Star Wars. It’s everywhere. It’s cereal, it’s underwear, it’s toys, it’s everything. Just when you thought it might mercifully be over, the Mandalorian had to come along and be good and the irresistible Ewan McGregor is doing a mini-series and, oh, there will be ninety-billion more movies. So, yeah, we’re talking about Star Wars on Blueshirt Banter. Sue me (not you, Disney overlords, please don’t sue me).
Something that has always delighted and confused me about Star Wars are the names of its characters. Names like Wedge Antilles, Dud Bolt, Han Solo, Salacious B. Crumb, Galen Erso, Kit Fisto, Bib Fortuna, and Plo Koon. Who the hell names their kid Wedge?
This got me thinking about some of the great hockey names we’ve seen over the years — names like Zarley Zalapski and Dit Clapper. It also got me thinking about the names of Rangers players, past and present, that could fit into the Star Wars universe.
So, here we are.
Grab those long cardboard rolls you get when you’re done with holiday wrapping paper and start swinging it perilously close to your sibling’s eyes while making HWWWWWWOOOUUOMMMMM sounds. It’s time for Star Wars names.
Hyman “Hy” Buller played for the Rangers between 1951 and 1954. He was one of the first Jewish players to play in the NHL and an All-Star defenseman.
To me, Hy Buller sounds like the name of one of the Jedi masters who was in the background looking pensive and concerned while Hayden Christensen complained about how everything wasn’t fair and a bunch of bullshit to Samuel L. Jackson. Not necessarily the name of the guy with a forehead you could land a small plane on or the squid dude, but definitely a random Jedi.
Ripley played seven years in the NHL and was later a golf pro.
In truth, most of the names on this list just sound like the names of random pilots of X-Wings or some shit. Vic Ripley is definitely one of those. “Come in, Vic! Ripley? Can you hear me? I’m all knotted up with TIE fighters like that uncle of yours who is into BDSM.” See? It just kinda fits. Also, Vic gets bonus points for having a surname with a strong connection to another important franchise of spacey movies.
Another X-wing or Y-wing or whatever-wing fighter name. Just try it out. “Sparky, they hit your droid! He’s shitting out nuts and bolts - there’s oil everywhere!” I think an essential ingredient to any good made-up Star Wars name is having a monosyllabic moniker in there. That’s another box that Sparky checks off. So, either a fighter pilot or a mechanic for the Rebels. The Empire wouldn’t put up with that crap. They’d name him SPK-870 or something.
Melville Arthur “Sparky” Vail played two seasons with the Rangers during the Great Depression. Like everyone on this list, he deserves much better than this.
This one’s a layup. For every reason you can possibly imagine, Tie Domi should and would be a bounty hunter.
Just look at him.
How great is the name Bing Juckes? Winston Bryan “Bing” Juckes. Damn, that might be even better. He played all 16 games of his NHL career with the Rangers in the 1949-50 season.
Bing Juckes sounds like it should be the name of a barkeep at a seedy yet charming cantina. Maybe like that guy who ran the 1950s-era space diner who knew all about the Kaminoans and how they specialized in darts and cloning. You know, like ya do. Seems to be an odd pair of things to be known for.
I can also see this being the name of that guy who was really super upset when Luke killed the rancor in Jabba’s palace. That guy was devastated. His pig-man buddies probably spent the next few weeks consoling him, but where the hell are they going to find another rancor? I imagine that’s got to be a more involved process than getting someone a new puppy. Poor Bing. Poor, poor Bing.
The only current Ranger on this list, Boo Nieves has had the best name in the organization since he was drafted 59th overall in 2012.
If little Anakin Skywalker had a friend named Boo Nieves on Tatooine instead of that weird little kid that looked like a fly, maybe he wouldn’t have been hoodwinked and seduced by a weird old man into the dark side during a weird jellyfish show at an opera house on Coruscant. Then again, Anakin was a child slave and he does have a point about sand being a real pain in the ass. Come to think of it — was Watto wearing pants or was he Porky Pigging it? Also, why did he have a helmet from the First World War when grown-up Anakin went back to Tatooine?
At any rate, I wish I had a friend named Boo.
Fata played 46 games with the Rangers in the 2002-03 season and was the 6th pick of the 1998 Draft.
Rico Fata should be the name of a podracer. And a good one. If not a podracer, then maybe a bounty hunter or whatever the hell Maz Kanata is. What is she? I legitimately have no idea what her day job is, but apparently she knows everything and when Poe and friends call her on her cell she’s prone to being tangled up in blaster fights. Rico Fata, Maz Kanata, they even sound alike.
Speaking of podracing, anyone else remember the N64 game Star Wars Episode I: Racer? That game was dope.
Hubert “Hub” Macey played 30 games between the Rangers and Canadiens during the 1940s. To me, his name feels like a good fit for a senator or a kingpin in the criminal underworld like Carl Weathers in the Mandalorian. Maybe he too knows a little something about getting a stew going.
“You’re selling deathsticks on Gurgon-8? You better hope Hub Macey doesn’t find out about this, you dumb prick. He runs this planet.”
Like Wedge Antilles, Hub also has that whole “named after an inanimate object” thing going for him. This one is pretty generic, so it could fit in pretty much anywhere. It’s almost like all of the Star Wars names are just gobbledygook. Hatch Areola. See? It almost works.
Valentine Arthur Delory played one game in the NHL with the Rangers in the 1948-49 season.
This guy has the perfect name for a smooth-talking rogue like Han Solo or Poe Dameron. I can see him twirling a blaster on his finger while he glides his other hand through hair that is positively stiff with product.
When he’s not flying beyond the charts, he’s playing sabacc and breaking hearts. Val Delory. I want an action figure already.
Let’s be real with each other, friends. The moment I saw the name “Hib Milks” I had to write something about him. That’s what this is all about. The rest of this article is a farce. The man’s name was Hib. Hib Milks.
Hibbert Henry “Hib” Milks played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Quakers, the Rangers, and the Ottawa Senators and he is my new favorite person.
Honestly, what can’t you be with a name like Hib Milks? I’m leaning towards the owner/barkeep of a cantina who has one of those weird manatees with udders that Luke had on his “leave-me-alone-I-screwed-up” planet with the alarmingly large teats that shoot out green milk. What is it with strange colors of milk and Luke? Whose idea was it to have that space manatee make a disturbingly blissful gurgling sound when it is milked? Why did Luke let that salty space milk spill past his bottom lip and get into his beard while looking at Rey?
Hib Milks is the name of a man who gets shit done. He’s rich in calcium, full of gumption, and is likely risking everything to pass on intelligence to the rebels. Intelligence and green milk that’s still warm from a space manatee’s utter.
What the hell, Star Wars. What the hell.