How I Spent My Lockout Vacation: Jay Bouwmeester



The year is 2012. The month is…let’s say December. The NHL lockout is now over and behind us and we never have to think about it again for another seven years. We all survived that Bristol Palin poker celebrity cruise show that aired on Sportsnet every night in place of NHL broadcasts. The locusts, in the end, were merciful invaders and moved onto greener pastures, leaving us with mere crumbs, which we devoured gratefully and without shame. But at least the Mayans were wrong, so high five on that.

Your Calgary Flames return to the Saddledome, refreshed and relaxed after an extended break away from the rink. With FlamesNation having a tremendous, some would say inappropriate amount of access to the team, coupled with the bluster to do what we want that only comes from knowing there’s no one out there who can stand in our way, we approached the Flames to provide us with  short essays documenting how they spent their lockout vacation. Which is what we’re calling it now. Again, because we can.

So withough further adieu, here is ACTUALLY Jay Bouwmeester, and totally NOT a parody essay fabricated by The Book of Loob, on his Lockout Vacation.

So the FlamesNation crack team of lawyers informs me that I need to go ahead and tell everyone that this is in fact a parody essay, and in no way constitutes anything that Jay Bouwmeester has said or will ever say. BUT YOU CAN IMAGINE THOUGH, RIGHT???

 Jay Bouwmeester: Jet Setter

Hey guys, it’s me J-Bo! I just wanted to first say hi to all the Citizens who make up the essence of what is most certainly my favourite sports blog on the web.  You guys are like 16 times better than OilersNation. And I would know. My Dad is a teacher, so I know math. It’s in my blood.

Can you believe this crazy lockout nonsense is finally over? I thought it would never end. But my days didn’t drag on, increasingly more and more inert, like how it felt when those locusts injected us with their love toxins as they successfully forced us into being their zealous love slaves.

What a week that was!  No, friends, It was a busy and tumultuous let’s say three months for the ol’ Bo Dawg! First off, I nicknamed myself Bo Dawg. I’m trying that one out right now, but I think  by the time the season starts it will have sunk in and people will call me Bo Dawg out of sheer force of habit. I feel like it helps me exude a meaner personality, and maybe if I can carry that disposition with me onto the ice, Mark Giordano won’t be so mean to me anymore. Don’t fall for that adorable face of his, the man is ruthless 🙁

I did a lot of travelling too! I jumped in my car and hit the open road, stopping where it told me to stop. Which turned out to be Detroit, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. I have no idea why I chose to visit any of these locales, they just kinda called to me, you know?  All three cities were beautiful (even Detroit!) and no matter where I was, I always kept thinking to myself was "Y’know Jay, you could really make it in this city". Some people recognized me and made a big deal of it  I could see them all pulling out their iPhones and tweeting to all the journalists who weren’t wiped out by that Comet Tsunami last month. I was pretty impressed with them, they must really like my style of effortless skating and positional defense.  

Either that or they mistook me for Ryan Gosling. Sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror I find myself thinking that I look like Ryan Gosling, so I can see how everyone out here could make that mistake.

Chris Butler called me up the other day. I don’t remember ever giving him my phone number, I think former coach Sutter maybe gave it to him at some point. He used to always insist that as a unit we never communicated enough. I don’t think this was the way to resolve the issue, but that’s a story for another day.  

Chris wanted to say hi, and to say he’s sorry for everything that went down at Comeau’s funeral (hopefully none of you Nation Citizens got consumed by "The Fog".  We miss ya Blakey!), and that he can’t wait to line up with me on the blueline again this year. He kept talking, but at that point I had kinda started convusling and having flashbacks and quite honestly everything after that was kind of a blur. My senses kicked back in to the sound of Chris pleading pathetically to his own phone trying to reach out to me: "…Jay?  Hey Jay?  Bo-Dawg?"  I  half answered with some vague reply "uh yeah Buts, we’ll totally nail down that breakout this year" or some other kind of lie and then hung up.

Speaking of Butler, my first session with my therapist last month went better than expected. We still have a lot of work to do, but Dr. Stanz suspects we’ll hit our first breakthrough any day now.

I’ve been training a lot with some of the guys over the course of my lockout vacation.  We need to keep in shape, after all, if we want to finish in 8th place like Mr. Feaster keeps telling us we can do. Jarome always looks sad while he’s working out. I think he had a tear in his eye while he was taking a breather the other day at the gym. He was reading something by a guy named Kent Wilson. I have no idea what it was about, but I don’t think he liked what he saw.

 While training with Kipper, I had to leave the gym for a few moments and get some air, as I was having a bad reaction from the exposure to all that second hand smoke. No worries though, I’m better now, and Kipper looks to be in midseason form already!

I also hit the gym with Anton Babchuk. I went hard on the cardio for about thirty minutes straight. He spent the entire time sitting on the bench counting a big stack of fifties.

Anyway, I guess that’s about it for me today, Flames fans. I’m excited for the season, and I hope you all come out to the Dome to cheer us on with that boisterous malaise you’re so renowned for! We do what we do for you, Citizens, and I guess all that money we make too, but mostly for you. We’re going to ice a hell of a team this year, I promise. Roman Cervenka is sitting next to me and he agrees.  

At least I think he does. I don’t speak Czech, so I have no idea what he’s saying, but he’s softly trembling and uttering "Žádné další Avengard" over and over again in some kind of half frown, all while clutching tightly at some kind of golden looking helmet. Man, talk about focus!

But I gotta go. Coach Hartley is yelling at me. And he’s slapping Sven in the mouth again. These things have been happening so much that we almost start to forget about it, but it does mean that we’re missing something important, so I have to go see what’s up. Go Flames!  

Oh hey, Mr. Feaster, I…what? Of course I’ll come see you in your office. Hey, why is Ken Holland here?

  • Next up – Matt Stajan’s lockout vacation:

    “I spent a lot of time drinking cheap whiskey from coffee mugs and staring out at the purple horizon around dusk. At times, I would recall moments of sadness in my past causing me to collapse on my bed, softly weeping into my pillow before finally drifting off into a restless sleep. My troubles rend my soul to no end and my spirit labors under the burden of my ever delicate heart.”

  • beloch

    If the NHLPA has their way the Flames won’t be taking part in the “lockout vacation”. It actually sounds like they want to play some games with just 3 teams in the league! Yeah, it’s a ridiculous idea, but let’s entertain it for a bit.

    At first I thought this was just a dick move and a way to exert some extra pressure on the owners, but what if Edmonton, Calgary, and Montreal did actually play some games against each other? Unlike some teams in the league, these are all teams that would actually make money if it were business as usual, so the owners of those teams might actually be able to find some way of turning a profit. Three teams obviously cannot support a full schedule (you’d need a multiple of two or be willing to do some crazy travel) so ticket sales will obviously not be as good even though all of these teams can expect near-sellout crowds. However, it might be possible to get a sweetened TV deal since these games would be the only NHL level hockey taking place on the continent. Also, one would presume that revenue made while just these three teams are playing would not be shared with the “have-not’s” of the league.

    So, financially at least, a three-team league may be feasible during the lockout. There will actually be a fire lit under the butts of the owners of the Flames, Oilers, and Canadiens to allow this. They’ll be strongly motivated to try recouping at least some of their costs if they’re on the hook for the players’ salaries anyways. However, the owners may choose not to permit a 3-team league as an (expensive) act of solidarity with Bettman. The NHL itself may also exercise some sort of veto.

    There are other concerns too. Obviously, if the rest of the league is locked out for the entire season, could there be playoffs? What about if the lockout ends mid-season? Do we just ignore results from the three-team league? Would those three teams be at an advantage or disadvantage for having played games before the “real” season begins? It’s a question of injuries and wear and tear on the one hand versus team-building experience on the other.

    Of course, in any process that involves lawyers the one thing we can be assured of is that everything will take longer than expected. There probably won’t be a decision about the right of the owners to lock-out teams in Alberta and Quebec until well after the lockout is over!

  • The Last Big Bear

    Kipper’s version:

    “Loads of fish in Finland. Loads. Also road hockey. And drink.

    But mostly fish. Fish in boat, fish on ice, fish when drunk. All kinds of fish.”

    • Could be. Also, I kinda want to make this a Stajan meme – a picture of him in distress with the caption: “My troubles rend my soul to no end and my spirit labors under the burden of my ever delicate heart.”