Wednesday

4-14-10: Hammer's Stanley Cup Playoff Manifesto

Hello again everybody...

It's Wednesday and it's all downhill from here. Thank heavens. As I've been saying (repeatedly, I know), my first regular-season trip to Target Field comes on Saturday, and you could say I'm getting a little antsy. My guess is the next few days are going to go by a lot slower than I'd prefer.

For those of you wondering, yes, I'm planning on putting together an RGC for that game. I'm going with an old high school buddy who is a “wizard of the one-liners” himself. I can remember several trips to a local recreational gaming establishment where we annoyed more than our fair share of blackjack dealers with our contests to “out-one-liner” each other. So if he'll permit me to quote him liberally, it should be a fun column.

But that's not til Monday. Today we talk... hockey?! Sure I've included the Wild in the DFTU for ages, and several RGC's have come courtesy of the local club. But I don't usually talk about the NHL on a general level. Not because I don't have any interest - though admittedly, it's nowhere near my baseball/college football obsessions - but rather because I don't consider myself educated enough on most of the rest of the teams in the league to speak intelligently on them.

That's why when it comes time to talk hockey, I bring in a ringer. That's right, you know him, you love him... he's the Hammer, and we're not.

For those of you who need a Hammer refresher, I'd refer you back to this column where I did my best to get him to explain the vast and varying sports allegiances he possesses. Though I may not agree with all of his conclusions, he's my go-to guy when it comes to the NHL. And now he's started his own blog (I feel like a proud parent)! That's right, if you check out his blog, Quest for the Cup, during the length and breadth of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you'll get to see all of the Hammer's thoughts and reactions to what happens.

For the last couple of years, I've published what has turned into his first column, and thankfully, he's allowed me to do so again. If you go check him out, you'll see his first draft of the 2010 Playoff Manifesto. With his permission, I'll be re-publishing that column today, along with some notes and thoughts of my own.

The NHL Playoffs begin tonight, so there's no more appropriate time to bring this to you.

Off we go!

”A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.”
- Fred Allen (1894 - 1956), American comedian


To those of my friends whose employment involves attending conferences... sorry about that.

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Hammer's 2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Manifesto

The NHL playoffs are back, and if you had any question about whom to root for, or how to approach one of the most entertaining post-season tournaments in all of sports, the Hammer is here to alleviate your concerns.

I'll allow him to explain the evolution of the Manifesto, but I'll also note that he's hinted to me that this might be the final version of it. I pray that's not true, and that much like the cycles of his favorite pro wrestlers retiring then un-retiring, then retiring, then un-retiring, the Manifesto will continue in perpetuity. The fact that he's begun his own blog gives me hope!

From this point forward, any writing in regular text are the Hammer's words. Any writing in italics are my thoughts and reactions. Well, until I tell you differently anyway.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... the Hammer...


For some fans out there who are reading this, there is a chance that your NHL team did not qualify for the post-season or you may be new to the sport and looking for a team to cheer on in the playoffs. Well I am more than happy to help you find a team to cheer for with my annual NHL Playoff Manifesto.

(Dan says: One of those teams “not making the playoffs” would be the Minnesota Wild. While I'd like to tell you that I'll be strictly following the Manifesto in rooting for teams this post-season, I can't. My reasons will become clear as the column goes along.)

The Manifesto was 1st published in 2007. Both the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota Wild made the playoffs that season and there was a chance that the two could meet in the first round of the post-season.

Being a huge Detroit Red Wings fan, I thought it was crystal clear to everyone as to where my allegiance would be if these two teams met in the post-season. Instead, my co-workers kept asking me who I would be cheering for in the playoffs even after I told them the Red Wings always came first and I would cheer for the Wild as long as they didn't play Detroit.

(Dan says: In my defense, I wasn't one of those co-workers. At that point, I knew the Hammer well enough to know exactly where his allegiances would lie. But in a sense, I'm glad that there were others who continued to push at him, because it directly led to the wonder of the Manifesto!)

At this point I realized that I needed to spell out my rules as to whom to cheer for and against in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and to where I stood on each post-season series. After the Manifesto was introduced, a listener to the Al Malmberg Show sent it over to a relative of his who was stationed in Iraq. The whole battalion took the Manifesto and got behind the Detroit Red Wings and cheered them on during their playoff run in 2007.

(Dan says: While I'm loathe to debate with something that was adopted by the selfless heroes who serve our country so nobly, I'm going to do it anyway. Sorry about that.)

So without any further adieu here is the 2010 Playoff Manifesto.

1. Cheer for The Detroit Red Wings

(Dan says: I can't and here's why... it goes back to the Norris Division days. I was a big North Stars fan as a kid. When they left Minnesota, I was so bitter that I actually tried to become a Chicago Blackhawks fan. I couldn't do it. My distaste for the 'Hawks was so ingrained at that point, I couldn't get over it. And while I don't carry the same antipathy towards the Red Wings, that which I do have is enough for me to immediately violate Hammer's Rule #1. Sorry Hammer.)

2. Always Cheer against the Philadelphia Flyers NO MATTER WHAT.

(Dan says: This one I've got no problem with. I've never liked Chris Pronger much. And watching Dan Carcillo goon it up this season, I don't much like him either. And finally, seeing how much the Hammer truly, truly hates the Flyers, I'd be more than a little apprehensive about opposing him on this one. It's simple self-preservation people. You can't blame me for that.)

3. Support the Minnesota Wild when they are in the post-season. If they play Detroit see rule number 1

(Dan says: The only problem I've got with this one is the second sentence. Other than that it's all good. Actually, I've got two problems. The second one being that Rule #3 is utterly and completely irrelevant this year. *sigh*)

4. Normally I would say cheer against the Pacific Division but the only two teams in that division I don't like, Dallas & Anaheim did not qualify for the post-season so you can cheer for Los Angeles & San Jose in the 1st round. As for Phoenix, see rule number 1.

(Dan says: See, this is where the Hammer and I could have something of a problem. Since my parents live in a suburb of Phoenix, I feel an urge to root for the Coyotes a little bit. I'm not trying to directly oppose the Red Wings, but it's been so long since the 'Yotes made any kind of playoff run - actually, have they EVER made a playoff run? - that I'd kind of like to see them do a little something this year. I'm still pleased, however, to see Dallas be denigrated. Nope, I'm still not over that yet.)

5. Support the Original 6 teams in the post-season. They are a huge part of the game of hockey and it's always nostalgic when one of them go on a cup run.

(Dan says: I agree with this 5 out of 6 times. For those unfamiliar, the Original Six NHL teams are: Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. Sure, I probably won't find a reason to root for some of them, but in my world there's NEVER a reason to root for the Blackhawks... ever.)

6. When in doubt go with the Canadian team.

(Dan says: Do I really need to address this one? With all due respect to my mother's French-Canadian heritage, I'm not rooting for a Canadian team over an American team without some sort of special reason - i.e. they're pitted against Dallas or Chicago - and even then, I might just try to ignore the series all together.)

Hope this helps you choose a squad to cheer on in the playoffs.


That's all from the Hammer, this is Dan again now. At this point I find it necessary to point out that Hammer doesn't mean you have to adopt these guidelines. He's merely offering suggestions based on his own rooting interests. I have to respect him for that.

Remember, to get all of the Hammer's thoughts throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, bookmark his blog, Quest for the Cup. I look forward to reading it regularly, myself.

That's going to wrap things up for today. I'll be back on Friday with your usual heaping helping of DFTU goodness.

Until then, thanks for reading!

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