Prospect Porn: Leafs v. Colorado

30-year-olds with long NHL careers are one thing, but Dave Bidini has a soft spot from the acne’d prospect

Okay: I like porn. But not just any porn: Prospect Porn. I can’t get enough of it. I spend way too much time tapping on a screen in the dark—actually it’s more mouse-thumbing then tapping; screen over screen over screen—staring at young men from distant places; gifted young men; lithe, goofy-looking with sculpted arms and stats to drool over. Thirty year olds with long careers are one thing, but give me the hairless fulsome buck who has emerged as if from a fine mist. Give me his promise. Untested, pure. Maybe a little overbitten and acne’d. A prospect.

To this end, the Leafs have done nothing to satisfy my urges, which is why I’ve had to look elsewhere: Colorado, Long Island, and Edmonton. For this reason, I couldn’t wait ‘til (last) Tuesday, which promised a visit by the Avalanche, the league’s youngest and Prospect Porniest team. Not only that, but the Leafs—young, too, I suppose, only not so Prospecty—were hop-skipping along on a three-game unbeaten streak, so my interests were two-fold. I poofed the throw pillows on the couch and prepared popcorn and beer. I sent the kids to bed. Actually, I did not. My kids are baseball brats and they don’t love hockey. Between the two of them, they’ve lived through exactly one Leaf post-season. In 2009, I prepared a chocolate milk chart in honour of the year: two Leaf wins in a row got them gumdrops, three wins got them Twizzlers and four wins got them— yup—chocolate milk. “You’re teaching them about disappointment, aren’t you?” asked my wife, approvingly. But I wasn’t. This is the sad and torturous environment in which they’ve been raised.

The game before the Leafs v Avalanche saw the woebegone Flames in town. Not only are the Flames not Prospecty, but if they were a porn star they’d be Herschel Savage: wrinkled and mature, and famous in the 1980s. Calgary’s one saving grace—at least when it comes to Prospect Porn— is David Moss, who, while not gifted with the speed of Taylor Hall or the balance of Matt Duchene or the hands of John Tavares, was the youngest member of the Flames to see my erotic hockey play, the Five Hole Stories, when it was staged in Alberta (so did Robin Regehr and Dustin Boyd, but both have now left the Flames). Still, that the team’s future promise fell to Moss, a serviceable feeder to Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay, reflected a system largely empty of prospects, and their play against the Leafs proved this. The game was mostly artless, but Kessel scored twice and Toronto won 3-2. After the game, I cared even less about the now faceless Flames than I did before. But how about that David Moss: great taste in theatre.

Before Colorado/Toronto, it was discovered that Kessel, the Quiet American, was named NHL Player of the Week. The bluebloods huzzah’ed and swore to take back every time they’d ever called Brian Burke the “Hank Kingsley of NHL GMs.” But then, three hours later, they put back what they’d just retrieved. Even though Toronto had fought to send the game into overtime, the ‘Lanche won on a goal by David Jones—my least favourite Monkee; way least—who expertly slipped behind young Cody Franson to score the winner. This resulted in days of Prospect Porn envy. Sportstalk callers decided, once again, that the only way to be good was to be bad, like the Avalanche, and that the Leafs needed a complete rebuild to get any closer to sustained success, like the Avalanche. The occasional host reminded them that the Leafs were still the second youngest team in hockey and that building a winner through the draft was no guarantee. Were the callers prepared to suffer through a prolonged darkness in hopes of finding the next Wayne or Mario? One blueblood, thinking through his cellphone said, exasperated, “It’s as if Brian Burke wants to get both old and young at the same time!” Leaving the house and walking to the store, I yelled at the transistor radio that it’s what life’s about, doofus. Besides, while the Leafs have no one named Landeskog on their team, at least they’re 3-1-1 to open the season. It may not call for champagne. But I saw no harm in a little chocolate milk.




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Prospect Porn: Leafs v. Colorado

  1. The Leafs are apparently taking Nazem Kadri on the road to Boston – along with Frattin and Gardiner. You can see how they stack up to Seguin and Marchand.

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