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Twenty-Nine And A Half Men - SEP.28.07

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Sunny Dhillon

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<table><td><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sunny_blog.jpg" align="left" hspace="4">Roberto, Roberto, Roberto. Now you’ve really gone and done it.

Remember that scene in Jurassic Park? You know, the one where the cup of water starts to shake, letting everyone know that a hulking dinosaur is on the way?

Well, a lot of cups must be shaking in the NHL’s head office this week. The source? Twenty-nine general managers stampeding to the commissioner’s side to convince him the nets have to be made larger. And soon.

On Tuesday, Roberto Luongo told CKNW’s Dan Russell that he would retire if the NHL made its nets any larger. Bobby Lou stood by his remarks the following day when he explained that any change, no matter how minor, would adversely affect his game, particularly in terms of playing the angles.

Now, with such a tempting offer on the table, one could hardly blame rival GM’s if they decided to campaign for larger nets like they’ve never campaigned before.

Think about it.

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks04_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks04_t.jpg" align="right" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a>

If you were an Eastern Conference general manager and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby said he would retire if the NHL took away wooden sticks, presuming he used one, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to get rid of wooden sticks and ease your path to the Stanley Cup Finals every year?

I’m betting you would. I’m betting you would call up Gary Bettman, our half-man (for obvious reasons), and chew his half-ear off on just how tiny the current nets are. I’m betting you would even plant a pine beetle or two in a wooden stick just to get Sid the Kid out of your way.

And if you were a rival GM with the opportunity to get rid of the best goaltender in the world, with all due respect to Andrew Raycroft, wouldn’t you do it in a heartbeat?

I think you would. I think you would fight like H-E-double-hockey-sticks to get those nets made larger. And I think you would keep going until you made sure you had driven Lui from the NHL.

You would campaign for a hole in the mesh so players could score from behind the net.

You would campaign for a two-point goal for players that score when standing directly on the face-off circle.

And you would campaign for a rule that says that if the goalie lets out a rebound, he can’t touch the puck again for eight seconds. Why eight? Beats me. It’s your rule.

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/07/jul2707_gameseven01_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/07/jul2707_gameseven01_t.jpg" align="left" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a>

I can’t be convinced that the twenty-nine rival general mangers haven’t at least thought about this. Some of their fans certainly have.

A member of the Colorado Avalanche message board, named Drij, wrote that the league should “make the nets bigger by half an inch so [Luongo] quits.”

A user of the Calgary Flames message board, named flames.fan, wrote “increase the net size ASAP.” But, to be fair, the opinions of Flames fans are worth about as much as MC Hammer at this point.

So where do we go from here?

Ideally, Roberto comes out and says something to the extent of, “Ok, I’m not actually going to retire but I would be very angry if the nets were made any larger.”

This would put to bed any fears Canucks fans have that their honeymoon with their star goaltender is about to come to a sudden end.

<a href="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks08_b.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/092607_sjsharks08_t.jpg" align="right" border="0" hspace="4" vspace="1"></a>

At least that way I could stop waking up every night in a cold sweat after dreaming that twenty-nine and a half men have ruined a Canucks legacy before it ever even truly began.

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