“Um…huh..huh…hi,” started Rick Nash sheepishly to a beautiful blonde lady seated at the corner by the bar area of Fitzy’s, a new upscale nightclub in the Philadelphia suburb of Cherry Hill.
“Who are you?” stammered the perplexed blonde.
“I’m…Rick Nash…I used to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets…now I’m here in Philadelphia to help the Flyers.” Nash tried his best to cover his nervousness, but it failed.
“…and I’m supposed to be impressed, right?”
“I am one of the best players in the world.”
The blonde responded with a disbelieving silence.
“I’m…I’m new in town…would you like to escort me around?”
“Buzz off.” The blonde got off of her seat and walked pompously away, with Nash replaying the whole incident inside his head. Just as the lady got to the door there was Sidney Crosby, the star for the Philadelphia Flyers, who grabbed her, tilted her back and made out with her in one quick move.
“Thank you for your number,” said Crosby as he waved goodbye to the lady that was so captivated by his presence. Crosby then walked over to Nash, putting his arm around the big winger.
“That was…that was…that was awesome,” stuttered Nash, awed by the presence of Crosby. “I really could learn from you.”
Crosby could only shake his head. “You’re doing it all wrong. That was an epic fail right from the start.”
“I knew I shouldn’t have used ‘escort’…that put her off,” said Nash, with his head down.
“Dude…it’s got nothing to do with what you say but how you say it. You could have the most incredible line in the world, but if you don’t believe in it or yourself, you will get nowhere with women.”
“It’s all about confidence. Be yourself. You gotta think that the women are out there to impress you, not the other way around. I mean, you’re Rick Nash. You’re not a pathetic loser. You have no reason to kiss up to these tramps.”
Just then a woman walked by that caught Crosby’s eye. Crosby couldn’t help but grope her breast as she walked by.
“Shove it, loser,” said the lady defiantly. “I have more class than you.”
“Just you wait, you’ll be going for my hockey stick later,” said Crosby, without even flinching. The woman walked away with an uppity huff.
“Sidney…that’s not even legal,” said a shocked Nash.
“Rick,” started Crosby, slapping his hand on his shoulder. “I’m Sidney Crosby. I write the laws in this place.”
Nash disregarded that statement and went on to something else. “Aren’t we supposed to be meeting someone tonight?”
“Yeah…Kyle Stiffler or something.”
Nash let out an annoyed sigh. “Kevin Stills…”
“Whatever. He’ll just be some young punk that thinks he can hang with us. Then we’ll see him on the ice and he’ll be able to do squat.”
“He looked good at the academy.”
“So did Alexandre Daigle.” Nash then conceded the point.
Ten minutes later, Kevin Stills walked into the bar. Or, more appropriately, stumbled.
“Howya doin’, guys?” said Stills gregariously to Nash and Crosby, his breath reeking of alcohol.
Nash responded disapprovingly. “Kevin…you’re supposed to take this job seriously.”
“Pfft…the season hasn’t started yet,” replided Stills. “I got time to have some fun.”
“Kevin, this job is a 365 day job. There are no breaks.”
Stills repeated Nash’s comment with a mocking tone.
“That’s it you little puke!” Nash was about to dive for Stills before Crosby intervened.
“Rick…chillax…maybe Kent is on to something,” said Crosby.
“My name’s Kevin…can’t you get it right?”
“Whatever Kyle.” Stills then proceeded to start away from the pair angrily before Nash pulled him back.
“Kevin…Kevin…we’re sorry…we didn’t start off on the right foot. Can we try this again?”
“OK,” replied Stills, agreeing reluctantly.
“Good. We now have to prepare for the upcoming season.”
“Prepare? Let me show you how I prepare!” Stills then hollered at the bar. “Hey, bartender, get me a Corona!” Nash and Crosby looked at each other with a disbelieving look on their faces, but soon dismissed the incident concluding there are more important things to do.
Eventually the trio got to talking over a few drinks and did actually exchange some ideas for the upcoming season. The Flyers, long one of the East Cup’s lesser teams, made noises in the offseason about joining the East Cup's elite despite only posting four wins last season. They made good on their intentions, signing Nash and Stills in the offseason and putting the three of them together. It would be hoped that the three of them could make music on the ice like their rock star counterparts did on the stage.
“We just have to beat those stupid Penguins,” said Crosby, referring to Pennsylvania’s other team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Like the Flyers, Pittsburgh are also perennial East Cup doormats, and last year they won a moral victory by beating the Flyers on the final day of the season to finish ahead of Philadelphia with 11 wins on the season. Finishing ahead of Philadelphia is a sore spot for Crosby, who, like the city he plays for, has an epic disdain of the Penguins.
“I mean, those Penguins,” continued Crosby emphatically, “half of their fans are women who go only because they think Ryan Malone is hot…and Marc-Andre Fleury offered to have me live with him to get me to join the team. I mean, really? What superstar would go for that? I’m not a kid, I’m an adult.”
Crosby then proceeded to grab a drunk girl as she was passing by and place her on his lap before continuing the discussion about the upcoming season.
“Dude, you’re unreal,” said Stills, as the lady started giving Crosby an impromptu lap dance. Crosby just grinned, then noticed a Penguin tattoo on the lady’s lower back.
“Get off me you tramp!” said Crosby, shoving the bemused woman off his lap. “No Penguins allowed!”
“You…you can sit with me…” quivered Nash. Crosby then gave him a death stare, to which Nash responded by slumping his head and mouthing “sorry” as the lady walked away.
Moments later, the Penguins’ Ryan Malone walked into the bar and noticed Crosby immediately.
“Hey look!” exclaimed Malone, “it’s Cindy Crysby!”
Crosby shook his head and blew him off, knowing getting into a fight in the bar would be meaningless. However, Stills did take exception and walked right up to Malone’s face.
“Back off you,” said Stills menacingly. “You don’t talk about my friends like that.”
“…and who are YOU?” replied Malone condescendingly.
“I’m Kevin Stills, their new linemate; and I don’t let anyone walk all over my teammates. Let alone a scumbag like you.”
Malone was galvanized and called Stills on his bluff. “You think I’m a scumbag, eh? What are you going to do about it?”
Stills then sent a roundhouse fist to Malone’s nose.
“Why you little runt!” Malone punched back, and the two started a spirited brawl. As the brawl progressed, the bigger Stills wound up getting the better of Malone, but despite overpowering and sitting on top of Malone, Stills was still pounding his head.
At this point, both Crosby and Nash were out of their seats, Crosby to cheer on Stills. Nash, however, was concerned about the police getting involved and the subsequent ramifications of that, and decided to wait for the perfect moment to pull the two apart. He then peeled the still seething Stills off of Malone when Malone was on the ground.
“This is better settled on the ice,” stammered Nash. He then grabbed Malone by the scruff of his neck and slammed him against the wall.
“This isn’t over. Get out of here before I take further action.” Malone dusted himself off, before security escorted him out of the bar.
“You know, I would have had him,” said Stills.
“I know,” replied Nash, “but we have to be smart about things. We’re professionals. We can’t get into random fights. Malone likes to stir up trouble just so you can get into trouble, so we have to learn to settle our fights at the right venue- on the ice. This place isn’t the place to settle our scores.”
“I will say this much,” said Crosby, putting his hand on Stills’ shoulder. “I like your moxie. Welcome to the Flyers.” Crosby and Nash then gave Stills a hearty handshake, and the three of them knew from this point on they were inseparable.