Thursday, August 16, 2007

All aboard the Forsberg train

Hey, NHL teams! Has the salary cap, despite its significant increase, hamstrung you from making significant offseason additions? Is the local media as well as your fanbase calling for the heads of the members of your organization's front office as a direct byproduct of your offseason dormancy? Do you desire to provide fodder for the aforementioned media types to discuss as an attempt to divert them from scathing editorials extolling your incompetence? If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have just the cure for your summertime anguish. Climb aboard the Forsberg train and see what our services have to offer!

By spreading a risk-free, noncommital rumor regarding your club's pursual of the oft-injured and declining, yet high-profile and inexplicably popular talent that is unrestricted free agent center Peter Forsberg, you'll be able to appease your rabid fans and critical reporters. How exactly am I to plant such a rumor, you ask? Unless you're the Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers or Nashville Predators, the three teams Forsberg has played for in his NHL career, and therefore already have a basis upon which to spread such a rumor, you're going to have to start from scratch.

If you're like most NHL teams, it's fairly probable that you have a Swedish player in your lineup, or at least playing for your minor league affiliate. As it is a self-evident truth that Forsberg, being a Swede, is intrinsically connected to every active Swedish hockey player (It's true!), you should be able to base your otherwise baseless rumor upon that very connection. The percentage of this scheme imploding in your face is exponentially decreased if you are successful at coaxing that player into proclaiming his desire to play with Forsberg to the very media you plan to circumvent! Because, hey, it's quite plausible that every professional athlete loves to be both overshadowed by a player that is a shell of his former self and have his team's season become a sideshow with that very player being the centerpiece!

What's that? Your Norris-winning Swedish superstar is on record saying he barely knows, let alone is in an active friendship with, Forsberg? Come on, that kind of paranoia will get you nowhere in this league! What's the chance anyone possibly remembers that? Your final step in creating the rumor, before planting it in the media, is sufficiently covering yourself should, in fact, the plan backfire. While there's a chance (greater than the chance of Mike Myers' hockey-related movie succeeding, but significantly less than the chance of Rick Tocchet not crawling back to the Phoenix bench by Christmas) Forsberg will indeed sign with your club, there's probably a better chance of him signing with another team in pursuit of his services, playing out the string with MoDo in Sweden or retiring altogether. In order to prevent any of that nasty negative press when Forsberg ends up signing with a rival or decides to throw in the towel after your near assurance of his impending arrival to town, make sure to throw in a comment regarding his health status or that his elusive and drawn out "decision-making process" may lead to him pursuing a different offer.

After sufficiently padding your story, whisper the rumor into the waiting ear of a media type. We reccomend Eklund. With his credibility in the eyes of the online hockey community rapidly declining, it's quite possible you will receive monetary compensation in return for this "insider" information. Once Eklund stirs the pot, leak the rumor to a mainstream outlet and watch your Forsberg-related rumor sizzle. Within days, your previously-furious fans and formerly-ridiculing media will adore you for your competetive pursuit of the Swedish star. If all else fails and your fanbase sees through your blatant lies, don't worry. Just take a page from fellow front-office czar Darcy Regier of the Buffalo Sabres and, despite an off-season in which your club maintained the status quo or even lost the team's most important players to the clutches of conference competitors, simply raise ticket prices. That'll give them something other than your free agent-related incompetence to repine about!

1 comment:

Joe said...

Great post, I've thought the same of all these moronic Forsberg rumors. There are only 4 or 5 teams with a legit shot to land him, there is a significant question as to whether or not its even worth it to land him, and everyone else is just an idiot.