Monday, August 31, 2015

Pizza, Dreams, and a Summer with Stanley

It was another sick weekend, as they say, as The Peerless indulged one of his guilty pleasures, a pepperoni, anchovy, and marshmallow fluff pizza.  It had the predictable results, dreams of a somewhat bizarre nature.  This time we were in the role of a Hollywood movie producer fielding pitches about a “buddy movie”…

“Peerless…my favorite producer.”

What do you want this time, Arnie.  Last time you were pitching a “Hunger Games” knockoff.

“Yeah, yeah, but “The Thirsty Games” about a bar crawl through a dystopian urban wilderness…ok, Pittsburgh…would have killed at the box office.”

What is it this time, “The Itchy Games?”

“Nononononono…this one is pure magic…”Alex and Stanley.”

Alex and Stanley? 

“Yeah…think of it as ‘Lethal Weapon’ meets ‘Slap Shot.’”

Go on…

“So, here’s the set up… The Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup….”

We’re into fantasy movies, now, Arnie?

“Hold on, hold on.  First scene…The Caps win the Cup… Gary Bettman presents the Cup to Alex Ovechkin and he smiles wickedly, thinking about how he is going to spend his summer with Stanley.”

But don’t players only get a day or two with the Cup?

“Work with me here, will ya, big guy?”


“We cut to the locker room later…the players are spraying champagne… Brian MacLellan and Ted Leonsis are throwing playful body checks at one another…but off in the corner, Ovechkin calls Dmitry Orlov, Stan Galiev and Evgeny Kuznetsov together.  They speak softly in Russian.  Ovechkin speaks with authority, the youngsters take furtive glances at the Cup and shake their heads.  Ovechkin starts laughing…you see a subtitle…”it’ll be SICK!”

“Cut to Moscow.  There is a ceremony to present the Cup to the Russian players for the Caps.  The gloved guardians of the chalice…”

Whoa, “gloved guardians of the chalice?”  You a screenwriter now, Arnie?

“Part time…anyway, they bring the Cup to the podium where it is presented to Ovechkin, who says a few words.  The other players come forward, trying to get into the action.  They start to fight over the Cup.  In the confusion, the Cup disappears.  So does Ovechkin.”

Sounds like pretty standard fare so far….

“We’re not making Citizen Kane here, Peerless.”


“Cut to a scene outside.  Ovechkin starts his tricked out Mercedes, puts it in gear, turns to his passenger and shrieks, ‘We’re gonna have a SICK time, Stanley!!!’”

“He speeds off, tires spinning.  We cut to a series of set pieces.  Alex and Stanley at a friend’s wedding…Alex in a t-shirt and sandals, Stanley in a tux… Alex and Stanley at a beach in Turkey... Alex and Stanley at a dinner with friends…the scene cuts to Stanley, and you see a subtitle…’I’m getting too old for this sh*t.’  Alex and Stanley tease the NHL, posting Instagram pictures from, well, everywhere.  Meanwhile, we go back to the war room at Hockey Hall of Fame headquarters in Toronto where a bunch of suits are sitting around a table trying to figure out where the Cup is and who to blame for not putting a tracking device on it…”

“Cut to Alex and Stanley in ever more exotic locations.  It’s like a Bond movie… Alex and Stanley weaving through the streets of St. Petersburg as the NHL SSF picks up their trail…”


“Secret Stanley Force.”

You thinking of Tom Cruise as the force leader?

“This is more a ‘Tommy Lee Jones’ ‘The Fugitive’ thing…search every dacha, dungeon, dung heap, and dead end…”


“Then there is Alex and Stanley on a speedboat on the Black Sea outrunning the SSF goons…Alex and Stanley on the International Space Station…”

Wait!  International Space Station??

“It gets better…the Hall of Fame figures out that Alex and Stanley hitched a ride to the ISS and send an undercover team of ‘astronauts’ to infiltrate on the next shuttle to the station.  A battle ensues, and Alex and Stanley escape to Alex’s tricked out Mercedes shuttle…”

He has his own shuttle?

“What do you think he’s doing with that $124 million contract, buying caviar at Costco?  Anyway, a chase unfolds…Alex turns to Stanley and says, ‘hold onto your chalice, this is going to be a SICK re-entry.’   Alex and Stanley are pursued to a remote part of Siberia…”

What in Siberia isn’t remote?

“Good point…just go with me here.  Alex and Stanley land close to where that Tunguska comet or asteroid or whatever it was exploded and leveled a thousand square miles of forest…”

Sounds like this won’t end well.

“Ah, but this isn’t just a remote site of a big explosion.  It’s cover for a super secret Russian outpost.”

Outpost?  To do what?

“Does it matter?  Russian stuff…we’ll stick in a bunch of stocky guys in uniforms…it’ll look fine, trust me.”

Go on.

“The NHL guys search the area, but they find nothing.  They reach a dead end.  Weeks pass.  Cut to Toronto.  A meeting of the hockey brain trust…”

And Bettman?

“Yeah, and Bettman.  They are sitting around a table looking dejected.  Someone pipes up, ‘do we have ANY leads on the Cup?’  And the discussion goes on as we go to an underwater scene in the Pacific Ocean…a submarine glides silently below the surface.  Cut to the control room, and there is Alex with Stanley standing next to him.  He gazes at the control board, turns to the Captain and asks, ‘what does this button do?’  The Captain’s eyes open wide in terror…”don’t touch that button!”  Just in time to hear Ovechkin mutter, ‘oops…guess that’s going to be big ‘one-timer.’”

Now, this is just a two-hour movie, right?

“Maybe… anyway, the missile is launched, and Alex turns to Stanley, ‘we should have aimed it at Bettman.’  Camera cuts to Stanley, who has a special glow about him.  The captain and crew work furiously to find and enter the codes to disarm the missile.  Someone says they have to call the Kremlin.  The captain nixes that idea…’Don’t tell them, Putin will just tell us to let it go.'  Finally, they get the codes entered and hit the ‘send’ button.  Cut to a high-rise office building in New York.  A corner office.  At the desk is the Commissioner on the phone.  Behind him an object goes whizzing by, just feet from his office window, hurtling harmlessly into New York Harbor.  He asks no one in particular…’what was that?’”

Close call.

“That’s what we’re going for, Sparky.  So, some more time passes. Despair has turned to resignation.  Alex and Stanley have fallen off the grid completely.  Not even rumors.  Meanwhile, the Hockey Hall of Fame is about to open for the day.  Among the tourists and the hockey fans, the kids and the adults, is a young man in a t-shirt, torn jeans, and sandals, wearing a scruffy beard and carrying a large duffel bag.  Security stops him and asks him to show them the contents of the bag.  He pulls out the Stanley Cup and remarks, ‘I think someone left this in our locker room.’  The guards converge on the Cup, inspecting it to see if it is authentic.  As they are doing this, we cut to a slow-motion scene of the young man walking back out of the Hall of Fame, a smile playing on his lips.  He says to himself, ‘it was so SICK.’  Fade out to credits.”

Ya know?  I think we might be able to make this work.

“Yeah, well…only one problem.”

And that is…

“Putin wants to play himself in the movie.”

* tip o' the cap to the commenters over at Japers' Rink who pondered this possibility