Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Butterfly Effect: Joe Sakic Edition

The Butterfly Effect: Joe Sakic Edition
Scotty Hockey has an interesting science fiction type story about "what if" Joe Sakic had become a NY Ranger back in 1997. The Rangers had him signed for $21 million over 3 years, but the Avalanche matched the offer sheet, and as Scotty noted: " New York was doomed to seven years without the playoffs." Ouch!

Scotty's take on what would have happened if Joe Sakic had become a Ranger reminded me of the 2004 movie, The Butterfly Effect, which was shown on cable this week. This brutal and depressing movie, starring Ashton Kutcher, shows through flash-backs and flash-forwards, several alternate realities that a young boy experiences based on different actions he did and did not take during his childhood. Sadly, all but one of the many future outcomes turned out really bad. So it was not a big jump to mentally link this movie to the Rangers.

The movie's title is based on the idea of how a "butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado." It has something to do with "chaos theory," which I think is also the code name for the annual MSG management retreat.

The Rangers are a "chaos theory" petri dish. Every personnel decision, draft pick, trade, and contract has the potential to significantly impact the team's future. Thinking about "what if" the Rangers had obtained Joe Sakic makes you wish the butterfly had landed on that 1997 offer sheet and made it just a tiny bit too heavy for the Avalanche to lift.

That alternate reality could not have been any worse than the real reality. Could it? And what past decision kept you from being GM of the Rangers?


Danger, literary note.

"Alternate history --- with worlds where the South won the Civil War, or aliens invaded during the Second World War -- is a popular kind of science fiction." One recent book entitled The Yiddish Policemen's Union is based on an interesting alternate history, where the Jewish homeland, Israel, ended up getting moved to the sparsely populated, Alaskan town of Sitka on the large Baranof Island.

This idea of relocating the displaced European Jews to Alaska briefly floated around before World War 2; check out the Slattery Report. Think about how that would have changed world history - a very big butterfly. If that had come to pass, what a hockey team they would they have had in Sitka, Alaska. And think of how many more Hockey Rabbis we'd have today.

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  • Emily said...

    I would love to read this fiction.

  • jb said...

    I liked Scotty's part about Bourque joining Sakic and Leetch for his last shot a the Cup in 2001.

    "Sakic had 118 regular season points and 26 more in that magical Run For Ray Bourque."

    Could it have been with the Rangers?

    Bourque and Leetch manning the back line. Sweet fantasy.