Just as the 2011-2012 NHL season had wrapped, Armchair MVP, G (and with some help from ThatDamnDoubleC) discussed the idea of assembling fantasy hockey teams. Now, these would not be “best players of all time,” types of fantasy booking. No, these would be based on a gimmick or combination of themes with a sense of comedy possibly mixed in for good fun.
It was well aware to us of the looming lock out of the 2012-2013 NHL season at the time this article was created during the summer. And since it came to fruition, the idea is a little more bizarre than originally intended.
To debut this idea, the initial premise was based on an inside joke of likening hockey players whose name ends with the word “Man.” Much akin to the world of superheros like Superman, The Batman, and Aquaman, the idea was to utilize the plethora of NHL players in the league (signed to a club at the end of June 2012), and create an entire team complete with four forward lines, seven defensemen, and two goalies. Hence, 23 skaters and two netminders.
The following is the brainchild of our silliness and fandom of ice hockey and being a bunch of clowns. I present to you, “THE ALL MAN TEAM” complete with an explanation of each players super powers and more!
The ALL MAN TEAM is actually called “The Manitoba Manatees” and their home ice is located in Manitou, Manitoba. Fred and Rob Mannix, owers of The Mancal Group worth approx. $3.44 billion, approached the league with a bid for a franchise to enter the NHL during the off season of 2012.
The Mannix brothers approached the NHL Board, after receiving high praise from League Commisioner Gary Bettman who was thrilled with the concept (and subsequent promise of being included in “The Man” camp premise). Mr. Bettman noted publically, “Hey, my super power is gambling and I’m willing to lockout the NHLPA in the next CBA if this thing doesn’t happen.” With these plans signed off and secure, the Mannix were one step closer to bringing their team into fruition.
The first step was luring Steve Yzerman away from the Tampa Bay Lightening with a lucrative offer combining a significant financial increase, the promise to be allowed to spend to the Cap ceiling, and the opportunity to run a franchise in a market that follows the sport. Yzerman’s first job, was to hire and bring on board Dave Manson.
After being exposed to a normally-lethal amount of radiation and ancient alien technology, Yzerman and Manson manufactured a mysterious chamber of super-power allocation in which any hockey player that would enter would take on the powers associated with their namesake. No, we don’t know how this happened either, and realize that it defies all sanity and logic. Still happened though, deal with it.
With this knowledge in hand, Yzerman would draft players accoringly in the expansion draft based on his vision to assemble an all powerful hockey team of super players…. THE MAN TEAM! After his wheeling and dealing was complete, training camp commenced. The players entered what they thought was the team dressing room, disguised as the aforementioned chamber of power-allocation. And those players are as follows…
(Former Team, last name, first name, position, description of powers)
FLA Hyman, Zach (C) – Tends to be out of focus as he searches the arena stands for virgins. Prone to injury as he breaks easily, but often draws double minors and majors as he bleeds more than Ric Flair.
WAS Carman, Mike (C) – plays on the same line as Mark Mancari. Both transform into autobots, but neither at the same time allowing them to confuse the referees with the old Killer Bees tagteam hiijinx.
NJD Coleman, Blake (C) – Is the team’s favorite player to take with them on regular camping trips, his power is being gassy. Often gets powerplay time with Nicklas Grossman, and part of the team’s “Biohazard line.”
STL Seaman, Tyrel (C) – Summons Cluthu and the Kraken to do his dirty work. As a result, allows his team to be the only one in the league that Detroit fans will not throw a squid on the ice when they play. After he brought them all back to life and had them attack the fans, that mistake was never made again. A gritty, but slimy, pest.
CAR Bowman, Drayson (LW) – bends his stick, strings it, and literally shoots pucks at the goalie.
FLA Fleischmann, Tomas (LW) – Channels his knowledge of the German word for “flesh” or “meat” and slices up his opponents, and stuffs them into their own intestines. Part of the team’s “Biohazard line.”
OTT Hoffman, Mike (LW) – Like his name sake, no one dives or acts better than HOFFMAN! Definitely… no one… definitely. He also does well in Vegas.
NJD Wiseman, Chad (LW) – With age, comes wisdom. Sadly his skating has slown down with age as well, but can emit telepathic waves that render his opponents mindless zombies that do his bidding.
VAN Mancari, Mark (RW) – See Carman, Mike.
CAL Jackman, Tim (RW) – Often replaces Mancari when ever Mike Carman (or vice versa) needs a tire changed mid-shift. Usually they just leave him in the team’s bus’ trunk alongside retired legend Larry “Tim Horton” Doughnutman.
NYR Wellman, Casey (RW/C) – Holds the league record for never being injured, as well as the most games as a healthy scratch. But, is the coach’s go to guy to drop the gloves for the exact same reason.
ANA Hagman, Niklas (LW/RW) – Niklas is known to pick up the ugliest rink rats in every town he visits and has them pour their boiling cauldren’s contents on annoying fans regardless of who they root for. Part of the team’s “Biohazard line.”
PHO Ekman-Larsson, Oliver (D) – The quietest member of the team, who secretly wonders how he got this job as he possesses absolutely no super powers. Actually skilled at hockey itself.
PHI Grossmann, Nicklas (D) – The also-ran candidate for Vince McMahon’s creation “Puke,” Nicklas decided to try to incorporate his… umm… skills in the NHL. Known for his unstoppable defensive style as well as delaying the game after every shift since the ice girls have to bring out the shovel and bucket each time. Part of the team’s “Biohazard line.”
BOS Trotman, Zach (D) – Turns into a horse. The second most hated player by the ice girls. Part of the team’s “Biohazard line.” The Mannix brothers spared no expense bringing in a local curling team to serve as Trotman’s “entourage,” and are easily located in any arena shouting “HURRY HARD!!!”
TAM Hedman, Victor (D) – the team’s equipment manager’s favorite player who only requires a helmet and visor as his body-less skull hovers up and down the ice when playing. Kind of a shitty power.
WAS Wideman, Dennis (D) – ability to morph his body, much like Mr. Fantastic, into a massive canvas covering the entire backend which few (if any) pucks or players can penetrate.
ANA Lydman, Toni (D) – beloved by his team mates as the only guy who can open that god damned pickle jar. While not the most thrilling super power, Lydman ensures that the fan concession stands run smoothly.
PHI Mangene, Matt (D). The Artificial insemination business’ go-to guy to ensure procreating customers have a baby boy. Considering he generally is carried by the team as the seventh defenceman, Mangene spends most games in the locker room filling up cups and leaving them in his team mates lockers as a rib. He is not well liked.
DAL Bachman, Richard (G) – Tends to let in many goals because he wants to show off his mad organ skills in every arena he plays in. Much to the Manatee’s chagrin, and paranoia, Bachman seems more concerned on playing the music for all goals he lets in.
WPG Mannino, Peter (G) – Can, and will, turn into an offensive walking Italian stereo-type who enrages opponents as he shouts “Badda boom, badda bing” every time he makes a save.
Notes from the Manatees’ First NHL Season
One of the more notable emerging elements of the Manatees’ inital season, would come from Coach Manson’s patience to develop chemistry among his team. Whether on the power play, or penalty kill, Manitoba would become a fierd threat in the Western conference as a result. One such line, came in the form of the first powerplay unit, aptly named “The Biohazard” line.
One such reason for the line’s success came on the back-end by the efforts of Grossmann and Trotman who not only played responsibly and unselfishly, but from the immense power of Trotman on the point who mastered a cannon of a shot with his rear hoof with his new-found were-horse powers. While many other teams would complain that this “shot” was in violation of “kicked” in shot, league officials were instructed to allow the play. Others would argue that league officials were merely puppets being controlled by master telepath and Manatee Left Wing, Chad Wiseman.
Regardless of such controversy, the combination of Grossman and Trotman also created a disgusting defensive method of keeping the puck in the offensive end utilizing projectile vomit and horse feces.
The Biohazard Line would serve up devastating pressure from their fowards as well, from Coleman and his wingers, Fleischmann and Hagman. Coleman was known to skate in a brief semi circle, venting his unnatural gasses into the opposition causing violent fits of nausea. This would create further opportunity for Hagman’s rink-rats to unleash their cauldren’s contents on the opposition’s fans in the arena causing pandamonium. At this point Fleishmann would have viscerated much of the other team into uselessness, as Coleman and the ever-cackling Hagman would move in for the kill with an unprecedented 95% powerplay effectiveness.
Another special team for the Manatees that brings a unique skill set, is their number one Penalty Kill Unit, “The Transformer Line.” Centred by Mike Carman with look-alike flanking right winger, Mark Mancari, the two combine their Autobots inspired abilities to great effect. After any face-off, both immediately change into identical robot monsters that obliterate opponents and confuse officials who cannot tell one from the other (often leading to missed penalties and lazer barrages). On the back-end sits Dennis Wideman who can morph into a somewhat elastic wall preventing any frozen rubber from making into his end. Akin to the skill set of Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four (albeit lacking the super intelligence), Wideman is offsetted by the hockey minded and sensible Oliver Ekman-Larsson. While Ekman-Larsson lacks any actual super powers, his hockey mind is keen and sound. Coach Mansen when asked about this decision commented, “hey, we need at least one normal human hockey player out there!”
The Manatee season would not come without controversy.
In February of 2012, on a trip on the team bus for a visiting match against division rivals, The Winnipeg Jets, three players would become scrutinized by fun-turned-to-near-disaster by news media, fans, and league officials. Much is rumor, and speculation, however this incident involved team centres Tyrel Seaman and Zach Hyman, and defenceman Victor Hedman. Hedman had been the butt of team jokes of a sexual nature due to his namesake. Seaman would take it too far on that snowy night, asking Hedman if he spat or swallowed and proceeded to project saliva from his mouth into Hedman’s. Seaman, still aclimatizing to his newfound powers of the ocean, was unaware that he had acquired the reproductive sexual organs of jellyfish. Male jellyfish impregnate females by spitting semen into the mouths of their partners.
Regardless, Hedman’s initial reaction was one of immediate gagging and violent vomiting, much of which would splatter across the bus aisle onto the guffawing, wide mouthed Hyman. Both Hedman and Hyman are reported to have spent time with team doctors, and later, reports leaked that they would need to take a week off to rectify medical problems. While they were listed as day-to-day with “lower body injuries,” these events were impossible to completely hide from the public.