The Background. These days, I know the NHL inside out. I know the names and player attributes of most every player on every team. But a couple years ago, I didn't watch as much hockey as I do now, and I certainly did not watch as many Eastern Conference games, or pay attention to every role player on Eastern Conference teams. I only really remembered the names of role players if they were cute or really charming in interviews, to tell you the truth.
The Story. But one fateful day, a couple seasons ago, I flipped on a game the Bruins were playing, and I saw him. Byron Bitz. B.B. He was so smooth. He looked almost like a buzz-cut baby stallion with equal quotients mane and facial hair, both dirty blonde. And when I saw him move, that hair bristled from the wind he created for himself by skating so quickly. Quite a sight, I have to tell you. It was a moment no girl could possibly forget. In fact my girlfriend still brings it up from time to time, which is why I haven't forgotten either. That's also why I only remembered the (allegedly) cute role players, when I otherwise wouldn't have. My girlfriend wouldn't shut up about them. It's not as bad as it was when Mike Ricci and Tim Hunter were playing, but it's still hard to get a word in sometimes. Not to mention, let's face it, I'm the jealous type. Always have been. I even paid Scott Stevens to elbow Ricci in the face, but the Sharks never made the Stanley Cups finals once so Stevens never got the chance. So I asked Scott for a refund, but then he elbowed me. Now it's not Mike Ricci or Tim Hunter my girlfriend won't stop swooning over, it's Scott Stevens. Suffice to say the whole thing has turned into a nightmare. I'm even considering maybe trying to find a new girlfriend. Actually, if I'm being 100% honest, that's sort of what this is about. I thought if I posted something pretending to be a girl, well, I know girls think that stuff is sexy, because one of the other guys my girlfriend used to swoon over is Patrick Kane. So I thought I'd try the same thing, and maybe end up with someone new if it works. Just leave Patrick and Chastity (my nickname for her) together. They deserve each other anyway. I just hope admitting that I've kind of been full of it here doesn't turn you girls off of me. My girlfriend likes Gary Bettman too so unless her taste is atypical, I think I'll be fine.
But back to Byron Bitz. I didn't know about him before that fateful day, but I turned on the game, and I started to notice him right about the time when my girlfriend started initiating "sexual intercourse" with me (sorry but I'm actually still trying to impress the girls reading this, if a bit more subtly, so please excuse me if when there's a choice, I choose the more sexy terminology where normally you might not) for the first time since we watched the 2003 version of the film Willard, with Mike Ricci. And just like that last time, she had her neck and eyes all the while craned to the side, towards the T.V. So B.B. made an impression on me right away. Not quite as big, almost fake sounding, of an impression as he vicariously made on my girlfriend, but still pretty big. Because, for all my reasons to hate him, or rather, for my one big, loud reason to hate him, that I cried about every night for months after, he was fast, and quick. He had some ability. I've always had a good eye for talent, and despite this being one of the most complex and difficult aspects of talent evaluation to judge accurately, I could tell, with 100% certainty, that he was fast. And I knew I was right. I never wavered in that thought, even with my girlfriend constantly trying to convince me of the opposite. But although I didn't exactly get the scouting time with him my girlfriend did, or the solo interview, or the video, I still thought I was right, knew I was right. I thought he had some ability, some speed, quickness, hard nosed, gritty. Actually that's one thing my girlfriend and I do agree on, he's not soft. So I liked him. Not as much as she did, of course, but I did like him.
Then I didn't watch him play again that season. The playoffs came and went, and pretty soon, it was the offseason. I noticed that he signed with another team during the dog days of summer, but didn't give it much thought. Then, midway into that next season, something weird happened. I caught a game of his, and it was like I was watching a completely different player than I remembered. My girlfriend had been right all along, he was slow! Much more about endurance than speed. I couldn't believe it! He just wasn't the same player. And it hit me so hard because I had always prided myself on my eye for talent evaluation. I'd never been, or felt, this wrong before about a player. This was supposed to be my big strength, and yet of all people, my girlfriend beat me at it. Another nightmare! You see, my girlfriend had always been very critical of all my other body parts, but I always thought it was worth being so apparently worthless in every other way, as long as my eyes were as good as I thought they were in these matters. And for awhile, I truly believed they were. But there I was, dead wrong, with nothing left to be proud of. I'd gotten him all wrong. He just wasn't the same player as I'd watched the year before for the Bruins. I started wondering if it was something about playing in Philadelphia that slowed him down, if he'd been inhaling second hand alcohol before every game from using the same locker room urinals as Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, or what it could possibly be. All I knew was Blair Betts was nothing like the player I remembered watching in Boston. So I turned the T.V off, disgusted with myself and my so-called eye for talent, and I walked over towards me and my girlfriend's bedroom, hoping she'd cheer me up with her unconditional love and devotion. I walked right up to the padlocked, soundproofed door she'd installed in our Florida home around the start of the 09-10 season. It was locked, of course, as is only natural. Girlfriends need their space and privacy. Having always had an unrivaled understanding of the female mind, I'd always been aware of this, and I'd always respected it. But I also knew two other things, 1. that girls like romantic surprises, and 2. where the hidden key was. So I went and got it, came back up to the door, and unlocked it.
And what do you think I saw as I stepped through the door?
I bet most of you think I saw my girlfriend cheating on me.
Please, as if my life is has ever been one of those cliché, pathetic stories.
Okay, fine, I saw my girlfriend cheating on me. I admit it. She was naked, and intertwined with another man on our bed. Sorry, my eye for talent is getitng a little blurry thinking about this. But it's fine. I don't care. I didn't like her anyway. Ahhhhh okay. Okay. Deep breath. You don't care about that ***** anyway. She was never good enough for you. I mean, apparently she was good enough for every other guy she wanted, even professional athletes, if we're being honest, but ... still. I mean it doesn't matter if she was technically good enough for you or not, because you didn't even want her anyway. So it doesn't matter. Just go on telling the story. Deep breaths.
Ahhhh so, okay, I walked in on her cheating on me, with this man, and as I looked closer, I noticed he had a buzz cut. And, as I reached for the earplugs I always carried in my pocket since our sex during the Bruins game, and as my girlfriend let out a blood curdling scream, "DON'T STOP MY STALLION! NEEIIIGHHH FOR ME BABY!", it hit me. The player I was such a fan of in Boston wasn't Blair Betts, it was Byron Bitz! And the reason one had seemed to replace the other in the NHL the next season was because Byron Bitz was too busy doing my girlfriend all season, which opened up a spot in the NHL for another player with the same initials. It all became clear to me. I hadn't been wrong about anything! At least, that was my initial impression. As they kept going, and going, and going, with no regard for me standing there, I realized that I was still dead wrong about the speed assessment. But everything else, I was right about. Blair Betts didn't have much talent at all, but Byron Bitz did! At least, he had some! My only real mistake was confusing the two players. A real understandable, easy to make mistake. Can't really be blamed for that. In fact, they are so easy to mistake for each other, I'm starting to get an idea about how to get back at my girlfriend ... but that's a story for another day. All that's important, now that I've had time to reflect, is that Byron Bitz made an impression on me when I watched him play for Boston two years ago. He made a couple other impressions on me, and my life, not quite as positive ... but that's neither here nor there either. What I'm meaning to say is Byron Bitz struck me as a quality bottom line player while he was in Boston, and it could turn out to be a good signing, as long as the team finds a way to keep my girlfriend away from him.
Conclusions. #1. Don't fall into a serious relationship with Kim (Chastity) Kardashian. #2. At least as of two years ago, Blair Bitz had some jump to his game, and could make for a very good 4th liner.
Jacknote: This is based on a true story. Well, the part about Byron Bitz and Blair Betts. Two seasons ago, I watched Byron Bitz play and thought he was a very good 4th line player, but then the next year, watching Blair Betts, I started to wonder what I ever saw in the player. It wasn't until the Canucks signed Byron Bitz a few days ago that I realized I had forgotten the name of the original player, Byron Bitz, and started confusing him with Blair Betts. The original intent of this fanpost was to just relay that funny mix-up to everyone here, but because it's a silly story to begin with, once I started writing it, I started going with it a little bit, and this is what I ended up with instead, for better or worse. I hope anyone who made it through to the end was entertained. Have a good summer everyone! Can't wait for the season to start.