The Official Grantland NHL Awards Drinking Game

NHL trophiesThere comes a time each year when the best and worst of the NHL is on display, from its quirky personalities to its self-aware mockery to its godawful taste in music. And tonight is that night: Get excited for the NHL Awards, live from Las Vegas! (The players certainly are: Earlier this week, Henrik Lundqvist “hosted” a party at one nightclub that featured both incredibly phallic glow sticks and Paul Bissonnette dancing on a raised platform, and I spotted several other NHLers still going strong in the Wynn casino when I finally went to bed at 3 a.m., hundreds of dollars poorer and having been utterly humiliated by my dice-throwing skills.)

It’s hard to accurately sum up such a simultaneously glorious and painful event as the NHL Awards, though in the coming days I will most certainly try, but I think this actual paragraph from an official league press release nicely encapsulates the absurdity:

Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Farewell, My Queen”) attending the Awards with Joshua Jackson, and the Flyers’ Claude Giroux, who, along with [Pekka] Rinne, is a finalist in the EA SPORTS NHL® 13 Cover Vote, are also expected to walk the red carpet.

LOL, WHAT? I seriously could not love the NHL more.

In order to entice you to watch the damn thing, here’s a drinking game to enhance your viewing experience. Feel free to suggest additional categories in the comments!

Take One Sip Any/Every Time …

  • Someone makes a wink-wink-nudge-nudge reference to the L.A. Kings doing unspeakable things with/to the Stanley Cup.
  • Geno Malkin’s parents are shown or discussed.
  • Pierre McGuire close-talks a player and/or tells him to “just go have fun out there.”
  • Pekka Rinne is referred to as “the 6-foot-5 Pekka Rinne.”
  • The camera lingers on Lundqvist. (Just kidding — if you do this you’ll be dead.)
  • Kevin Smith feels the need to remind us that he is the movie industry’s biggest hockey fan.
  • There is an awkward half-hug onstage.
  • Someone is wearing a taupe suit.
  • Ron Paul MacLean’s majestic mustache is shown.

Take Three Sips Any/Every Time …

  • Someone hits you over the head with the fact that Nickelback is from Canada and/or calls the band “chart-topping.”
  • The camera cuts to a John Tortorella reaction shot. (Bonus sip if he looks like he’s just witnessed a terrible penalty by Michael Del Zotto.)
  • A kid onstage is wearing an incorrectly spelled jersey honoring an award winner.
  • Someone makes an uncomfortable joke about collective bargaining or Don Fehr.
  • Someone makes an uncomfortable joke about Tim Thomas.

Take Five Sips Any/Every Time …

  • The person you’re watching with remarks that Brian Elliott kinda looks like the guy from Office Space.
  • Mark Messier cries.
  • Jeremy Roenick wanders into the frame.
  • A scorned Jay Mohr appears, hammered and rambling something about Billy Crystal.
  • Someone brings up the fact that Gary Bettman didn’t get booed in L.A. as proof that no one there is a “true” hockey fan — ZING!
  • There’s a video montage for the Best GM award that could double as B-roll footage in a Daily Show feature about spies (lots of surreptitious glances, shady phone conversations, and cigars).
  • Claude Giroux chirps the winners from his seat.

Finish Your Drink Any/Every Time …

  • Someone trips.
  • A sauced-up Jonathan Quick hollers, “How about fuckin’ Vegas!”
  • A hair falls out of place on Erik Karlsson’s head and a harried stylist rushes in to provide emergency shellac.
  • Max Pacioretty wins the Masterton and the camera cuts to Zdeno Chara.
  • Vince Vaughn says “Vegas, baby, Vegas!!” (that’s totally his Freebird) and/or references making 99′s head bleed.
  • A Real Housewife completely butchers a star’s name. Sure, Martin St. Louis isn’t up for any awards this year, and the Real Housewives aren’t scheduled to present, but honestly, this is the NHL Awards. Very little would surprise me.

Filed Under: Awards, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, Las Vegas, NHL, Stanley Cup

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Katie Baker is a staff writer at Grantland.

Archive @ katiebakes