Boo Hoo! NHL New York Rangers

Former NHL player Alf Pike

Former New York Rangers Alf PIke

Boo hoo! Cry me a river, New York Rangers.

I just heard the radio reports, read all the sports sites and watched ESPN Sports Center.

Sure, I know your legs were heavier than usual last night as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat you 3 – 0 to take a 2 – 1 series lead.

However, I really don’t care if you played five NHL Playoff games in seven nights. Nor am I interested in listening to your moaning about fatigue or speculating about your team’s recent scheduling snafu.

Move out of Madison Square Garden if you can’t use your home ice on the nights you prefer.

Wow! You worked five times in seven days. How tough must that be?

Did you ever stop and think that you play a sport? Being an NHL hockey player is not a normal, hard working job like a bricklayer or a mason or a teacher or a fire fighter or a cop or, God forbid, a soldier who defends our country.

Oh, I forgot. You even had to play two B2Bs. That’s two back-to-back games. Oh my word! You must be exhausted.

Thank God your employment involves playing hockey games and not putting in back-to-back shifts in a steel mill or patrols in Afghanistan.

Hey, don’t you get paid to play hockey? Isn’t it a privilege to play a kid’s game as a grown up and get wildly overpaid for doing so?

I’ve just have one question. Did you ever hear the name Alf Pike?

He played for your organization seven decades ago. That’s 70 years ago.  Your grandfather may not have been born at that time when Mr. Pike won a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1940s.

Coincidentally, as a New York Ranger he was called The Embalmer.

Do you know why? It’s because during the off-season Pike also worked as a licensed mortician preparing the dead for burial. His normal job as an embalmer supplemented his meager salary as a professional hockey player. He was even known to help out at times in the morgue during the NHL season.

In his off months he didn’t enjoy spa treatments or vacations in the south of France. Rather, he worked. Pike prepared the dead for burial to earn more money to support his family.

Yes, the NHL Embalmer was a real embalmer.

This one-of-a-kind hockey player should be remembered as a hero in every hockey fans’ eyes. The likeable Ranger and mortician truly did bury people – metaphorically on the ice as well as literally in the ground. He wouldn’t have complained if he played five days in seven days. And, I don’t think he would have muttered either if dead people were delivered into his morgue every day for two weeks straight.

However, his story gets even better.

Both of Pike’s careers were interrupted for nearly three years. During World War II, he put down both hockey sticks and embalming fluids and served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Now, here’s a truly committed guy with a work ethic to boot.

Pike returned to the ice after serving in the military and played until his retirement in 1947. His career amassed 234 total games, scoring 42 goals and assisting on 77 others.

So, New York Rangers, remember Alf Pike as you toil through such a burdensome NHL Playoff series. Hope this current series doesn’t labor for the maximum seven games. That would be terrible.

Consider using Alf Pike as inspiration. If you would exhibit his work ethic, you should be able to play five games in seven nights without all the grumbling.

And, maybe you could skate around the rink with the coveted Stanley Cup as this embalmer and hockey player did way back in 1940.

So, stop the whining and just play hockey! Or, get back to “work!” Lol

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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