Lockout 2012

How the players spent their lockout vacation

It’s finally starting to sink in: the NHL lockout is over. After 113 days of misery, legalese and numbers, numbers and more numbers, fans can finally look forward to puck drop. We’re still at least a week away from the beginning of the 48(ish) game season, so I thought I’d dig up some pictures of the players lockout adventures. Sure, we could remember the hill we almost died on, endless shots of the lonely podium, #assmode and embarrassing games played out in public, OR we could look at pictures of players doing some weird shit. OK great, so here you go, the lockout in pictures.

There was the anticipated mass exodus from North America to European hockey leagues…

"hahahaha jokes over, right? When do we get on a real plane? Wait, what?" -Matt Duchene

“hahahaha jokes over, guys! When do we get on a real plane? Wait, what?”

A8J4o6kCQAAlBsw

Viktor Stalberg after bailing on his old team Frolunda HC in favour of HC Atlant in the KHL

The existential goalie & the moment Pavel Datsyuk realizes he's made a huge mistake

The existential goalie & the moment Pavel Datsyuk realized he made a huge mistake

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The KHL rolled out hockey cards for temp players almost immediately. This one looks fresh.

And when the stars showed up, so did the fans…

Ovi heads home and the Russian angels sing

Ovi heads home and the Russian angels sing

Young fans flock to Malkin

Young fans flock to Malkin…

Russia's Most Eligible Bachelor, everyone.

GOATS ARE FANS TOO. Russia’s Most Eligible Bachelor, everyone.

That time Mikhail Grabovski put on his Leafs gear and visited his old comrade Nik Kulemin

That time Mikhail Grabovski put on his Leafs gear and visited his old comrade Nik Kulemin on the DL. I see you, Grabbo.

Russia fans best

Russia fans best

Meanwhile, remnants of glory on various European hockey teams web pages can still be found.

Carpets were rolled out and pyrotechnics lit over the arrival of NHLers.

Carpets were rolled out and pyrotechnics lit over the arrival of NHLers.

Well this is awkward...

Well this is awkward now…

In the end, the guys who “stole a job from a good, local guy just tryna feed his family” win because they’re coming back in shape and maybe a bit more badass

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Ilya Bryzgalov went 6-5 in the KHL but his shenanigans were always front and centre

Totally fucking spaced out and we wouldn't have it any other way

Totally fucking spaced out and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Speaking of shenanigans, Nick Backstrom caused some fists to shake when he started sporting the #99 in the KHL. OH BUT NOT SO FAST! Some KHL employee screwed up by accidentally flipping a number upside down in a moment of panic to get shit done. Backstrom was eventually given his proper number, 69. Ladies! In case you’re concerned about the KHL employee, they’ve been fired and will presumably turn up penniless in Estonia.

It was the season of 69.

It was the season of 69.

You don't know any of these guys but who cares. I learned that in Europe, players go to the movies in NASCAR uniforms. Any publicity is good publicity.

You don’t know any of these guys but who cares. I learned that in Europe, players go to the movies in NASCAR uniforms. Any publicity is good publicity.

Joffrey Lupul, fresh off his best NHL season, went to the worst team in the KHL. Apparently producing well on an awful team is limited to North America so he booked it back after a brief stint.

Joffrey Lupul, fresh off his best NHL season, went to the worst team in the KHL. Apparently producing well on an awful team is limited to North America so he booked it back after a brief stint.

Pavel Datsyuk continuously reminded us how much we love watching him play, even thousands of miles away. He notched 36 points in 31 games for CSKA Moscow and just hours after the lockout ended, he pulled out one last move so Russian fans could have something to remember him by.

Malkin was once again a hero to his hometown. He had 65 points in 37 games. I lost count of all his hat tricks. Here’s the hattie that counts: the Gordie Howe:

Meanwhile, in North America…

Bogosian catching some zzzz's in case what you were wondering what an injured locked out player does with his time.

Bogosian catching some zzzz’s in case you were wondering what an injured locked out player does with his time.

Colby Armstrong looks, ummm, well, not in game shape.

Sticks and stones will break his brittle bones

Sticks and stones will break his brittle bones

Some guys had to take up work with commoners. Michael Del Zotto packed produce for some coin before hitting the Euro hockey scene (and then coming back a couple of weeks later)

MDZ workin' hard for his money

MDZ workin’ hard for his money

Jhonas Enroth worked in exchange for a new helmet

Jhonas Enroth worked in exchange for a new helmet. Times are tough, ok?

David Booth killed things…

NO COMMENT

NO COMMENT

And so did others. Gary Bettman is personally responsible for 346 freezers in North America full of meat that will never get eaten.

PERSONAL SHIT LIST

PERSONAL SHIT LIST

When players weren’t shootin’ gunz, they were doing stuff like skating in circles while waiting for someone to pick them up when it was dinner time.

Sidney Crosby skated all by his lonesome 😦

lockout problem #126: pushing your own net: the Sidney Crosby edition.

lockout problem #126: pushing your own net: the Sidney Crosby edition.

But then he found some guys to play with! Sure he had to trick them in order to play, but those are minor details.

Crosby's best Byfuglien impression

Crosby’s best Byfuglien impression

I don't know who the fuck half these kids are but if they didn't live on Gary Roberts street they would have never had THE BEST DAY OF THEIR LIVES!

I don’t know who the fuck half these kids are but if they didn’t live on Gary Roberts street they would have never had THE BEST DAY OF THEIR LIVES!

There were a lot of angry wives and girlfriends through the lockout, exhibit A.

There were a lot of angry wives and girlfriends through the lockout, exhibit A.

In case you stopped keeping tabs, the players won the PR war.

Stanley Cup champ Drew Doughty hanging in his hometown London, ON

Stanley Cup champ Drew Doughty hanging in his hometown London, ON.

Even the unlikable put in face time with the kids all in the name of good PR.

Even the unlikable put in face time with the kids all in the name of good PR.

Players even put in their time with those less fortunate: guidos who’ve never seen the inside of an arena…

Henrick and Vinny, two peas in a pod

Henrick and Vinny, two peas in a pod

Lundqvist was of course less effective when giving his time to other charities, in this case, Sean Avery

Lundqvist was of course less effective when giving his time to other charities, in this case, Sean Avery

Things got weird with Michael Grabner.

Things got weird with Michael Grabner.

During the last few months (that maybe kind of felt like years) we learned who was bad at Twitter.

If I take one thing away from the lockout it would be that PK Subban is fucking annoying on Twitter. Feel free to explain the "joel" phenomenom he created to me.  Or make it stop.

If I take one thing away from the lockout it would be that PK Subban is awful on Twitter. Feel free to explain the “joel” phenomenom he created to me. Or make it stop.  It…can’t go on forever, right?

…But from the ashes of the super self branding machines rose a self-deprecating phoenix. Roberto Luongo showed us we should totally be pumping his tires

@strombone1 kills it on Twitter while other players are all zzzZzzz or hiding in their bunkers

@strombone1 kills it on Twitter while other players hide in their bunkers

60 goal scorer Steven Stamkos is a Good Canadian Boy who shovels the rink because if he doesn't Gary Roberts will send him to the corner

60 goal scorer Steven Stamkos is a Good Canadian Boy who shovels the rink because if he doesn’t Gary Roberts will send him to the corner

Bricks of cheese and slabs of cold cuts: the food of champions aka Phil Kessel

Bricks of cheese and slabs of cold cuts: the food of champions aka Phil Kessel

BUT WAIT! The lockout produced the best Team Canada the Spengler Cup has seen and they won the hockey stick trophy thingy, so that was cool. And it was fun to watch too.

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Spengler-team-canada

Some might say the lockout was an ugly time for hockey. I prefer to think of it as the lockout of love.

Ovi and Kirilenko found love in a hopeless place

Ovi and Kirilenko found love in a hopeless place

Kane & Seguin on Biel

Budding bro love: Kane & Seguin not only captured the hearts of Biel fans, but also each other.

A match made in broven.  (BRO-HEAVEN, DUH)

A match made in broven. (BRO-HEAVEN, DUH)

Did I mention the players who fled to Europe who aren’t named after characters in Game of Thrones looked like they had the best time?

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HAHAHAHA YOU COULD BUY THIS ENTIRE RESTAURANT WITH THOSE RUBLES! HAHAHAHAHAHA)))))))))))))))

Also if you're a cool dude with nowhere else to go but Europe, Santa will bring you equally cool presents

Also if you’re a cool dude with nowhere else to go but Europe, Santa will bring you equally cool presents.

True story: I started a fight when a guy was waving a lobster around in New Ho King with tongs one night. While the people I was with won't corroborate, one almost fought while defending my honour.  Yes somehow, I ain't mad at cha Malkin.

True story: Tempers flared when a guy was waving a lobster around in New Ho King with tongs one night. While the people I was with won’t corroborate that part of the story, one friend almost got into a fist fight while defending my honour. Yet somehow, I ain’t mad at cha Malkin.

LOL KRIS LETANG.

He made the brutal trip to Russia, signed with SKA, didn’t lace up for a game that was played while he was there, the lockout ended, and then he came back to North America.

Letang-Russia-KHL

Take a trip back in time and check out the NHL lockout with Scott Hartnell.

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