The Winnipeg Jets Need A Few Good Men: A love Story —
It’s been a little tense lately in Winnipeg because of the inconsistent play of the Winnipeg Jets. Talk radio, media, bloggers and Twitter have been a hodge-podge of emotion. All for the same reason. The passion this city has for its hockey team.
I don’t know where I come up with this stuff but I thought it was time to lighten it up a bit and have some fun with the situation. After all …. we do have a team back and the one thing we can all agree on is that we are extremely fortunate.
This is my adaptation of the classic movie, “A Few Good Men” …… enjoy.
Mike Chapman owner: played by Jack Nicholson
Captain Ryan Blight: Arctic Ice Hockey (prosecutor) played by Kevin Bacon
Lieutenant Mitch Kasprick: Winnipeg Hockey Talk (defense lawyer) played by Tom Cruise
Judge Scott Campbell: played by J.A. Preston
LT. CMDR Darryl Mills: (defense council) played by Kevin Pollak
LT. CMDR Darryl Manchulenko: (defence council) played by Demi Moore
Kenny Chevalday the GM: (defendant) played by Wolfgang Bodison
Clive Neil the Coach: (defendant) played by James Marshall
The MP’s: played by Hustler and Lawless
Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
The defendants (Clive and Kenny) are charged by Prosecutor (Captain Ryan Blight) with executing a Code Red.
They are being defended by blogger Mitch Kasprick along with writers Darryl Mills and Darryl Manchulenko.
Presiding is Judge Scott Campbell.
The defendants are being charged with issuing the “Code Red” that contributed to the Winnipeg Jets missing the playoffs for the third straight season.
CODE RED DEFINITION
Re-signing the “Atlanta Six” to contract extensions and letting them control the room … Claiming excessive amounts of players from the waiver wire and not trading expiring assets like Antropov and Hainsey at the trade deadline …. and finally … mishandling the Alexander Burmistrov situation.
We move to the final scene where Judge Campbell calls the owner Mike Chapman to the stand.
Judge Campbell to Lieutenant Kasprick, call your witness.
Kasprick, Defense calls Mike Chapman (the owner). Mike Chapman escorted in through a side door.
Ryan Blight, to Mike Chapman (the owner) Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give in this General Disciplinary Hearing will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Mike Chapman, Yes I do.
Blight, Would you state your name and position for the record please, Sir?
Jets owner , My name is Mike Chapman owner and resurrector of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, MB. He sits.
In this scene defense council Kasprick has already asked Mike Chapman owner three times if he ordered the CODE RED and the Judge and Prosecutor are imploring Kasprick not to step over the line.
we join in …….
Kasprick, And when it went bad, you cut these guys loose.
Blight, Your Honor (pleading)
Campbell, That’ll be all, counsel.
Kasprick, You had Kenny sign those contracts !!!
Blight, Judge (pleading again)
Kasprick, You …
Blight, Damn it Kasprick
Kasprick, I’ll ask for the forth time. You ordered the co …
Mike Chapman (cuts in) You want answers?
Kasprick, I’m a season ticket holder and think I’m entitled to them.
Mike Chapman, You want answers?!
Kasprick, (very loud) I want the truth.
Mike Chapman …. (very loud) … You can’t handle the truth! …. And nobody moves.
Mike Chapman, (continuing) Son, we live in a world that has boardrooms and war-rooms. Those walls have to be guarded by men with contracts and waiver wire claims. Who’s gonna do it? You? (pointing at Kasprick) You, Lt. Mills? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the playoffs and you curse ownership. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That missing the playoffs, while tragic, probably strengthened our organisation. You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want playoffs … You need playoffs. (boasting) We use words like system? defence? hard work? … We use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending our net. You use ’em as a punchline in some stupid BLOG.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the NHL hockey I provide in Winnipeg and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get to your keyboard and start typing and write an apology post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.
Kasprick, (quietly) Did you order the code red?
Mike Chapman, (sighs) I did the job you guys wanted me to do.
Kasprick, (louder) Did you order the code red?
Mike Chapman, (pause) You’re goddamn right I did ….. Silence ….. From everyone.
Judge Scott Campbell … the M.P.’s … they’re all frozen … Darryl and Darryl are likewise. Mike Chapman seems strangely, quietly relieved.
Kasprick Please the court, I suggest the jury be dismissed so that we can move to an immediate Article 39a Session. The witness has rights …. the room is Silent.
Campbell looks to Blight … Campbell Lt. Blight ? Blight is frozen. He doesn’t know what to do.
Kasprick (as a friend) Ryan? Blight looks at Kasprick, then owner Mike Chapman, then nods his head “yes” to Judge Campbell.
Campbell The Sergeant at Arms will take the jury to an ante-room where you’ll wait until further instruction. The SERGEANT AT ARMS begins leading the JURORS out of the room.
Mike Chapman, What the hell’s going on? …. No one will say anything until the jurors are out of the room.
Mike Chapman, (continuing; to Ryan) Captain, what the hell’s going on? I did my job. I’d do it again. Now I’m getting in my car and going back to my office.
Campbell M.P.’s (Hustler and Lawless), guard the prisoner …. The M.P.’s are tentative. They’ve never heard a NHL owner referred to as “the prisoner” before. They sure as hell have never been asked to guard one.
Blight, Guard the prisoner.
Mike Chapman, What the hell
Blight …. continues reading his rights.
Mike Chapman I’m being charged with a crime? I’m — that’s what this is –– (to Ryan) I’m being charged with a crime? I’m — that’s what’s happening? This — I’m — this is funny, you know that, this is — And then Mike Chapman owner lunges at Kasprick and Kasprick would be dead but for the two M.P.’s (Hustler and Lawless) who’ve leapt in to restrain Mike Chapman the owner. Darryl and Darryl have come to their feet and stand behind Kasprick.
Mike Chapman (continuing; to Kasprick) I’m gonna tear your eyes right outta your head and p*ss on your website. You messed with the wrong owner …. Blight is done reading his rights.
Blight, do you understand those rights as I have just read then to you?
Mike Chapman I saved money with the waiver claims. You “expletive” people. (sighs) You have no idea how to manage a NHL team. (continuing; to Kasprick) All you did was weaken a franchise today, Kasprick !!! That’s all you did. You put fans in danger of rising ticket prices. Sweet dreams, son.
Kasprick Don’t call me son. I’m a blogger and one of the many outstanding bloggers in the City of Winnipeg …. you SOB !!!
Kasprick (continuing) The witness is excused. The M.P.’s start leading Mike Chapman the owner out and Kasprick looks at Clive the coach and Kenny the GM.
The jurors have returned with the verdict.
SERGEANT AT ARMS Ten-hut. All rise. And sit when Campbell sits.
Campbell Have the jurors reached a verdict?
JURY FOREMAN We have, sir. The SERGEANT AT ARMS takes all the slips of paper from the FOREMAN and brings them to Campbell. Kasprick stands, nods to Clive Neil the coach and Kenny Chevalday the GM that they should do the same. Darryl and Darryl stand as well.
Campbell (reading) On the charge of re-signing the “Atlanta Six” and letting them run the dressing room the Members find the defendants Not Guilty …. and they resist the temptation to scream and shout, but they do.
Campbell (continuing; reading) On the charge of Claiming excessive amounts of players from the waiver wire and not trading expiring assets like Antropov and Hainsey at the trade deadline, the Members find the defendants Not Guilty …. Campbell looks up. Then reads from the last slip of paper.
Campbell (continuing) On the charge of Conduct Unbecoming a Head Coach and GM in the handling of Alexander Burmistrov, the members find the defendants Guilty as Charged. A little of the energy drains out of the room. Campbell continues reading.
Campbell (continuing; reading) The defendants are hereby sentenced by this court to time already served and are ordered to get back to their offices at MTS Centre and get this five year plan back on the rails !!!
Campbell (continuing) … And are ordered to stop playing Thorburn on the second OR third line. This hearing is adjourned. Campbell raps his gavel.
SERGEANT AT ARMS Ten hut. All rise. Campbell is gone.
SERGEANT AT ARMS (continuing) Dismissed. The M.P.’s move to Clive and Kenny to unlock their handcuffs. Kasprick is packing up his things …. just another day at the office.
Kenny Chevalday Why? .… Kasprick, I’m sorry .... Kenny Chevalday Why?! …. Clive Neil I don’t understand? Mike Chapman said he ordered the Code Red.
Clive Neil Mike Chapman said he ordered the Code Red, what did we do wrong? Darryl …. It’s not as simple as —Clive Neil What did we do wrong? .... Kenny Chevalday We did nothing wrong. Darryl slaps his hands down on the table — Darryl Yes you did! A jury just said your conduct was unbecoming a Coach and GM.
Kenny Chevalday (continuing) He’s right Clive … we were suppose to fight for kids like Burmi … I never meant for him to go to the KHL …. Kenny Chevalday looks up.
SERGEANT AT ARMS Kasprick, I’ve gotta take these guys over to personnel for some paper work. Kasprick nods.
SERGEANT AT ARMS (continuing; to Clive and Kenny) Gentleman? Kenny looks to Kasprick. There’s gotta be more. This can’t be it …. Clive and Kenny walk to the SERGEANT AT ARMS and begin to follow him up the aisle and out of the courtroom. But before they get to the door, Kasprick turns around and calls out KENNY!!! They stop and turn around.
Kenny Chevalday Sir!
Kasprick (pause) You don’t need to make the playoffs to have honour. Kenny stares at Kasprick for a long moment.
Kenny Chevalday Ten-hut. Clive and Kenny come to attention.
Kenny Chevalday (continuing) There’s an blogger on deck. then Kenny snaps a salute and holds it. Kasprick stares back. Then stands up straight and returns their salute. With one last glance back at Kasprick, Kenny turns and walks out the door, followed by the Clive. Ryan Blight walks over to the defense table and shakes Kaspricks hand. It’s over.
Five Years Later
Ryan Blight (a school teacher in real life) opened a remedial school for fired, burned out and wannabee GM’s in Dunedin, Florida.
Scott Campbell got tired of twitter and is now playing on the NHL legends tour. He also does colour commentary for his alma mater the London Knights.
Darryl and Darryl are both top writers at the Free Press.
Mitch Kasprick quit blogging about hockey and started a website about BBQing and smoked meats. He is on the competitive BBQ tour and took home 2nd place for ribs at “Memphis in May” in 2016.
The Jets have missed the playoffs for eight straight years but their AHL affiliate St. John’s IceCaps have won 4 league titles along the way. Jets Captain, James Wright, feels their close to having an identity but when questioned by one of the Darryls he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
Andrew Ladd won his fourth Stanley Cup and second in Arizona with the Phoenix Coyotes where Mitch Kasprick resides in the winter.