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Change Of Arena: Hockey And Politics

In the United States we've got an Alaskan Hockey Mom countering Obama-mania. They had to, because Barack looks awfully good in a Detroit Red Wings jersey.

In Canada we've got a Conservative Prime Minister with a keen interest in hockey history and has recruited former Winnipeg Jets center Thomas Steen to play right wing. The Liberals form the main opposition with none other than Montreal Canadiens/1972 Summit Series legend Ken Dryden seeking his electoral hat trick - three consecutive wins in Toronto riding York Center. Liberal leader Stephane Dion recently took a break from campaigning to play some street hockey. The New Democratic Party are guaranteed of their usual also-ran status, largely because they have no connection to Canada's national past time.

Okay, so when it comes to politics, be it American or Canadian, I will not pretend to be a knowledgeable observer.

But I do know two things for sure:
  • Both Canada and the United States are nearing federal election dates, and you should exercise your right to vote.
  • Both countries would be better off if they were run by hockey players.
Think about it. The hockey arena and the political arena are not all that different. Both are bloodsports played on thin ice where faceoffs and scrums are an accepted job hazards. Both can be down right offensive, and being able to slash and spin is necessary.

With that in mind, I propose the creation of the Hockey Party where left wingers and right wingers can come together and run the White House and Parliament Hill for the better. All we need to do is convince hockey players to take a huge cut in both pay and hair.

Here's a look at my proposed candidates for both countries.

United States
Election Date: November 4th, 2008

The Hockey Party Presidential Nominee - Mike Richter.

After spending a lifetime in hockey shutting down right wingers, the three time Olympian and 1994 Stanley Cup champion Mike Richter returned to school. In 2006 he graduated from Yale, where he obtained a degree in Ethics, Politics & Economics in 2006. He reportedly campaigned for Democrat John Hall in a successful congressional bid in 2006, and considered his own bid for Congress.

He is an American hero and capable of shutting out those right wingers currently in power that are currently ruining everything. Mike Richter is the best hockey candidate to run the White House.

Hockey Party Vice Presidential Nominee - Cammi Granato

Granato is a decorated war veteran, serving as the victorious captain of the women's Olympic team, leading her country into many battles against the Canadians. She has a degree in social sciences from Providence, which will serve her well. I don't believe she has any children yet, but when she does she will totally reinvent the term "Hockey Mom" that seems to a prerequisite for American female vice presidential candidates.

Election Date: October 14th, 2008

The Hockey Party Leader - Ken Dryden. The obvious choice will defect to our new party. In 2004, Hall of Fame goaltender/writer/executive Ken Dryden entered into politics in the safe Liberal riding of York Center. Dryden has twice been elected, and even ran for leadership of the federal Liberal Party. And in these times of terrible financial uncertainty, we Canadians would not have to worry with Dryden as Prime Minister. He could sell all his hockey memorabilia in order to pay off any government deficits.

Proposed Hockey Party Cabinet Ministers:

Minister of Defense - Serge Savard. Hey, it was his nickname on the ice. He gets the nod over Robyn Regehr, hockey's active "Minister of Defense," because in politics the guy from Quebec always gets picked at the westerners expense.

Minister of Finance - Joe Sakic. He's earned over $87 million in his career, the highest of any Canadian player ever. He must know something about money.

Minister of Health - Frank Mahovlich. He's already a Senator (pictured), plus the health care portfolio needs that left wing voice. Maybe Dr. Randy Gregg could serve as junior minister.

Minister of Justice - Colin Campbell. Former player and coach has been the long time NHL Director of Hockey Operations, which includes handing out suspensions to the likes of Todd Bertuzzi and Chris Simon. He could easily handle murderers and gangs.

Minister of Veteran Affairs - Howie Meeker - Golly gee willikers, Howie won the Conservative seat in Waterloo South in a 1951 by-election while still playing with the Leafs. And he is also a World War II veteran. To explain government initiatives maybe he could pull out his trusty old telestrator on Mike Duffy Live.

Minister of International Affairs - Joe Hockey. He's an actual politician in Australia. It doesn't get more international than that.

Minister of the Environment - There can be only one choice here. Andrew Ference defends the environment better than he defends the Bruins blue line. He'll fight anyone for a cause he believes in, even Sidney Crosby.

Governor General - Jean Beliveau. Prime Minister Jean Chretian reportedly wanted him to do the job back in the 1990s.

And finally, introducing the newest cabinet portfolio, the Minister Responsible For Hockey - Wayne Gretzky. He will have to be appointed as opposed to elected. If he had to run for election everyone would steal his lawn signs and put them on Ebay.

Of course, conquering North America is only phase one of hockey's world domination. Vladislav Tretiak and Viacheslav Fetisov are already high ranking members of the Russian parliament. Peter Stastny is quite active in Slovakia and with the European Union. I'm sure we can find appropriate candidates throughout all of Europe.

Just for disclaimer's sake, not all of the players mentioned above are in anyway politically active. Others obviously are, such as Dryden and Richter.

For a list of actual hockey players connected to the arena of politics, check out Hockey And Politics I compiled last year.


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