Enter the “what if” chamber, where legendary stories are crafted out of nonsensical hypotheticals.
In this edition, we take a look at the overwhelming consequences of a pinky injury to the current general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks, Stan Bowman.
You may even notice a few parallels to current or recent NHL situations.
How Did Bowman Hurt His Pinky?
Bowman, dressed in a woman’s green trench coat and devilishly adorable red stockings, is balling out with some of his cronies. It’s a cool summer night; the stars are out, the breeze is gentle, and the atmosphere is relaxed.
Bowman hoists a three-pointer and misses everything. He lands awkwardly on the blacktop, falling on his right pinky.
The resulting sight is as grisly as it gets.
Holding onto his pinky. Holding onto his pinky and down.
Bowman’s Trip to the Doctor
Fellow baller Snazzy “G Nasty” Bettman rushes Bowman to the office of the Blackhawks’ head physician, Michael A. Terry.
“I need to run some tests,” mutters the good doctor repeatedly as he examines Bowman’s right pinky with several unfamiliar machines.
Bowman acquiesces to each new procedure without a word, a look of consuming fright in his eyes. Snazzy Bettman tries to console him, offering to donate a pinky if necessary.
“I don’t need the pinky for business, Stan! I never get to the point where signing on the dotted line becomes a thing, anyway.”
Bowman ignores Snazzy’s incessant rambling, quick to compartmentalize it as false hope. Snazzy gonna Snazzy.
“I need to run some tests,” announces Dr. Terry to nobody.
Bowman starts to wail vociferously, hungry for a pretzel snack. Snazzy leaves to get it for him.
Meanwhile, Dr. Terry peruses the internet, and finally finds what he’s been searching for.
Bettman returns to Bowman.
“Look, Stan! Instead of just one pretzel snack, I brought you six!”
A long pause.
“Um… Snaz, why would I want more than one?”
Another long pause.
“Huh,” Bettman says, considering Bowman’s words thoughtfully. He leaves again.
Abruptly, Dr. Terry barges into the room. He paces around rapidly, periodically glancing at Bowman and then averting his gaze.
“I need to run some tests,” Terry declares to the wall. He exits.
Bowman wears his nerves on his sleeve, howling wildly in miserable anticipation of the results of the good doctor’s pinky exam.
Dr. Terry returns. Said results have finally arrived.
A pinky sprain.
“I’m sorry, Stan,” Terry gurgles sadly, his mouth stuffed with pretzels.
Bowman begins to bawl.
Reactions Upon Hearing About Bowman’s Horrific Injury
“Yah, y’know, Bowmy’s hurtin’, y’know, the rest of us just gotta pick up our play, y’know? We gotta block shawts, y’know, help out Antti, yah?”
“*Mumble* Yeah. Bowman’s got an upper-body injury… *mumble* day-to-day, he’s got a body injury *mumble*.”
“The NHL’s Department of Safety will be taking a look at the play and determining whether or not the blacktop will receive supplemental discipline.”
Despite Heinous Pinky Injury, Bowman Attempts to Resume Day Job; Mass Hysteria Ensues
We’d normally give Bowman due credit for being such a warrior, but unfortunately disaster struck during his first week back at the general manager table.
Clerical issues stemming from Bowman’s sprained pinky led to qualifying offers for various Blackhawk restricted free agents not going out on time.
The organization had to find a scapegoat.
Rocky Wirtz, unable to find the heart to fire the seriously injured injured Bowman for the mistake, chose instead to make an example out of the vicious, abominably inappropriate human being, Dale Tallon. Feeling robustly fantastic, Wirtz also spontaneously decided to engineer the firing of Comcast’s Susannah Collins for no reason whatsoever.
Heads rolled. And Mr. Tallon went to the Panthers.
The Blacktop That Caused Bowman’s Pinky Sprain Is In Major Trouble
With Brendan Shanahan, that is. He decided to make a video.
“Saturday night in Chicago, the Lincoln Park outdoor basketball court blacktop was assessed a match penalty for attempting to injure Chicago GM Stan Bowman.”
“As the video shows, Bowman and the blacktop are in contact with one another as he begins to rise for a shot at the three-point arc. Upon his return to the ground, they engage in an altercation. The blacktop attempts to defend itself against Bowman by using the toxic combination of gravity and Bowman’s nightmarishly horrible footwork.”
“While we acknowledge that the blacktop’s initial motivation was self-defense, it persists and allows Bowman’s pinky to land and bend slightly awkwardly on it.”
“In summary, for its bending of Bowman’s pinky, the blacktop received a match penalty for an attempt to injure, the blacktop has no history of supplemental discipline, and Bowman suffered an injury on the play.”
“The Department of Safety has suspended the blacktop for…”
“Hold on, camera guy,” Shanahan says.
“Okay, here we go,” he smiles, pulling a giant, numbered wheel out from under a nearby table.
Shanahan spins the wheel. It lands on “15.”
Shanahan adjusts his tie, corrects his posture, clears his throat, and looks back at the camera again.
“The Department of Safety has suspended the blacktop for 15 games.”
The cameraman stops filming, the video now finished.
Shanahan looks concerned.
“We’ll edit the wheel part out, right?”
Bowman’s Poor Pinky: Concluding Thoughts
We don’t ever want Bowman to sprain his pinky, that’s for sure.
You see, the above story tells us that if he ever did hurt that finger…
1. Gary Bettman would be way too willing to engage in NHL lockouts.
2. The NHL would have far too many outdoor games (6), watering down a concept whose main source of magic was its rarity and exclusiveness.
3. Hockey players like Jonathan Toews would give stock, boring interviews, and answer with vague cliches even when they’re irrelevant and don’t answer the question that was asked.
4. Joel Quenneville’s injury descriptions would be the most nebulous of any NHL coach.
5. Blackhawks’ brass would strong-arm Comcast Sports Network into firing certain anchors because, well, just because, yeah!
6. Chicago would make brutal restricted free agency blunders.
7. The NHL’s discipline system would be a river of hilarious ineptitude consistent in nothing other than its barefaced arbitrariness.
So, let’s all do our part in keeping Bowman away from those evil Chicago blacktops. Because I don’t want to imagine an NHL where those 7 things characterize reality.
Follow Sean Sarcu on Twitter: @seansarcu
Sean covers the Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers and Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter: @seansarcu.