By JAG – As a hockey fan, I find the business of the ice to be as fascinating and entertaining as the business on the ice. Sometimes, I find the off-ice action even more exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I still love watching a good game, but there isn’t always good hockey to be watched. Yet, I still need my hockey fix! What’s a hockey nut supposed to do?
Personally, in order to get my hockey fix, like now, when big action is looming. Or in the dog days of summer, when everybody and their jockstraps have run to the hills and hockey town lies empty, I like to play Habs GM.
I do my homework, I look for trades, think of potential targets, by trade or otherwise, I study the draft, etc. I spend hours on Cap Friendly (bless them eternally) for who has cap problems, who might want draft picks, who might be available, salaries, contract status, who their prospects are, how they perform, etc, etc… And then I build trades in my heads, I also sign free agents and I select at the draft. Often times, I write them down, date them and wait.
Occasionally, I have the immense fun of seeing some of my ideas actually become reality. It doesn’t happen often but man oh man, what a feeling! So, I’m a hockey nut, that’s all there is to it. That’s the kind of fan I am. Hockey brings me joy!
And one day, I came up with a word to express this joy …. the word is ‘’puckgasm’’.
For future reference, the JAG dictionary defines puckgasm as follow:
Puckgasm (puk’gaz’em)n. the climax of hockey excitement, on or off the ice, normally accompanied by an irrepressible Yeah! or other gleeful expression of extreme satisfaction.
There are many types of puckgasms. On-ice puckgasm moments are easy to identify. As an example, just about every playoff goal Artturi Lehkonen has scored in the last three playoffs would qualify. And yes, the ones he scored for Colorado also registered on the Puckgasm scale! I loved Lehkie!
There are also off-ice moments like the Habs winning this year draft lottery. I was watching in disbelief, I rose from my chair when it happened! But I have to say, none of these moments… Or any other in my fan life was powerful enough to inspire the creation of a new word. Until…
Here is the short, personal story of how the word puckgasm came about. I have Shea Weber to thank for it!
In 2009, I worked in Sicamous BC. It is a quaint little town on the Trans Canada highway, big lake, great scenery… Oops you missed it! Told you it is a little town, didn’t I? Notwithstanding Sicamous’ size considerations, serious hockey fans will know it to be Shea Weber’s home town. And here I am, what’s a hockey nut to do?
I already had Shea on my GM radar, I lived in the west and watched him play the Canucks aplenty… much to their dismay. Big physical right-handed defensemen with a booming shot are always in high demand.
So one night, I got curious. While at dinner with my local clients, I asked about Mr. Weber. What kind of guy he was, had fame changed him and other questions of this sort. I continued to ask local Sicamousians (Sicamousers?) until the end of my contract. I made a point of asking because, after a while, what I was hearing sounded just too good to be true.
Long story short, Sicamous was unanimous, Mr. Weber is a Saint! For the record, I asked about 20 people during my stay. Of course, nobody told me directly that Shea was a saint.
But if you compiled the different answers, the conclusion was obvious. In his home town, I couldn’t find one person that didn’t express genuine respect, even reverence for him. Class act, upstanding guy and likeminded epithets were all I heard. If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you’ll know how improbable it is to get such a positive consensus! I was impressed!
Fast forward in time, seven years to be exact. Shea is still on my radar, only bigger. It is 2016, I have in my wish basket a ‘’Weber for Subban’’ straight-up hockey transaction for the trade deadline. No dice, it never materializes, it ends up collecting dust.
Later the same year, I’m watching the first round of the draft. Around the 29th pick, I see David Poile stop by the Habs’ table and oddly, he addresses Bergevin briefly in closed quarters, they both nod and then part. It strikes me as odd and my inner GM head starts to spin.
Within a week, Shea is a Hab, I experience my first ever PUCKGASM! And a new word is born! It may never make the OED but hey, it’s my word and I’m keeping it! Finally, after years of watching Shea play in the west and thinking, wishing that he could be a Hab, it happened!
And even better, I have made my first successful trade as an imaginary GM, yeaaaah! Don’t get me wrong, I liked PK Subban but truly, Shea Weber was my guy… for a long time… and he never disappointed!
In conclusion, even though I never met Shea Weber in real life, he’s had a big impact on me as a fan and a person. You sometimes hear about a player that he plays the “right way”.
Well, to me Shea led the ‘’right’’ way. He and the Habs gave us so many great hockey moments. He made the Habs a much better team and his leadership was exemplary. On top of that, his legacy and his work ethics are still visible in the young Habs. What more could you possibly want, the Habs should retire his number, that’s it, I said it first!
I hope the Habs find another Shea, I would get another P moment, that’s for sure!
Thanks for reading.
Note: After a reread, I realized that Shea might have been the main actor in the genesis of the word Puckgasm but I really have to give a primary assist to Marc Bergevin on this one. Thank you MB!
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