Saturday, December 12, 2009

Start calling Stajan "The Big Stage" you jerks

Ok so if my reading of the Maple Leafzeitgeist is correct, this might be Matt Stajan's last season in Toronto. This means I need to ramp up my one man crusade to nickname him Matt "Big Stage" Stajan before it's too late.

Stajan is quietly one of my favourite Leafs. It started with his first game, the last game of the 02/03 in which he scored a breakaway goal against Ottawa. This is how legends are born. He never really "broke out" in the traditional sense and he never really lived up to the Art Ross Trophy he won for me in NHL 2005, but he's turned into a solid, if perhaps not Kessel-linemate worthy player for Toronto. He also has a habit of scoring big goals (like my anecdotal evidence is going to convince you, but he did just score the game winning goal against Washington).

Anyway I don't know how this works. Nicknames should grow organically (in exactly the way that Jonas Gustavsson's did not) but this feels fundamentally too important to leave to chance. Consider this: Every hockey player needs a nickname, and if we don't act, if we do not consciously and literally draw a line in the ice now, then we are dooming future hockey generations to a world where no one goes farther than adding "-er" to players' names and calling it a day. Stajer?

Granted Stajan has a nickname, I guess, but "Ragin' Stajan" is a fundamentally lame nickname. There is nothing "Ragin'" about Stajan, which means at best the nick' is working off a lazy rhyme scheme and a weaksauce sense of irony, and as I hope you'll agree, the business of sports nicknames is no place for irony. Imagine if Brian Sutter had been kidding when he called Doug Gilmour "Killer"?

Blogosphere, my request is simple: make "Big Stage" Stajan a thing. Make it my Christmas miracle.


-This guy suggests Matt Stajan's nickname be Rudyard Kipling. I like his style.

-There's this guy who shows up on HNIC and I don't know his name but he's got this Droopy dog thing going on with his sad eyes and unshaven face and he really bums me out. TV shouldn't make me feel this way, CBC, get rid of him.