In his hand, Stajan holds a tall glass of milskey. He drinks in deep the concoction of pure machismo that Darryl Sutter, the man who brought him into this city of broken dreams, had showed him how to make. It puts hair on your chest, he could hear echo from somewhere in his memory. It puts hair on your chest. It makes you a man.
Stajan hurls the glass across the room. It doesn't fucking work! he wants to scream, but he can't. His wife is upstairs, and he dares not disturb the sleep of the font of his tranquility. He finds he is as he has always been since arriving in this city: frustrated.
The flickering images on his TV screen briefly rip Stajan away from his own personalized hell, and then, most cruelly, hurl him back down into the abyss. Stajan's gaze had fallen on the TV as it was replaying highlights from the Calgary Flames pre-season. He looks to see his own image on the screen, but, like a modern day Ulysses, he will continue to search. He sees Roman Horak.
It's not fair! This is the only thought that races around the now frenzied mind of Matt Stajan. It's not right, and it's not equitable. It. Is. Not. Fair. And to Matt Stajan, this fact is an obvious one, should be obvious to everyone. He is the one with a multi-year contract. He is the former Maple Leaf centre. He is Matt Stajan. Matts Sundin knows his name, not Roman Horak's.
To Matt Stajan, in that moment, it became crystal clear. Like the fog lifting from a Potemkin village, or the lifting of a veil of obfuscation, Stajan has an understanding. It's not his fault he has fallen out of favour. How could it be? It's the systems fault. Stajan needs to fight the power; not just for him, but for all hockey players who have been victimized by the merciless monster that stomps across the earth under the moniker of Expectation.
A flip of the television screen reveals inspiration. He sees the children in New York playing, and he is hopeful; a template has been provided for him, provided by the fates themselves it would seem, like mana falling down to the desert dwelling Hebrews. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy The Saddledome.
For the first time in a long time, Matt Stajan smiles. And then he begins to scribble.
Proposed list of demands for the Occupy The Saddledome Movement.
Demand One: Free & Equitable Ice Time
The practice of allocating ice time based on performance is inherently racist, and is meant to divide the team along class lines. This process needs to end, and be replaced with one where all the players, regardless of such dehumanizing capitalist concepts like 'skill', 'ability', and 'talent', are allotted the same, universal amount of ice time. Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
Demand Two: No Checking, Hitting, Or Fighting Of Any Kind
True brothers in the Players Association should not be forced into conflict by their coaching class overlords. Forcing comrades to hit and fight each other, to invade and claim territory on the ice that is by rights the oppositions, is an inhumane abuse of power on behalf of the coaches that kills the dignity and class of the human spirit. Furthermore, it may be illegal, or will be, once the revolution occurs. Peace! Land! Bread!
Demand Three: End Of The Depth Chart
Segregating players, in writing, on a board, in a locker room, where all can see, is something that is hard to imagine occurs in 2011, but in point of fact such naked discrimination is allowed to occur. While there has been nary a peep about such a blatant attempt by the coaching class to sow discord and disunity in the players society by the observers, that does not change the facts on the ground about what is happening. The coaching class's attempts to follow on Caesars military strategies, divide and conquer, serves no purpose other than to alienate the player brothers from their unity of purpose. No war but class war!
Demand Four: Election Of Coaches
The owner class continually insults the player-comrades by appointing, without consultation, the coach overlords who heap abuse after abuse on the backs of the player-comrades. They do so because their constituency is the owner class, and not the working class. All power to the Soviets!
Demand Five: Open Ballots For The Election Of Team Captains And Assistants
The divisive practice of the coach class choosing who will represent the player-comrades must end, and be replaced with an open ballot system. The player-comrades will choose amongst themselves who will represent them. Power to the people!
Demand Six: Do Away With Statistic Tracking Agencies
A tool of the coaching class, these agencies only seek to divide and cement the fake class based divisions our oppressors have put us in. Without these agencies, the 'Depth Chart' itself would find itself in mortal danger, brother. Ni dieu, Ni maitre!
Demand Seven: End Of Position Based Locker Allocation
'Ownership' over a particular locker stall, based on time played with the franchise, or position played, is a hold over from when men walked this earth in chains at the behest of a master. No more. The revolution will not be over until we abolish private locker ownership! Workers of the world, unite!
A satisfied Matt Stajan exhales. He has a good start; Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live. The revolution is never over, and neither is the work of the revolutionary.
But for know, it is time for bed.
Furthermore, I think