a hurry. So, in order to be safe, I'd put the battery in a condom first. I'm pretty sure I won't be writing that sentence again anytime soon. Just look at this delicious little tube of sparky joy.
It's a fun thing to think about, this may be the only time you can say, "Bro, I'll swallow that [insert dangerous item here], but only if it's in a condom." Obviously, I'm taking a page out of the drug mule handbook here. I've seen enough cable television to know that you can more or less swallow lava but so long as it is safely within a condom, nothing bad can or will happen, right? My favorite part of this conundrum is that swallowing it in a condom makes both better and worse. Think about that. That's magical. It's like taking medicine. It tastes awful and you'll go blind in one eye, but the agonizing, unbearable pain will end.
I'm not going to lie with you, there is no way that I would do this now that I've typed this out and got the thought out of my head. I'm even scared to Google it and see if it has been done before... but I'd be more than willing to have Joe do it and take the hit for the team. At the very least I'd volunteer to be the guy that was there mainly just to freak out when things go horribly wrong and have to explain to the nurses in the emergency room what happened. "We thought- we- we thought it would make Tanner Glass' contract go away! Tanner Glass? He's a fourth liner... it seemed important at the time! We weren't thinking! It was cold! No, we weren't drinking! Yeah, it's just one battery.... Triple A, so how bad could that be, right? Heh... O- Oh, crap. That bad? JOE. DO NOT GO TO SLEEP, YOU'LL NEVER WAKE UP."
Good times, good times. Seriously though, don't swallow batteries.
There are a lot of other things I'd do to make Glass' contract go away. Some of them are ridiculous and dangerous and involve a lot of fire, rope, and ninja stars, but most of them are just silly things like writing articles like this or writing long, articulate letters to Glen Sather encouraging him to find the appropriate spellbook to banish this particular mistake to some godless realm like Calgary or Carolina.
It's important to laugh at the stuff that frustrates, depresses, or worries us. It's also important to remember that Tanner Glass accepted a contract that anyone of us would have accepted at the drop of a hat, even if we knew it would come hand-in-hand with the constant scrutiny of fans and mentions of hyena combat. The bottom line is that Tanner Glass is not worthless in the Rangers' lineup, he just isn't the best option available... or even the second best option... or the third. But none of that really matters though, because at the end of the day it's Alain Vigneault who chooses who goes in the lineup on any given night and who is out there killing penalties. All we can do is batten down the hatches and try to get through this storm together. Things could always be worse, it could always be a AA battery or even, god forbid, a 9 volt.
Hope you guys enjoyed this. Please don't swallow batteries, hurt hyenas, betray the Rangers (even for just a night), and don't ruin Caleb's birthday, he's a sweet kid that is trying very hard to work up the courage to ask Vicky to the dance.
I'm so, so sorry that you read this. Let's go Rangers.