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Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Senior Writer
Feb 8, 2007, 10:36 AM EST


Let Crashing the Net preface this week’s Opening Faceoff segment by stating that CTN loves its current job.

It’s hard to imagine many gigs better than having a weekly platform to chronicle all things hockey, especially for site as widely read and respected as NHL.com

Yet, everyone harbors dreams and aspirations of greater glory. The idea that something better is out there and attainable makes us all work harder and strive to better our lots in life -- no matter how good things currently are.

And, it is that drive to move on to bigger and better things that forms the basis of this week’s segment.

With the bitter cold that has gripped the Northeast this week making all but the most necessary outdoor activities untenable, CTN has found ample time to daydream while being trapped indoors. CTN long ago found that daydreaming, combined with the Center Ice package on TV, is the perfect antidote for cabin fever.

As a result, much time has been spent this week mulling various jobs throughout the NHL universe that might appeal to Crashing the Net if, in a perfect fantasy world, anything were possible.

In the end, a dozen job opportunities presented themselves that CTN feels would be both challenging and rewarding to the varied skill set possessed by yours truly. Those jobs are listed below -- in no particular order -- accompanied by a short explanation why each is intriguing.

As always, CTN is curious about what its readers think. Therefore, CTN urges readers to send in their dream NHL jobs and relate what makes said job so attractive. Suggestions can be sent to [email protected] and the best ones will appear in the Penalty Box section of next week’s Crashing the Net offering.

General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks: Brian Burke, the current Anaheim GM, has it pretty good. In 2005, he inherited a team that was quickly evolving into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Today, that team is among the best in hockey, a fast-skating, hard-hitting unit that can play the game any way an opponent wants. It features future Hall of Famers in Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger, as well as a core group of youngsters that have grown up in the franchise. Plus, the team has two top-level goalies, a luxury few teams enjoy these days. There is a strong feeder system in place in the minors and the team traditionally drafts well. All in all, that set of circumstances makes the Ducks an ideal team to take over. It also doesn’t hurt that the franchise is located in California, home of some of the best beaches around, as well as near-perfect weather.

Head coach of the Nashville Predators: In reality, CTN would hate to take this job at Barry Trotz’s expense. Trotz has patiently nurtured this franchise’s playing assets from the beginning, developing a team that is capable of going toe-to-toe with any of the NHL’s elite clubs. That is what makes the job so attractive, though. At its foundation, it is a home-grown entity that has been bolstered through the shrewd moves of GM David Poile. Now might be the perfect time to hop on the Nashville bandwagon. The team has a goalie in Tomas Vokoun who is in his prime and capable of stealing games. Its defense is young, good and deep. Who wouldn’t want to coach Shea Weber for the next decade? Up front, youngsters like Scott Hartnell and David Legwand are finally hitting their stride after years of development. The exciting Alexander Radulov is just beginning that same journey. Plus, you would get to live in Nashville, which is a great city to call home. CTN loves old-school country and during the rare free time afforded an NHL coach, CTN would drink in the honky-tonk atmosphere. Maybe even make a trip or two to the Grand Ole Opry.

NHL linesman: At 6-0, 230, CTN would have to undergo a pretty rigorous training regimen to make the cut as a NHL linesman. But, it would be worth it. Sure, among officials, the referees are the stars. Referees are front and center, making the penalty calls, signaling the goals and getting all the face time during video reviews. But, in CTN’s view it is the linesmen that have all the fun, interacting with the players before faceoffs, and keeping order during play. Plus, who wouldn’t find it fun to wade into the middle of a good fracas to restore sanity among the battling parties with only your wit and muscle to serve your needs? Issue a little “That’s enough boys, let’s shut it down” and then perform escort duty to the penalty box. That, my friends, is a good day’s work right there.

Mascot for the Calgary Flames: Harvey the Hound rules! Not only is he among the coolest mascots in the NHL, but among the coolest in all of sports. Plus, he plies his trade in that raucous arena the Flames call home. What more could a mascot ask for from his working conditions? And, how much fun would it be to continue to torment Craig MacTavish and the Oilers during the four Battle of Alberta showdowns each year in Calgary? I could probably do without the suffocating heat generated by the Harvey suit, but it might be a fair tradeoff to be the proud owner of the most famous tongue in all of mascot-dom.

Sidney Crosby’s linemate: There’s nothing wrong with being "Sid the Kid" himself, but such superstardom does not really appeal to CTN’s senses. CTN believes it would be a far more enjoyable experience to be along for the ride, experiencing and benefiting from Crosby’s sheer brilliance on a nightly basis. There’s nothing wrong with 30-goal, 70-point seasons as the beneficiary of Crosby’s magic. Most likely, CTN would be a Colby Armstrong kind of running mate, a fellow young player with the requisite skills to complement a player like Crosby, but also the toughness to ride shotgun when necessary. Ah, the stories you would be able to tell your kids one day!

Owner of the Detroit Red Wings: A perennially good team in a great hockey market. What could be better? Mike Ilitch, the current owner of the Red Wings, has been masterful in returning the proud Detroit franchise to its place among the elite. Owning an Original Six franchise and inheriting all the history that goes along with it is a privilege that CTN would both honor and cherish. The fan base is already established and there is a strong hockey presence throughout the region, assuring a huge pool of potential customers moving forward. Plus, to own any NHL team these days means that you must have a pretty healthy checkbook, right? CTN would certainly like that aspect of this job.

National anthem singer in Montreal: CTN can’t carry a tune in a bucket, yet that does not stop the fantasies of singing in front of thousands of people. Usually, those dreams involve CTN as the front man of a hard-rock outfit like Clutch, the Rollins Band or Ministry. But CTN has always had respect for those brave enough to stand on the ice and sing the national anthem. In Montreal, there would be the added bonus of singing “Oh, Canada” in French. The Canadian national anthem is wonderful because of its simplicity, yet it is almost haunting in its beauty when sung in French. Throw in the fact that 21,000 fans would be singing along and it is enough to send chills down CTN’s spine.

Roberto Luongo’s backup: Again, being Roberto Luongo would be a pretty sweet gig, in and of itself. But a job as his backup is pretty sweet, too. Sure, you won’t play much -- eight games if you are lucky. But you will have the best seat in the house to watch one of the world’s best goalies practice his craft game-in and game-out. Plus, you would enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time NHL player with only a minimum of the hassles endured by superstars like Luongo. Getting to call the beautiful city of Vancouver home for nine months of the year isn’t a bad perk, either.

FULL STORY
 
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