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Law & Order: SBNation- The Case Of Dallas vs St Louis

The latest courtroom drama for the custody of the affections of Canucks fans (and Brett Hull, I guess)

In the NHL Playoffs, some fan bases don’t get to participate. Who will help these fans decide who to cheer for? The SBN Unit is looking out for them. This is their story. (click here)

There was a point where it looked like neither of these teams were going to have a sniff at the playoffs, but here we are in May and they’re both still here like Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies. In all fairness, both teams deserve a ton of credit for salvaging what appeared to be lost seasons, and even more impressive was that they both did it with first year coaches. So the case being heard today: Should Canucks fans pledge allegiance to the St Louis Blues, or the Dallas Stars?

Judge Basky calls the court to order, and then calls on Dallas counsel to state their case. Representing Dallas is Defending Big D’s Tyler Mair:

Ladies and gentlemen, you might think that there is little reason to cheer against the St. Louis Blues. Sure, they were your Smythe Division rivals for a brief time in the ‘70s, but so were the Minnesota North Stars. You’ve only played three playoff series against them in franchise history, and you won each of those. And there haven’t been any gut-wrenching, one-sided trades in recent years between you two in the Blues’ favor.

I could elect to convince you to cheer against the city itself – I mean have you seen how they cut their bagels – but to do so would be to take the focus away from the NHL and hockey in general. No, instead I will make my argument based on one simple fact: the St. Louis Blues have never won the Stanley Cup before.

As you all are painfully aware, the Canucks are unfortunately one of twelve current franchises who have yet to win the Cup. You should want those franchises to be as miserable as possible until you have won your first Cup, and that includes the Blues. You’ve already felt the pain of the Washington Capitals breaking their drought last summer – do you really want to risk that happening again?

Of course, the Blues aren’t the only team without a Cup still left in this postseason – the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks still remain. I would argue that you should root against those teams as well – though you may hold off on cheering against Columbus until after they eliminate the Boston Bruins – but do note that a Blues championship would the worst of the those three possibilities by a landslide.

After all, St. Louis are currently the oldest franchise without a Stanley Cup, dating back to the 1967-68 season. If the Blues win it this year, do you know who would take their place? That’s right, the Vancouver Canucks. The only silver lining is that you would be tied for this “honor” with the Buffalo Sabres, and I’m sure even Buffalo fans would agree that no one wants to be lumped in together them for any reason.

Don’t wish for another franchise to escape postseason misery. Cheer against the Blues. Thank you. (clicky)

The courtroom buzzes with conversation, some discussing the embarrassment of being associated with the Sabres, others expressing a sudden hunger for chicken wings. The Judge waits for the crowd to calm a moment before banging his gavel and calling for the lawyer who will make the case for St Louis. Laura Astorian from St Louis Game Time is their legal representative:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it’s perfectly clear why you shouldn’t be cheering for the Dallas Stars. They employ Jamie Benn. Why is that a problem, especially when he’s obviously an excellent hockey player?

I’ll let you evaluate on your own if whether or not this is enough of a reason to not cheer for the Stars, but I would think that an unwillingness to get on in the crease would be a detriment.

The Judge has the drummer and comedian arrested and charged with contempt of court, then warns the St Louis attorney not to disrupt the courtroom any further before allowing her to proceed.

Now that we have the obvious joke out of the way, the Dallas Stars are paying Alexander Radulov a cap hit of $6,250,000 through 21-22. He’ll be 35 when the deal’s over. How in the world can you possibly cheer for a team who actually thinks Radulov will want to stick with a contract for that long. That doesn’t seem like smart management.

Speaking of smart management, maybe it’s just best if you take their CEO Jim Lites’ word for it:

”These guys were signed to big contracts because they were the third- and sixth-leading scorers in the National Hockey League over the past five years. They get their money, we expect them to not be outplayed every game we play in. And if they were as good as they’ve been in the past, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

I don’t see any horseshit about that.

Finally, I present my exhibit A:

(Please click to see the video and we’re going to err on the side of caution and call this particular clip NSFW)

The courtroom erupts: angry men screaming, children crying, and at least 3 women pass out. The Judge angrily bangs his gavel and growls “ORDER!! ORDER!!” And when the screaming subsides he turns to the jury and says “I know that some of you may be offended by this, but because of the precedent set in Everyone else vs Kesler, you are to look at the video and not try to stop thinking about it. You are now released to begin your deliberations”. The jury shuffles off to the room to discuss what they’ve seen and heard:

(Also, click)

(The jurors sit with transcripts of the lawyers cases for about 20 minutes before the silence is broken)

Juror 1- St Louis has never won a cup. Vancouver has never won a cup. St Louis has a goalie that could beat Petey for the Calder. I can not cheer for the Blues. That was an easier decision that I thought it was going to be.

Juror 2- While the attorney-at-lawrgess for St. Lois made some salient points and her exhibit A that exhibited more of Tyler’s exhibitionism than any juror’s prudence can abide, she represents the selfish interests of St. Lois, former home of he-who-also-cannot-be-named (even if he still gets paid for former excesses - with blank cheques, of course, because...). That alone is reason enough to disqualify the appeal for cheap cheers.

As my esteemed (sometimes even when sober) juror has remarked, and the star solicitor from Dallas argued, the Blues’ ancient Cupless record must be maintained unstained by the loutish taint of success.

It is for the reasons above (the law) and below, that I must swear my fickle fealty to the North Stars of Texas, while forevermore averting my gaze when that tat’d-up Zamboni driver is on the ice.

Juror 3- Both compelling arguments. Over the years (so, so, so many years) of watching other franchises lift the Cup before the Canucks though, I’ve become numb to the feeling. If the Blues win… so be it. I’ll sleep at night.

Having said that, I’m compelled to cheer against Jordan Binnington not because I don’t like him. Hell, he’s an incredible goaltender and his story is even better. No, I’m compelled to cheer against him solely to cram it down the throat of anyone who thinks he deserves the Calder over Petey.

Throw in the fact that Jamie Benn is a born and bred Vancouver Island boy and this is an easy decision for me. Go Stars. (clickityclack)

The jury returns to the courtroom and hands a piece of paper to the bailiff. It’s a crude drawing of the Judge, with totally disproportionate ears. The bailiff leans over and whispers to the jury foreman who laughs and blushes as he hands over the slip of paper with the verdict. The bailiff hands it to the Judge.

Judge Basky: Has the jury reached a verdict?

Juror 3: We have, your honour.

Judge Basky: You may read it for the court.

Juror 3: (stands and clears his throat) We, the jury in the case of the Dallas Stars vs the St Louis Blues find for the Dallas Stars.

Judge Basky: Dallas, you are hereby ordered to accept Vancouver fans onto your bandwagon. Please have plenty of BBQ ready for when they arrive. And one last thing before I dismiss this courtroom... I am not sure which one of you is responsible for him, but would someone wake up Brett Hull and tell him to go home? Case dismissed. (DunDUN)

We wish to thank Tyler (@mairican on the Twitters) and Laura (@hildymac) for their help with this project!