A few weeks ago in a alternate dimension, a story inspired by a great post is unfolding. In the late 1990's, Gary Bettman, in an attempt to popularize the NHL in the Southern United states, made an agreement with one Vince McMahon to use a new format for the NHL post season. It was a smash hit in the southern states and quickly became the biggest money maker in the history of professional sports. Enter now, into the 2009 Stanley Cup Rumble.
Hughson : Hi everyone I'm Jim Hughson and welcome to the 2009 Stanley Cup Rumble.
McGuire: AND IM PIERRE MCGUIRE, WE HAVE AN AAAAMAZING RUMBLE LINED UP FOR YOU TONIGHT!
Hughson: Thats right Pierre, these teams have been doing battle all year, jostling for position in the Rumble, but its still up in the air what player each team will choose to represent them.
McGuire: I'M EXCITED!!!
Hughson: Of course you are Pierre, there are going to be some suprises, and here we go.
the lights dim and the crowd starts to cheer loudly. Nothing happens for 30 seconds
Hughson: Seems as though the Islanders are having trouble picking a representative, and wait, we're getting something from the trade floor, it seems that they have traded their first round pick and their spot in the Rumble to...
McGuire: THATS MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI'S MUSIC!!! BRIAN BURKE HAS DONE IT AGAIN
Grabovski runs to the ring and starts bouncing around the ropes like a mad man
Hughson: well this is our first surprise of the night, I'm getting now that Burke has traded Kaberle, the Leafs first round pick in the 09 draft and a shiney peice of metal to the Islanders for there shot at the rumble and the Islanders first round pick, this cant be right.
McGuire: WELL WE'LL HAVE TO SORT THAT OUT LATER, GRABOVSKI'S FIRST OPPONENT IS ABOUT TO COME OUT, LETS SEE WHO THE LIGHTENING PICK!
Hughson: And it looks like it will be....Vincint Lecavalier, no surprise here Pierre, Lecavalier is a feirce competator.
Lecavalier hits the ring and goes right after Grabovski who ducks and scampers out of Lecavaliers reach.
Hughson: Grabovski's speed will serve him well here, but he can't stay away forever.
Lecavalier charges Grabovski again who is by the ropes, he ducks and Lecavalier isnt able to stop in time, he flies over the ropes
McGuire: AND JUST LIKE THAT, TAMPA IS ELIMINATED, LOOKS LIKE LECAVALIER GOT A LITTLE TOO FOCUSED ON GRABOVSKI AND FORGOT WHERE HE WAS. MONSTER MOVE BY THE LITTLE BELERUSSIAN!!!
the 90 seconds expire and Darcy Tucker enters the arena and jogs to the ring
Hughson: This should be interesting, the ex Maple Leaf VS the rookie Maple Leaf
McGuire: WHAT A MONSTER MATCHUP!
Tucker and Grabovski exchange blows but nothing serious is delt. 90 seconds tick by and Dustin Brown who charges the Two smaller men, Grabovski is knocked flat and Tucker launched over the top rope. Brown begins to thump on the smaller Grabovski on the groud.
Hughson: Oh and tough luck for Colorado as Tucker never even saw Brown coming, Grabovski is getting the beating of his life in there against Brown.
After 90 seconds, nothing happens.
Hughson: The Thrashers seem to have forgotten to send someone
Grabovski is bloodied on the ground, Brown doesnt let up
90 more seconds tick by
Hughson: No sign of the Phoenix representative either.
Brown continues to pumble Grabovski for a few seconds then stands up and shoots a confused look towards the entry gate, he turns back to his opponent only to catch a missel drop kick to the chest
McGuire: WHAT A MISTAKE BY BROWN, NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE OPPONENT.
Grabovski gives the fallen brown a few elbow drops and climbs to the top rope and jumps at Brown
McGuire : ITS THE FLYING PINE APPLE!!
at the last second Brown rolls over and Grabovski slams into the mat face first.
both players lay on the mat catching their breath
Hughson: I am now getting that both Atlanta and Phoenix are not sending any players out as they are all stuck at the Hamilton airport.
McGuire: THIS IS A CRAZY TURN OF EVENTS, TWO LESS PLAYERS MEANS ITS JUST THAT MUCH EASIER TO WIN THE RUMBLE.
Hughson: and here's where things get interesting, next out is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Brown gets up and starts walking towards the fallen Grabovski just as the 90 seconds The music
hits and the crown goes nuts
McGuire: ITS LUKE SCHENN, LUKE SCHENN IS HERE!!
Brown just stares awestruck as Schenn strides down the ramp, who seems in no hurry. Behind him Grabovski gets to the top turn buckle and dives at Brown, another Flying Pineapple, but this time is strikes home and Brown is launched out of the ring over the top rope.
Hughson: The presence of Luke Schenn was enough to make Brown forget about Grabovski, I cant say I blame him.
Schenn enters the ring, and highfives the bleeding Grabovski who then goes to the far corner to catch his breath.
90 Seconds, Steve Ott comes out for Dallas, to no music, takes one look at Schenn and stops at the top of the ramp, goes no further and smiles
Hughson: Whats going on here, Ott refuses to come to the ring, but he looks like he has something up his sleeve.
McGuire: I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU JIM, THIS IS UNHEARD OF
Suddenly the music hits and Dustin Penner, Chris Neil, Andrew Peters, Derek Boogard and Bryan McCabe all rush the ring.
McGuire: OH MY GOD, THIS IS INSANITY.
Hughson: looks like they have formed some sort of alliance in order to take out this pair of Leafs, Bettman won't like this, I'm sure the representative teams will be pun...no wait, I am hearing that the NHL board is letting this go with a warning.
McGuire: SCHENN AND GRABOVSKI ARE IN FOR ONE HELL OF A FIGHT NOW
Penner and Neil go after Grabovski, who darts away trying to stay out of range while the rest go after Schenn. Schenn charges Peters, who reaches him first, a thundering body check throws Peters back into Boogard who falls and takes out Neil and Penner. Grabovski ducks behind Schenn who squares off against McCabe, suddenly Schenn ducks and Grabovski flyes off the ropes at McCabe and drops him with a missel drop kick. Suddenly though, Boogard, Neil, Penner and Peters untangle themselves and decend on Schenn, they dog pile and pin him in the corner.
McCabe Swats Grabovski off of him and picks the smaller man up.
Hughson: The Leafs are in trouble now, Schenn is overwhelmed and McCabe has Grabovski, looks like he is going for his finnishing move.
McCabe Slams Grabovski to the mat. Hard.
McGuire: CAN-OPENER, GRABOVSKI IS OUT OF IT!
The gaggle of united players start trying to throw a struggling Schenn over the top rope, they arn't having an easy time. McCabe see's this and goes to help. They all struggle, but the added assistance of McCabe seems to be winning out.
Suddenly, Grabovski stirs. He rolls over and gets to his hands and knees. No one notices him. Spitting up blood he gets to his feet. And throws all he has into a charge.....
To be continued.