Author: Scott Macleod

Season Preview Pt. Deux

As we continue on in our draft preview, we turn our attention to the GM’s that we not so blessed by the draft balls of destiny. The GM’s who are left to pick the scraps of each round. Who was able to pick up the pieces of their terrible draft lottery performance and assemble a ragtag scrappy group of underdogs that will overcome the odds and rise to a King Street Cup Championship?

Lincoln Street Legends

Beginning the best of the worst is the Lincoln Street Legends helmed by longtime WNHL defenceman Jay Thom. Some call him the Mike Keenan of the WNHL, and no nonsense GM who demands the best of his players, others just call him a dick. Either way he’s driving the bus so get on board or get the hell out of the way.

Hop on boys, I’ve got pucks to fire up the middle

Sticking with his “old school” approach, Jay Thom jumped in the way back machine and brought two players out of retirement in the first three rounds. Marty “Party Mew” Pew comes back into the WNHL after brings with him out the slums of Toronto and Hamilton, Phil “The Thrill” Busby. Marty is known as a puck moving defenceman who will distribute some crisp tape to tapers, Busby is a tall center who, well, let’s just say he prefers the puck possession game.

Busby loves his CORSI

Jay Thom also drafted Boots. So there’s that. Will we learn his name this year? At this point I don’t even want to. Just let him show up five minutes before, fly around the ice, get mad at Billy T. and go home immediately after the game. Everybody’s happy.

Staying true to their old school roots and just in case you thought of fucking around, the Legends bring in Tom “Go To Sleep” Napper and Jake “You Have No” Hope to keep teams in line. Probably best not to fuck around, you know?

Hope can throw hands, but skating is hard

Moving into the later rounds the Legends tried a different strategy of drafting reformed goalies in back to back rounds with Jeff “Toe Drag” Donaldson and rookie Matt “Matty B” Backshall. Donaldson is free to play out of Cockell’s shadow and will toe drag you into dust, while not much is known about the rookie Backshall. Can tell you this much though, he has a $100,000 backyard but parties in his driveway.

2021-22 Lincoln Street Legends in action

The Legends kept it safe in the late rounds of the draft by picking up Callum “Don’t Call Me Dave” Gomez, Spins (hard to give a nickname to a guy who is only a nickname), and in surprise move, making a draft day trade to pick up Nate “Marsha” Brady sending Tall Al to the Dusters. To close out the draft Jay Thom (JT) went back to back TJ’s, picking up T.J. Hatton and T.J.V.B. I’m thinking this is some weird ego thing with Jay Thom and he probably goes home and rosterbates to the thought of it.

Jay Thom’s ultimate team is 13 Jay Thom’s

The nostalgia tour doesn’t work. Legends finish in sixth.

Dain City Dusters

Moving on to the fifth pick in the draft the Dain City Dusters led by GM Bryan Bazalewski, who is feeling inspired with the new logo and is looking to find a team in the leftover scraps of the WNHL

Baz started the draft by picking up Ryan “The Manther” Bering. In order to keep the high scoring diva happy Baz grabbed his brother Carl “Carling” Bering in the FIF! Like the Sedin’s their power is multiplied when they are playing together. The Dusters anchored the blue line with Dryden who can dazzle with one of the most impressive mustaches in the league, and Chicken.

I dare you to come down the wing. I will end you.

Looking to solidify the offence the Dusters added the Red Eye Jedi’s Chris “C Boz” Bosak and Matt “Deuce” Dusso. Nobody even sees them show up to the game, they just appear out of a cloud of reefer, bury a couple each, and then it’ see you in the parking lot.

C Boz right after scoring the game winner in the final seconds

The Dusters know if you want to win a championship you need championship pedigree, you need players who know what it takes to lift the hardware. The Dusters took care of this by picking up “Greasy” Gav Sardella GM of the first ever King Street Cup winning and possibly greatest WNHL franchise of all time, The ’16-17 Atlas Steelers. Kris “The Hammer” Habjan,the Scott Niedermayer of the WNHL. From Xmas Classics to King Street Cups there is nothing he has not won.. Then, in the 9th round is when the Dusters solidified the winning pedigree by selecting the two time WNHL All Star Game Champion, the two time King Street Cup champion, the future first ballot hall of famer, you’ve heard of the kid you know what he did, Scotty “Two Times” MacLeod.

The Dain City Dusters rolling into the King Street Ice Palace

The Dusters used their late round picks very wisely to balance out the tremendous ego’s they brought in some great room guys with Le Grande Alain who has had is career reborn after transitioning to defence, Kevin Dyson who does anything but suck, and making his return to the WNHL, “Bi-Polar” Billy Topolinski. Billy is fired up for his return to the WNHL, and has been quoted as saying he’ll fight sombodys mother to win the King Street Cup this year.

Billy T getting ready to fight your mom

Dusters have all the pieces of the puzzle. They finish first.

Atlas Steelers

Finally, the last but absolutely not least, The Atlas Steelers and the GM Jon “L0Ser” Campbell. (Get it? It’s a Fonthill joke). Campbell is known for two things in the WNHL, scoring the King Street Cup winning goal in 2019, and building some of the best rooms in the league. Can he put it all together in 21-22 and bring the King Street Cup to places it was never meant to go?

In the first two rounds Campbell stayed true to his strategy of sticking with his hometown boys, by grabbing Mark “Dangles” Doyle and “Marvelous” Mike Podio. The also drafted Frankie Mauro who I don’t know a lot about, but I think he’s also a Fonthillian. (For the purpose of this writing he’ll be Fonthillian). Noticeably absent is longtime Steeler Eric Sinclair. I’m sure he’s missing the season for super legit reasons.

My eyes rolled so hard they almost fell out of my head

However, Campbell did shift gears this year by dipping heavy into the rookie pool. After impressing in the prospect game, Craig “Dunzo” Dunsby was picked in the third round this year, putting a lot of pressure on the first year player and former Centennial Cougar. The Steelers also selected Jeff “The Bod” Bodden, Phil “Housley” Houser and David “New” Tucker, who has a big name to carry in the WNHL.

Never imitated, Never Duplicated.

The Steelers added some intensity into the lineup with Steve “Wonder” Wurfel, and whatever the opposite of intensity is with Gord “Hoots” Hudak, who the Steelers had to settle for after long time Steeler Scotty Two Times was selected by the Dain City Dusters. One pick ahead of Gordie. Campbell brought a calming influence into the balance by adding Al “Do It All” Jones, the new and improved Henry “Weeeeeeeeens” Wiens who is out to avenge his Mr. Irrelevant title and Dave “The Inspector” Gomez, who has been quoted as saying he will “break Callum’s ankle this year. What’s he going to do? Call the cops”? Followed by an evil laugh.

Gomez has gone mad with power

3rd. Middle of the pack finish for a middle of the pack team.

This concludes our 2021-22 season preview. All the talking is done. The answers can only be found on the ice. For the first time in the Original Six Era the King Street Cup will be awarded. Will it find itself protected in a bridgeless Dain City or resting quietly on a trail on Merritt Island? Will the Cup take a victory cruise along Lincoln Street on an E-Bike or just setting up shop in the Crown Room? Will it bask in the sulfur of the Townline Tunnel or back home in the blast furnace of a Welland Steel Factory? Only one way to find out. Crack the beers, hit the ice, then crack the beers again The WNHL is back.

Season Preview

April 6th. 2019. That is the last time the King Street Cup was awarded. Since that date the Welland hockey landscape has been caped in darkness. The parking lot are all un-converged in, the beers are un-cracked, and the twine is anything but dented. Now, after two years of misery, the light of a new day has broke. In a few short days, we will once again be privileged enough to hear the sounds of the pucks missing nets, the chirps from our own benches, and the gasping for breath of a group of middle aged men trying to hold on to their youth. There are no sounds on earth more beautiful.

No, not even you Sinead. You beautiful misunderstood angel.

Last Wednesday the WNHL once again gathered at our historic league headquarters The Rex Hotel and dispersed the talent amongst the six WNHL franchises. We are going to review the picks and judge them with our harshest eyes.

Townline Tunnelers

This year Craig “Sky Caught Fire” Laro was blessed or cursed with the first overall pick for the second time is his tenure as GM for the Townline Tunnelers. Laro made it to the dance the last time he had the first overall pick, but ultimately came up short. This time with a new determined focus, he used his first three picks on Cockell, Lance Romance, and Chris Woods, clearly sending a message to the WNHL. That message seems to be “we have the most combustible bench in the WNHL”. Cockell who has never not had nothing to say about anything, Romance who is remembered for the attempted murder of Paco, and Woods who can verbally dissect refs with near surgical precision, can all bury the puck with ease, it’s a like a whole line of Brad Marchand’s.

Apparently Laro watched D2 and thought “Hey, that Iceland team seems likeable. I should do that”

So how did Laro follow up the devils threeway? He brought it two rookies. Kevin Wright and Brain Barker. These poor bastards. Can you imagine being one of these guys on the bench if the Tunnelers go down by a couple of goals in the first period of the first game? They’re going to leave the arena with PTSD.

Cockell on the bench when you’re down 4-3

In an effort to balance out the room a bit Laro was able to pick up Colin Cook in the 6th round which may turn out to be the steal of the draft, not only for his smoothness on the ice but for the cookies that his wife bakes. I’m telling you they are life changing. Ben Brown, John Harvey and Mike Law fill out the later rounds and help to balance out that hellscape that is the first three rounds. Adding the “The Croatian Bull” Matt Sajn and Kenny “Lemieux” Oost fills out a veteran presence in the locker room, with Ryan “Mr. Irrelevant” Rumsby completing the 21-22 Townline Tunnelers. So how will the Tunnelers fare in 21-22?

Like this, but they still finish the season in Second.

Merritt Islanders

The Merritt Islanders were awarded the second pick in this years draft, although they should have had it forfeited due to GM Ryan “A Beautiful Mind” Daniel shameful display at the WNHL spring golf tournament / bbq. There is no need to speak of it any further. He knows what he did.

Only The Lord and I can judge you. God and me are judging you.

In the first three rounds the Islanders selected Dalton Wilson, Willard and Accursi. A guy who never talks, a guy who never shuts the fuck up, and a tiny little rat. Daniel drafting from all over the likeability board in those first three rounds. Say what you will about these three, they are some of the smoothest skaters in the league, and the Willard to Daniel combo has proved dangerous in the past. I’ll let you guess what side of the likeability board they are on though.

The Wall St. Wu-Tang douche would have been drafted if he promised to pass to Daniel.

Daniel was also able to grab Pat Riley who’s got wheels like Degrassi and Tyler Stack, who himself might be the steal of the draft in the sixth round. Forget what I said about Cook being the steal, Stack 1.0 in the sixth is larceny. He can play any forward position, unlike former WNHLer Stack 2.Bro who only plays extreme right wing. Combining these two with a trio straight out of their basement kitchens, Fabiani, Mollo, and Carm “Still have no idea how to spell his name” Gugliemi, Daniel ensures that the Islanders will be flush with cured meats and mobile defencemen.

Believe it or not, this is actually their playbook

Rounding out the Islanders are Shawn “Greyhound” Mckinnon, who has earned that nickname for his dedication to the WNHL which included taking a bus from Hamilton to play in the WNHL. Think about that the next time you think of bailing for some bullshit reason. Staying with greyhounds, Daniel picked up Strohak who shares the same stamina and scoring ability of an actual greyhound. Daniel picked up our commish Kelly Jones because he thinks that will bring him favour with the refs, forgetting that the referees hate Jones due to his quota of at least two snapouts a game.

I can’t believe my floating wrister from blue line didn’t go in.

They also drafted Steve Pelerin but I don’t know who that is so I have no sauce to talk. Yet. Islanders contend through the first half but finish fourth in the regular season.

Crown Room Kings

Rob “Flea Market Jesus” Foster took official control of the Crown Room Kings on Wednesday and assembled the first ever group of Foster’s Kids. Not the kind that have probably been molested but the kind that will smash OV’s in a parking lot with you in the middle of January. Foster started by picking last years potential rookie of the year Shawn Boychuck, the master of the feodra and the fauxhawk Corey Hutchinson, and Peter Nunn who looks and plays like he hates fun.

It’s not a mugshot

Hutchinson has impressed since transferring over from the Champlain league, and seems to be enjoying the league, based on the fact that he averaged 52 minutes of ice time per game last year. Foster dipped in again to the Champlain league talent pool and picked up DIno Maddelina who is known for two things. His pizza making ability, and for being only one of two players to get Dalton mad. That’s something that only Cockell had ever achieved before in the WNHL so he is in some special company there.

“Bro, you see me dangle Weins out there”? – Champlain tryhard

Teddy “Ballgame” Beadle carries on the Beadle legacy, and Billy “The Swiss Army Knife” Crumm comes to the team to bring some balance to the Champlain try hards. They are joined by Al “Bobby” Clarke and Neil Bahn who is now the only Bahn in the league, a Bahn Solo if you will. Foster filled in his roster with two rookies, SIlvian Roy who most likely lives on a “Rue”, or could be a “sometime y” Italian, and a player that can only be described as the first Puerto Rican supermodel in WNHL history Kyle Boggio.

No, I can’t give you percocets. *wink*

Foster has been in the league for a few years. He knows the league roots and where the leagues heart is located, deep in the Rose City. A team can not win in this league without a good dose of Welland, and Foster got a great dose in the final two rounds by picking up Greg “Mr. Welland” Bosak and Chris “RoseCity” Paco. That’s more Welland than and Pint and Pie at the Rex. That’s more Welland than 10 speeds and 24’s of Carling. That’s more Welland than smoking darts by the Canal. As long as you don’t tell Bosaks wife that he had more than one beer, he’ll leave it all on the ice for you, and then get home as quickly as possible and Paco’s career has been one of consistent growth, and if he can stay out of Lance Romance’s way he may double his output to two goals this year.

Actual footage

Foster can’t control the Champlain ego’s, team finishes fifth.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of our season preview where we look at the Lincoln Street Legends, Dain City Dusters, and Atlas Steelers.

Interview with Dave “Big Bossman” Gomez

Enjoy this feature from our special correspondent:

Guy LeDouche – Fonthill Ruffle
The Dain City Dusters dropped a tough 4-3 decision to the previously winless Atlas Steelers Wednesday night.  There was only a few bright spots for the Dusters and one was the play from the 2nd line wingers Kelly Jones and Dave Gomez who combined for 2 of the 3 Dusters goals. This is a present surprise as last year they combined for 7 goals in a unfortunately shortened season due to Covid-19.  I was able to catch up with Dave in the parking lot after to discuss what he thought of tonight’s game.

Dave, given the slow starts the Dusters have produced on the ice the first 2 weeks of the season, How did it feel to get the first goal to give the team some momentum heading in to the 3rd period?

“It felt pretty damn good and quite unexpected.  No one was surprised more than me. As you know, goals from me can be quite rare. Sort of like a lunar eclipse – kinda fun to watch but you’re not quite sure how it happens. I think my new $50 Sherwood from Costco had something to do with it. I think there’s a few more goals in that twig.”

With the hot start to your season do you think you can keep the pace up and help lead the Dusters to the King Street Cup Championship Game?

“Yes I believe I can. It would be an honour to be a Duster at the head of the Victory Parade marching down King Street to the delight of all the citizens in their scooters.”

Now this is just a rumor that I heard after the game but can you please confirm that with the loss you now have to buy Scotty “2time” MacLeod 2 dozen donuts and a take 10 from Tims for the boys back at the precinct?

“It was actually 3 dozen but I might’ve doused his apple fritters with pepper spray.”

One last question and ill let you get back to drinking your OV. What do the Dusters need to change whether its is their pregame routine, game prep or off ice condition to get off to a better 1st period next week vs the 2-0 Merritt Islanders.

“Well we could certainly use some more spark in the 1st. Should I bring a taser to the next game?” 
That would certainly be a wake up call to some of the boys on the bench.

Thank you once again for your time and good luck with the rest of the season.