QUEBEC CITY (Slings And Arrows) – In what can only be described as an offside move, a bunch of Conservative MPs donned Quebec Nordiques hockey sweaters last week to demonstrate their support of the rest of us – Joe taxpayer – footing the bill for a new hockey arena in Quebec City. Such a commitment would likely seal the deal on the NHL awarding the city a franchise. There was no such show of support in Manitoba where Conservative MPs did not don Winnipeg Jet uniforms.
In a news release this week the Government of Canada took a further step and announced the team members it was drafting. Behind the bench, Coach “Huckster” Harper will call the plays, assisted by hockey hornblower Don Cherry.
On the ice, forwards Stockwell Day, Vic Toews (no, not THAT Toews) and Jason Kenny will all play right wing as no one in the party could be found to play left wing or center.
Peter Van Loan had been touted to play forward but at the last minute was traded to the Moscow Dynamo.
Also scheduled to lace up was Gerry Ritz but he’s been sent down to the farm team.
On defence Peter McKay, logically, can be expected to see plenty of action along with another defensive big gun Lawrence Cannon.
A natural between the pipes, John Baird has been named team goalie with Pierre Poilievre backing him up.
Other appointments include Gerry Lund as team mascot, because he’s too short to play, even with skates on, but he is seen as a big booster. Jean-Pierre Blackburn, not known for making concessions will nevertheless handle the stadium’s food outlets. Leona Aglukkaq has been named team doctor with the team trainer position being filled by Tony Clement.
Helena Guergis and Maxime Bernier will be riding the bench, since Coach Harper feels the two are offside too often.
Front office positions include Diane Finley in charge of player development and Jim Flaherty head of team fundraising. Coach Harper will also act as team spokesperson and will be in charge of community relations.
Chuck Strahl will drive the team bus.
Practice sessions will begin immediately as players are anxious to face their competition.
Asked for his opinion of the upcoming match, coach Michael “Stickhandler” Ignatieff said,”We’re not worried. After all, the Conservatives seem to have a hard time winning in Quebec.”