I can't even... Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

BuzzBag Volume 4: Narwhals

Hello. Hola. Konichiwa. As we wait for  the NHL Season to roll around, BuzzBag may be the only thing keeping me alive until October, Or November. Or December. Soon enough we’ll be writing articles like “Get To Know A KHL Team”. I wonder who who joins Alex Radulov at CSKA Moscow.

But on to the questions…

@JimRob24: If the Flyers were to have a mascot, who would it be?

It seems as though the use of mascots is a lost art in sports. All mascots nowadays are these big. child friendly animals built with smiles on their faces, just wanting to come up to you and give you a high five or a hug. NHL Mascots aren’t as widely known as the Phillie Phanatic or Wally the Green Monster, and that is a good thing, because they’re awful. The Penguins mascot “Iceburg” looks like he was pulled off the set of Sesame Street, the Islanders mascot “Sparky The Dragon” looks like he was created under the influence of narcotics and the Canadiens mascot “Youppi” is literally a giant ball of fur. If the Flyers had a mascot, it would most like be a giant version of their logo.

But if I was in charge  of creating a mascot, it wouldn’t be some dancing machine that made a fool of itself, oh no. Our mascot would be used as a means of intimidation.

For example….

Narwhal- There is nothing scarier than walking around the Wells Fargo Center, feeling a tap on your back and turning around to see a massive beluga whale with a massive horn sticking out of its head. If that doesn’t make an 8 year old girl shriek, well, we’re not going back to the drawing board here. But we’ll be also using Mr. Narwhal here for strategic purposes. The opposing team steps off the bus in the garage behind WFC, the Narwhal is going to be right there. Waiting. Watching. Creepy? Absolutely. But that’s the point here. By the time the visitors step on the ice, they will have seen the Narwhal everywhere. In the hallways, walking through the locker room, standing behind the bench for warmups, the opposition will have seen our beloved mascot so much the Flyers will be gin to look like him. And that, my friend, is where he becomes useful. He will cause so much emotional and mental stress, the opponent will not be able to concentrate on anything but not being eaten by the Narwhal, and all of the Flyers holes disappear. Missing a defenseman?  They won’t get it past their own blue line. Need a pure scorer? Henrik Lundqvist certainly is not stopping a 13 foot, 3,500 lb. beast skating full force right at him. Ilya Bryzgalov is a concern? He could pull out a lawn chair and a nook if he wanted to.

As you can see, a narwhal is the only choice for Flyers mascot.

@Jason AAV: Think The Flyers Will/Should get a third jersey?

Will? No. Should? Yes. I would actually like to see the Flyers use their Winter Classic jerseys as an alternate like the Philadelphia Eagles use their black jerseys. After all the rumored Winter Classic jerseys and the $20 fakes from China (including the Tony The Tiger orange), Reebok absolutely killed it. They kept it pretty in line with the Flyers two current jerseys, and the white and black stripes across the bottom brought it all together pretty well. Plus, I absolutely loved the keystone patches for the Captain and the Alternate Captains. Most team jerseys do not have anything on it representative of their home state, and the patch was a great little touch for Pennsylvania. If all else fails, I would go back to the Flyers “so orange it’s red” jersey as a cool throwback.

@Atomicruckus: Find me a better trio of gingers than Giroux, Voracek and Gingers. 

As it is widely known, Gingers are a very rare people. Red hair is found on 1-2% of the human population, so to find three gingers that will likely on the same line together  is pretty cool, and has already called for a meme or two. The only way to find a great trio of gingers would be to go through each respective sport. There are no redheads in the NHL that can compete with the greatness of what the Flyers have, and the Sedin twins are automatically ejected from competition because they’re twin brothers. If you make your way over to the NBA, Bill Walton is not a bad start to lead your trio of gingers. However, it takes three to tango here, and Delonte West and Brian Scalabrine definitely aren’t cutting it. Former Sixer Todd MacCulloch is indeed a ginger, but Big Mac is making a living traveling the world playing pinball (in which he has to sit on a stool to play due to a chronic foot problem), and he doesn’t deserve the come within 100 feet of Claude Giroux. Make your way over to the NFL, and you find the “Red Rocket” Andy Dalton standing by his lonesome. Poor guy must spend most of his nights playing Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”.

But to find our perfect trio of gingers, we have to make our way across the pond, and then back, and then across the pond again, because our three best gingers come in the soccer (or football) world. Their names? Alexi Lalas, Paul Scholes, and Wayne Rooney. Now, I did debate with myself: “Is Wayne Rooney a true ginger?” After hours of research, this commercial from the 2010 World Cup shows him and a fully grown ginger beard (skip to 1:14 to see). His hair may look brown nowadays, but he can’t hide what’s inside of him. Rooney is arguably the best striker in the Premiership, and all you need to see is the stats to prove it. 129 goals in 251 appearances with Manchester United (one being a phenomenal bicycle kick against my Manchester City Blues) and 29 goals in 76 games with England. If there’s anyone who can put the ball in the back of the ol’ onion bag, it’s Rooney. Paul Scholes, Rooney’s teammate of 8 years at United is one of the greatest players in the clubs history. Scholes has played in almost 500 matches for United, and has been a lock at midfield since 1993. The man is an ageless wonder, scoring 4 goals last season, his most since the 06-07 campaign. Plus, when you’re known as “The Ginger Prince”, you’re a lock for the best trio of gingers. Lastly, we head home to America for our third ginger Alexi Lalas, probably the Jakub Voarcek of the group. Lalas had a good MLS career, bouncing around with the New England Revolution, the Kansas City Wizards, the MetroStars and the LA Galaxy. The Defenseman is probably best known for his contributions to Team USA, as he held down the fort on the back line from 91-98. Lalas, whose real first name is Panayotis, was quite the talented guy. Not only was he a good Defender, he was talented in the music department. In1998, he released an album called “Ginger”. Obviously it sold miserably and his music career never got off the ground, but his embracement of his red hair earns him a spot in this trio. So there you have it, Lalas, Scholes, and Rooney playing a 1-1-1 formation downs Voracek, Giroux and Hartnell as the best ginger trio.

@GoingHard_inger: Which Flyers besides G do you think gets the most poon if all else equal.

Well then….

There’s nobody that comes close to Claude Giroux. Maybe it’s the red hair or the Canadian accent, but the ladies absolutely love him. If I had to use my best guessing skills and my observations of how girls melt when they come within 1000 yards of them, I’m going with the young guns Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. For Couturier, it’s definitely the toothless smile that the ladies love. No other player in the NHL could pull it off; I mean who doesn’t love this. Plus, the fact that he’s only 19 and killing it in the NHL definitely must be big with the college gals. The same goes for Brayden Schenn. He’s only 20 and on August 21st he’ll be legal to go to American bars. Don’t think I need to explain that one any further. Schenn definitely seems like a pretty boy on the team, and although that isn’t really characteristic of an NHL player, it most likely bodes well for him. Lucky for Brayden he got the good looks in the gene pool, because Luke sort of looks like he got hit with a truck. Sorry, big guy. Honorable mention goes to Zac Rinaldo. Probably an unexpected choice, but Rinaldo seems like a guy with some serious game. He also seems like a guy with pretty low standards, but that’s a whole different story.

@Daniel11496: Does Giroux break 100 points this year?

Last year Giroux fell just 7 points short of 100, notching 28 goals to go with 65 assists. On this team without Jaromir Jagr, Claude Giroux will definitely be called upon more to score more goals, a task he can certainly live up to. He’ll be the go to guy on the Power Play, setting up shop on the wing, preparing for one-timers. Giroux had just 6 power play goals last season, but you can bank on him getting at least 10 this season. However, with him taking more shots and having to create more goal scoring chances for himself will cause for a decrease in assists. He’ll probably top out at around 30 goals and 65 assists, falling just short of 100 goals again. Next year, expect him to finally get there. With a whole lot of top forwards likely to test free agency, the Flyers will be all in and then some. Even if they have to overpay, (and they’ll have the cap room to do so) bringing a Ryan Getzlaf or a Jerome Iginla will certainly help Giroux’s play, as well as advance their own.

@uublog: What does Bryz think about tonight’s new space exploration developments?

“One small step for man, one humangous big step for mankind.”-Ilya Bryzgalov. Obviously he loved it, and he told me, as we speak on the reg. He’s been studying Mars from his newly built $60 million planetarium. What? The kids don’t have to eat. Anyway, he had been watching the recent developments on Mars, and he was rather concerned as to whether or not the rover would make it safely. He was quite relieved when learning of it’s safe landing, and downed some of that Russian alcohol with the rare endangered tiger on the front. Things got quite weird after that.

TrevSerenells: Anyone from Adirondack looking good enough to be called up to the NHL?

Three defenseman: Marc-Andre Bourdon, Erik Gustafsson and Brandon Manning will most likely be injury call ups. Bourdon played in 45 games last year before suffering a concussion, but could definitely use the time in the AHL. Manning was an emergency injury replacement, only playing in 4 games, and unless the Flyers Defense corps is destroyed, Manning won’t be with the Flyers this season. Gustafsson is the true stud in this group. He played in 30 Regular Season games and 7 playoff games, and really held his own. He’ll compete for the 6th D-man spot on the Flyers, but will probably start the year in the AHL. Forward Harry Zolnierczyk will see some action in Philadelphia as well. He only contributed 6 points in 37 contests, but has shown some flashes of what he can do.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to participate in next week’s Buzzbag, make sure to follow me on Twitter: @JakePavorsky.

Tags: Brayden Schenn Claude Giroux Flyers Sean Couturier

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