We shouldn’t even play the games. There are a lot of players on other teams that could get injured in the process. - Angry ginger Sean Kelso
CALGARY, AB -- Signed, sealed and awaiting delivery.
That’s the championship expectation Team Flames defenseman, general manager, thug and lead ginger Sean Kelso has days in advance of the 2014 Finance Cup.
“We shouldn’t even play the games,” Kelso said two days in advance of the tournament that will pit the Flames against Team Stampeders, Team Hitmen and Team Roughnecks. “There are a lot of players on other teams that could get injured in the process.
“With the team makeup we have, we’re favourites to win this thing. Players like Dave ‘Lay Down The’ Law, Greger Buer, I mean, hockey equipment is named after the guy, Jamie ‘Chips’ Pringle, Melissa Blades ‘Of Steel’. We’re stacked.”
The odds, Kelso professes, are in the favour of Team Flames.
Citing a Vegas line of 2-to-1 to win, Kelso struggled to fathom a scenario in which Team Flames doesn’t hoist the Finance Cup on Friday.
“We’d either have to get either food poisoning at our team breakfast on Friday morning, or…I just can’t see it,” he said. “I can’t see a possible scenario that we don’t win this thing going away.”
The field, Kelso boasts, is weak.
Team Stampeders, the defending Cup champions, are headlined by tournament organizer Geordie McLeod and return the likes of Steve Edgar, Andrew Stachiw, Chris Dunwald, Steve Edgar and goaltender Jamie Seguin.
But the only thing Kelso sees them repeating is their penchant for complaining.
“I know the biggest whining group for sure has been the Stampeders,” he said. “It’s a joke how much they’ve complained. They’ve been the biggest whiners by far, but I’m not worried about them.”
The Stampeders will be without key cog Martin Gelinas, who has jumped ship for Team Roughnecks.
But even with the addition of the 2013 tournament MVP, the Roughnecks remain a pretender, not a contender, in Kelso’s eyes.
“Team Roughnecks with Gelly, we all know Gelly’s history here,” he said. “He’s a closer for the first three rounds but when it comes to the final game, he’s got no touch around the net. Obviously he’d be a good guy for maybe a semifinal finish.”
In fact, the only test Kelso sees lies in the Hitmen.
“Team Hitmen looks pretty good,” Kelso said. “I’ve heard Brittany Gardhouse is outstanding and Jason Johnson has lost about 60 pounds. If Kevin Grosser gets over the flu, they’re going to give us our biggest challenge.”
Kelso won’t hesitate to say that the biggest challenge doesn’t lie in any of the Roughnecks, Stampeders or Hitmen, though.
It lies in the dressing room of Team Flames.
“The big question mark is Mitch Nybo,” Kelso declared. “We’ve instilled a curfew for the four days leading up to Finance Cup. You never know what you’re going to get with Mitch, so we’ll bring a couple extra Twinkies and Ding Dongs in case he’s had a good night of partying the night before and he has the munchies.”
The concern doesn’t stop there for Kelso, though, who singled out a handful of teammates he’ll need to keep under close watch in order to ensure alcohol content doesn’t factor into determining a Cup title.
“There isn’t enough booze in the world to keep Jamie Pringle hydratated, as everyone knows,” Kelso said. “Blades has been known to become remote control throwing drunk in years past and Rob Blanchard is a sneaky drunk. A few times I’ve seen him pull a flask out of his desk. I think he’s one of those quiet drinkers. Sean Lynch, he’s just a booze bag so if we even get him out of AA meetings in time to get him to the games, it’ll be a success for our teams.”
But there’s only one measuring stick to determine whether the 2014 Finance Cup is a success for Team Flames.
“We’re full of confidence and we can’t wait to plan the victory parade,” Kelso said.
Be sure to follow Finance Cup on Twitter: @FinanceCup