The Campfire

The Space Jam Effect: NHL-Style

Part two in our Space Jam series will feature the Monstars stealing the talents of the NHL’s elite.

By: Jonathan Goad

Our current series is going to give the “Space Jam effect” to the current rosters of the four major sports; the NBA, the NFL, the MLB, and the NHL. The criteria for each will be very similar to what happens in the movie.

NHL Superstars will have their talents stolen by aliens, and a currently retired player will have to save the Looney Tunes from certain doom.

As we all know, the Looney Tunes might have lost without the help of the great Bill Murray. He provided a much-needed spark even if he doesn’t play defense. As a wild card, a celebrity will be added to the Tune Squad.

From there, I will make a prediction on how I think the game would actually go. Remember: anything is possible in Looney Tunes Land.

If you missed part one, go check that out before proceeding any further.

Part one featured some of the NBA’s best dunkers — as the players who had their talents stolen. I’m not sure what the equivalent to a dunk is in the NHL, but I’ll do my best!

I will choose the best player at each position with a few requirements. They have to score goals, and they have to be able to play physical.

Here are the six NHL’ers who will have their talents stolen:

Center: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

This is a no-brainer. McDavid has been called the next Wayne Gretzky. That’s some high praise especially if you know how dominant “The Great One” was in the NHL — and he’s only 21 years old.

McDavid is not the most physical player, as he only accumulated 46 hits last season, but he has increased his hit total in each of his three seasons of play.

He has led the league in points the previous two seasons, posting 100 points in 2016-17 and 108 points in 2017-18. He won’t be beating up on the Tune Squad too much, but he’s the biggest playmaker on the ice for this fictional game.

Seriously, find 10 minutes and watch McDavid’s highlights. He alone can turn people into hockey fans.

Right Wing: Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets

 

Blake Wheeler might be one of the most underrated players in the NHL. He only scored 23 goals last season but was 8th in the league with 91 points.

Wheeler may not be the most elite goal-scoring right-winger, but he packs a punch. In the past seven seasons, Wheeler hasn’t had fewer than 90 hits in each season.

Over those seven seasons, he’s averaged 110 hits per season with his highest total being 150 hits in 2013-14. Wheeler brings some great playmaking and also some toughness to the Monstars.

Left Wing: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

 

If the requirements are someone who scores goals and hits, Alex Ovechkin is the top choice. He has led the league in goals scored seven times. He might be the one player that can challenge Wayne Gretzky’s goal total — he trails by “only” 287 goals, at the age of 32.

If he plays until he’s 40, Ovechkin needs to average 36 goals per year. Considering he’s scored over 50 in a season seven times, I’d say he’s definitely capable of that. He’s also never scored fewer than 32 in a season, so keep that in mind.

Ovechkin isn’t afraid to throw his body around. He totaled 139 hits last season which was his lowest since the lockout-shortened season in 2012-13. He’s totaled over 200 hits in a season eight times.

Alex Ovechkin 100 percent fits the mold for the Monstars — and no one has enjoyed winning a Stanley Cup like Ovi.

Defensemen: Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning and P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators.

 

Victor Hedman tied for first in goals scored this past season with 17. He was also fifth in total points with 63. The 6’6”, 223-pound defenseman also brings a physical presence. He racked up 139 hits last season.

All of these stats are worthy of a spot on the Monstars.

P.K. Subban scored 16 goals of his own, tied for second in the league. He had the 9th most points last season with 59 total points.

Like Headman, Subban isn’t just a scorer, though. He totaled 111 hits last season which was his 5th season going over the century mark in hits. He’s an absolute superstar and would be a great addition to the Monstars.

Goalie: Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

This was a tougher decision to make, but what it came down to was Rinne being in the top 10 of wins (3rd with 42), save percentage (7th with .927), goals against average (5th with 2.31), and shutouts (tied for 1st with 8).

Rinne has the ability to steal a game or an entire series. It probably helps that he has one of the best defensive teams playing in front of him, but Pekka Rinne is an absolute stud.

Who Saves the Looney Tunes? 

Wayne Gretzky. Yes, he is 57 years old, but according to this article, he’s still in pretty decent shape.

I’m sure “the Great One” could (still) play in the NHL today. He was the most dominant player in the history of sports — even “greater” than Michael Jordan.

Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Tune Squad would benefit immensely from having Gretzky on their team. Give him a few months to get in decent shape, and he’ll be able to help out “greatly.”

 

Our Space Jam Celebrity Pick: Steve Carell

 

No one would be a better celebrity teammate than Steve Carell. He started playing hockey when he was eight years old, played goalie for Denison University, and still plays in a rec league today. He’s also got the comedy background required for this role as well.

michael-scott-checks-toby

A classic win, win (win!) scenario.

The Game: Matchups

The Monstars The Tune Squad
Connor McDavid Wayne Gretzky
Blake Wheeler Bugs Bunny
Alex Ovechkin Lola Bunny
Victor Hedman Daffy Duck
P.K. Subban Tasmanian Devil
Pekka Rinne Steve Carell

 

Once again, this looks daunting. In a realistic hockey game, the Monstars dominate. But this takes place in Looney Tunes land where anything is possible.

In the early periods, the Monstars go up big. But after the first two periods, the Tune Squad makes a change at goalie.

Enter Steve Carell, who then posts a shutout in the third.

Inspired by Carell standing on his head in net, “The Great One” leads his team back from a 15-goal deficit to win with an epic full ice shot from Gretzky.

Next Post: Most impressive individual accomplishments in Sports History

To add the Looney Tunes twist to it, Gretzky somehow puts some incredible spin on the shot and it knuckles and curves around the entire Monstars team and finds the back of the net, just before time expires.

The Tune Squad narrowly escapes enslavement by aliens once again!

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