Hockey Jesus is dead (OK, temporarily disabled). Who shall serve in his stead? Who will be the Vicar of Sidney Christ on Earth until his Glorious Return? Not Evgeni Malkin, as some have suggested. No, St. Geno has always been in the “Paul” role, spreading Hockey Jesus’ message of peace, love and goals to the world.
The Cardinals of Mellon Arena met in a great conclave over the All-Star Break. When white smoke finally wafted out of that hole in the roof, the decision had been made: until his Return, the Church of the Sacred Goal will be headed by…Kris Beech.
Beech was not an obvious selection–he was not among Hockey Jesus’ many local followers and disciples. He had come from honored beginnings as a highly-touted juniors player, and had even toiled intermittently in the Holy Steel City some years ago, to which he had been traded in exchange for the False Idol Jagr.
However, the Exalted Holy Reverend Beech had, lately, been in much more humble circumstances. Verily, he was waived this month by the Philistine Vancouver Canucks, the Heretic Columbus Blue Jackets and the Mildly Reprobate Washington Capitals (yes, all three). From those depths to the highest mountain has he now been raised.
Last night was to be his first game as Pope, but apparently he had some visa problems. Huh. You’d think the Swiss Guards or somebody could’ve worked that out. But in 20 games this season with Columbus and Vancouver, Beech had 11 points–not exactly John Paul II numbers.
His NHL career to this point calls to mind the record of other “lesser” Popes. Pope Boniface VIII inspired parts of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” (and not the funny parts, if you know what I mean). Pope John XII was killed when a jealous husband caught him in flagrante. Pope Gregory VII legitimized the concept of a “just war” to launch the Crusades; that’s worked out well.
With this sort of leadership, the prayers of all Penguindom are surely raised for the speedy return of the One True Puckster.