Forbes valuations and the stagnant Sens

Photo credit to the Ottawa Citizen

Photo credit to the Ottawa Citizen

For those of us who like to take a system view of league sports but aren’t economists, Forbes’ list of franchise valuations is a vital talking point. Sure, the math is inexact. Sure, it’s a snapshot of a situation in perpetual motion. Sure, sports is a whole lot more fun when we don’t pay as much attention to the dollars and cents. With those caveats aside, I think the list is illuminating. I can’t help but find takeaways with every annual list.

On the surface, this year’s list doesn’t hold too many surprises. The league, as advertised, continues to increase in value, buoyed by regular growth and new television deals. Last year’s list had the Toronto Maple Leafs breaking the billion dollar threshold–the first in the league. This year’s list has three teams with a big B next to their name: Toronto, the New York Rangers, and Montreal. Every team gained value, with a full 23 teams gaining in the double digits and 12 gaining in excess of 20%.

A 20% return…in one year…on any investment is bananas. And thanks for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the owners will have a chance to keep more of that than ever before. So, the picture of league health is a good.

Now, this isn’t exactly cheery news for the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa gained a paltry 5% growth on the year–the same year they announced a 12 year broadcasting deal with TSN. While a 5% return isn’t exactly terrible, it is comparatively unimpressive when you look across the league. Teams in both non-traditional markets, like Nashville (22% increase) and established sports markets where you’d think there wasn’t room for massive new growth, like Dallas (26%), Boston (25%) and Washington (21%) are outperforming Ottawa in terms of value growth by a factor of four to five.

Some of this might be expected. Calgary gained only 7% and Winnipeg 5%, which means smaller markets and a weak Canadian dollar might be the main contributor. But the fact remains that even with its television-deal the needle barely moved on Ottawa’s value.

This with a team that has the lowest payroll in the league, and who plays in an aging building. It you put any stock in Forbes’ valuations (and not everyone, or even most people, should) it casts a bit of a pall over the future of the team, if only because there doesn’t seem to be much incentive for Eugene Melnyk to spend on the team or on the arena.

That means, potentially, continued mediocrity on the ice and a fight with city hall over who pays for a new arena. Not tomorrow, but certainly in the next few years. There’s no new windfall in the making. The owners got the deal they wanted, Bell Media showed Ottawa the money. What’s left, other than winning?

I’m not pitying Melnyk here at all, of course. He bought the team and arena for a song, and has seen almost a four-fold increase on his investment. But if the only way Ottawa is going to see growth in value is by becoming a hot(ter) commodity than it already is, then it’s going to need to win–which means either Paul MacLean and Bryan Murray working miracles with the lowest payroll in the league, or Melnyk being willing to take a loss on player salaries now in the hopes of cashing in bigger later.

Not that spending guarantees you a winner…but not spending gets you a line of Chris Neil, David Legwand, and Milan Michalek, and we’re watching the (painful) results of that every night.

James Day Preview: Ottawa Visits the Detroit Red Wheels


Hi, listen, shut up for a while so I can ask you about a stupid thing:
You know when you write a whole game preview and your computer just inexplicably fucking TURNS OFF and you lose everything you wrote and barely even remember what you were talking about in the first place? I know. Classic event. Story of both our lives. Hype jam? Sure thing!

That’s where I’m at. 

Tonight we see the return of Courteous Lazar to the line up after missing a couple of games with colic (Source: Lazar’s paediatrician). Colin Greening comes out as I am assuming the Sens brass wants him to focus on using that juicy chess club brain of his to rewrite his Wikipedia entry to convincingly show his history of being a first line centre complete with fake citations that can survive being corrected long enough for Craig MacTavish to see it doing some down-low research while he suddenly finds himself on the phone with Bryan Murray. Seriously its gunna be so sick watching Nail Yakupov playing on his off wing on a line with Chris Neil and Derek Grant on the penalty kill. HEYYYYYYYY let me be the first to talk about player usage!

Projected Lines 4 2nite:


Should this game just be called “Prove us wrong David Legwand”? I really hope he can get something going tonight. I feel like duder owes us a bit of an awesome game. My expectations for him going into the season were pretty reasonable but the table’s set here. He’s not going to play with better linemates in Ottawa than those two…at least until he’s centring Turris and Karlsson if the Sens give up an early goal. He’s playing his childhood team and one that he actually led in points when he briefly played for them last season. Give us some of that quality Legwand that I’ve read so much about.
Anyway, I still like Chiasson on that top line. Not as much as I’d like Ryan up there but when you’ve got lethargic forwards like Leggy and up until recently Zibanejad I guess you have to use Ryan to get things going. Whatever keeps Turris – MacArthur together and Hoffman – Lazar – Stone intact. 2 out of 4 aint bad (Actually, sure it is now that I think about it).

What else? I don’t know… Clarke MacArthur has a 17.8 shooting percentage and its nearly December? Peace to the gawd.

Players to watch listen for: Justin Abdelkader
Expect to hear the name Justin Abdelkader a lot tonight. Is it because he is currently 2nd in team scoring for the Wings? Is it because Pavel Datsyuk is sitting out tonight and he’ll be relied on heavily? Nah, more just that Justin Abdelkader is seriously the most annoying sounding name. Ugh, its just this …sea of syllables. Every time we play the Wings its AbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkaderAbdelkader. Enough with the Abdelkader. It’s fine at first but you’ll see after the 2nd intermission you’ll be muting your tv and will do your own commentary while the latest (greatest) Coke Boys mixtape is blasting in the background. What? Oh, like I’m the only one who does that. 

Update: They also have a guy called Tomas Tatar?

Other Update: They play together? Ugh. Can we just get this game over with?

Defense pairings? Only one we need to talk about.
Borowiecki – Karlsson. Borowiecki – Karlsson? I’m no expert coach but I’d have drawn it up a little more like this:

Freebasing Cocaine – Erik Karlsson.

I’d have even settled for:

Marc Methot’s bargaining leverage – Karlsson

The fact that Wiercioch has not been able to stay in the lineup let alone make a significant mark on this team has got me into “Who will we get from Edmonton for this guy?” territory. It sucks. There was a lot of potential for this guy but you when you see Methot miss months of time and Phillips get to play with Karlsson, uhhh, okay? I guess he’s very experienced? Then Phillips gets hurt and they pair him with Borowiecki over a much more experienced, left handed Wiercioch? That’s pretty damning. I dont care if they are both offensive defensemen. Wiercioch should straight up have more of the coach’s trust at this point in his development to fill in with EK over Borowiecki. Hell, even Cowen’s spent good time with the king. Well, not GOOD time but time. At this point I’m basically asking Patrick Wiercioch to bump his trade value for ALL OF OUR SAKES. Should this game just be called “Prove us wrong Patrick Wiercioch”?

Craig Anderson gets the start after a couple of solid performances from Robin Lehner. With four games this week on two sets of back to backs as always the result of the game will depend heavily on the performance of the goaltendi–.

I know, I know what youre thinking. James, first you talk about player usage and now how the goalies have to bail out the team’s tepid defense! I’m going broke having to replace all these burnt computer monitors from my sizzling hot takes.

Enjoy the game. Sorry about all this –

What’s that? I forgot to mention something-something Daniel Alfredsson retirement/emotions/retirementemotions?


James Day Preview: The Ottawa Senators Host the Nash Bridges

pred 2 JDP

Hi. What of it? Who cares.

Let’s get right straight into today’s Hype Jam presented by Crystal Lite:

You exercisers out there, you are the true champeens. KEEP FIT AND HAVE FUN MOTHERFUCKERRRRRRRRS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here’s the good news. The margin of error is huge here. Thanks to the Toronto Mapleaves basically anything north of allowing 9 goals will seem reasonable if Ottawa loses. If they take this baby to overtime? That’s basically like 3.4 spiritual victories right there! United in expectations! Cap Floor Makes Us!
K, here’s the bad news. The team we’re playing scored nine fucking goals in their last game. 8 different scorers too. E’rrybody feelin that fresh biscotti confidence right now. Which is nice? …for them?

Needless to say, the Sens are in for quite a challenging stretch of games playing the Preddss, the Winged Wheel and the Bluesmen twice over the next week or so. Daunting? Yes. Also a chance to make a statement or two? I JUST JINXED IT AND YOU’RE ALL WELCOME.
Let us be the seriousness for a moment. You wouldn’t know it by hanging around on twitter but the Senators have actually won more games than they have lost this season and are holding down a bubble spot in the ToiletEast.
Looking back at the team’s wins thus far, they have pretty much exclusively been beating hurtin’ ass teams (Columbus, Edmonton) and aight teams (Detroit, Minnesota). That alone is basically a better performance than last year but I cant help but notice the only very good team they’ve defeated so far was Tampa Bay in just their second game. When it comes to the high qual lot of opponents the Sens appear to be in the “Good for them for keeping it close and making a game of that loss” (like when they played Chicago) or “Hey came out with a point!” (like when they played Chicago) phase of things. Am I suggesting that they are due to beat a very good team like Nashville? Nah, nothing’s handed to nobody in this league (writing!) but I am hoping for them to surprise in a couple of these upcoming games as I cant help but look compulsively at the standings these days. Sure, it’s still so early in the season that less than 10 points separates Ottawa from the conference crown (not that I remotely expect that) but what I’m fixated on is that currently a mere 4 points could bounce Ottawa out of Wild Card territory and into what hockey historians call “the actual mix.” (Citation not needed as citations are a form of snitching).
Given the parity in the league these days, tiny point differentials in the standings tend to stick around all season, but still I feel like the longer the Sens can keep themselves above 8th place, the more they can get away with their average ways. *eyebrow wiggle, wink, tear*
With games in hand on a lukewarm Detroit, a lumbering Boston and a Toronto team that is currently a Diarrhea Factory that’s on fire and the only thing to put it out are high powered diarrhea hoses, the door is open for Ottawa to maybe move up a spot or two in the standings.
But again, HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY they are about to play a team that scored 9 fucking goals in their last game BUT AT LEAST THEY ARE ONLY IN FIRST PLACE IN THE CENTRAL DIVISION.

Your Starting Goalies: A Tradition of Respect…Continues.
Robinne Lehner gets the start in net. He is still searching for his first win since
1. The birth of his son Sycamore Aloysius Lehner
2. The creation of this assholish thing I came up with. What was I saying? Oh yeah,
3. Lehnny, c’mon, win the fucking game.
That’s simply a tremendous and helpful list right there.

Really though, I wish Lehner got a start on that road trip. I can’t be certain it would have resulted in more W’s and of course Andy has been playing out of his mind but therein lies a bit of an issue for me. You keep playing the hot hand in Anderson like MacLean did one has to assume that he’s eventually going to have a weak game like he did against Calgary. I tend to think that after a while you’re kind of playing Russian roulette with his sharpness. Whatever, I don’t fucking know (THANKS FOR READING) but I was really on board with the true tandem thing and now Lehner has to come in to a pretty huge game after not having played in about 2 weeks and is coming off of a loss himself. Hopefully he doesn’t look it because we really, really really need him at his best tonight (aaaaaaaaadoi).
Something called Carter Hutton starts for the Predators. In playing a goalie I have never heard of and at age 28 has fewer than 50 NHL starts, Nashville is carrying on a tradition of respect given to the Sens for a few years now.  Nashville is playing great and have some serious MFs on defense but I would love for Ottawa’s snipers to take advantage of facing so many backups. I would imagine that part of being the lowest paying team in the league that’s somehow in a playoff spot is capitalizing on teams underestimating you like this. Let’s stress out the Jason LaBarbaras of the world with high clappers and low blocker shots, huh?

Legs Will Be Wands.
Well, a big story going into the game is no doubt Coach Yod’s Psychedelic Rock Lines (available on gatefold special edition tie dye vinyl). The most controversial of all being the Greening – Legwand – Ryan line. A combo that I honestly can’t even picture those players’ friends and relatives even being stoked on.
David Legwand has not been well received so far and with fair reason. Having watched him in 17 games it’s pretty crazy to believe this guy put up 51 points last year.  What’s interesting for me is that he was brought on to insulate the center position and I was wondering how long it would be before MacLean needed to bump down a struggling Zibanejad and promote Leggz (assuming that has to be his nickname) so the 21 year old could regroup. Assuming the lines remain comme ca:
What positives can be taken out of it?
Hmmmmm. *25 minutes later* …..Okay I got a couple of things!
The bizarre feeling second line of Michalek – Zibanejad – Ryan did precious little to warrant MacLean keeping them together, so I suppose were not “losing out” on it’s demise to the shuffle. I do in one sense get that if there’s a player who could spark a second line that as shitty as this one, it’s Ryan rather than Chiasson. In fact, Chiasson has actually demonstrated a pretty impressive affinity for deflections at the goal mouth or at the very least, posing a threatening distraction that goalies must deal with while MacArthur takes a glamorous shot (Of Note: Faces Magazine voted MacArthur’s shot Ottawa’s Sexiest Shot to pose a threatening distraction to on a first date). I don’t mind him staying up with 7 and 16.
*Completely skips over Michalek – Smith – Neil line* 
Listen lady, we’re all sensitive people with so much to give and we have to YOLO every minute of our stupid lives whether it’s in the form of helping your dad move his office over the course of an entire Sunday, buying a new shower curtain or enjoying a hockey game on a Thursday following a week of no hockeys.
To this end, before the season started, if you showed me a piece of paper with “Hoffman – Zibanejad – Stone” on it, I’d probably say, “That’s a pretty exciting piece of paper you have there. Some dynamic things written on it as well. Care for one of these Rolos? Bet you havent had one of these in ages! When I was a kid I used to like putting them in the freezer and– ” And it goes on like this. Anyway, that could be a pretty fun line to watch. I think Zibenejad has the potential to create a lot of space for Stone and Hoff. Hopefully this trio clicks to the point that they get more ice time than 9 -15- 25. A GIRL CAN DREAM AFTER ALL.

I’m not even going to talk about defense. Fuck it. Thanks 4 reading.

Enjoy the game and remember: A win is a win is a anything better than a 9-2 loss.

Is next year a signpost for Ottawa’s financial health?

Yep, we spent all off season talking about a billionaire’s cash flow, and now hockey is finally here and we have something fun to talk about and I’ve decided to write a post about…a billionaire’s cash flow. Give me a break, I’m 63 years old. Nothing excites me like sound fiscal policy.

We talked about this a little bit on our latest podcast, which I know you’ve all listened to already so when you listen to it again now it will be like travelling back in time and watching yourself enjoy it, sort of like how everyone who watches the Dave Chapelle show basically likes to watch someone who’s never seen the Prince sketch watch it for the first time more than they like the sketch itself. What was I talking about?

Right. Ottawa recently attained the ignominious achievement of Lowest Payroll in the League. And by a good couple of million bucks to boot. Look at the teams directly above Ottawa in that list: Calgary and Buffalo, who are both in various stages of rebuilding; Arizona and Nashville, who are in non-traditional markets and have struggled financially for years; Winnipeg, who has the smallest building in the league and even then, the Jets are spending $5MM more in salary than Ottawa is. The average cap space in this league is $3MM, and the median is $2.3MM. Ottawa has $13MM in cap space.

So, yes, we ain’t flush. But what happens next year? With the cap reportedly staying about the same, Ottawa’s has new deals kicking in for Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, and Craig Anderson. (And Mark Borowiecki, though that’s not too pricey.) That’s just over $5MM in raises right there.

Then there are the RFAs: Mike Hoffman (8 points, 7 goals in 13 games) and Mark Stone (9 points in 15 games), who are currently make up one of Ottawa’s most productive lines. Mika Zibanejad, who’s struggling but is penciled in as Ottawa’s second line center until further notice. And Alex Chiasson, who’s looked great (9 points in 13 games). Fair to say that their deals will be all over the place given their different positions in the lineup, relative ages, leverage, Ottawa’s strategy of giving out years in exchange for lower pay, and how the rest of this season plays out. But if we very conservatively estimate that each player doubles his salary on a “prove it” bridge deal of $2MM per, then that’s another $4MM towards the cap.

Then there are the pending UFAs. I’m sure Ottawa would love to keep Methot in the mix. Eric Condra has been a healthy scratch lately and could be on his way out. Assuming Ottawa lets Condra go and re-signs Methot at $4.5MM-$5MM per, that brings Ottawa’s spending to about $10MM above current levels. Or, about league average in terms of spending.

With the cap staying about the same, Ottawa could catapult itself from last in league spending to the middle of the pack without doing anything overly aggressive. No trades. Not getting into the free agent market. Just standing pat with the team it has now.

Which is why next year will be so interesting. The glass half-full perspective here is that this is why Ottawa has been so prudent these last few years. They knew they’d have to spend on all of this young talent eventually. The glass half-empty perspective supposes that we’re about to see an exodus of talent via salary-dumping moves.

Surely it would be no surprise if Ottawa jettisoned Colin Greening and Patrick Wiercioch, players they’ve seemingly been trying to trade since they day they signed them. Zack Smith has also been in rumours, and with Ottawa’s surplus of third line centers would seem like an obvious trade target. Here at WTYKY we continue to pray that Chris Neil finds his way into a San Jose Sharks uniform when that team finally has its full-blown identity crisis and decides that ‘grit wins Cups.’

If those kinds of moves take place, it might be another indication of Ottawa’s financial health, or lack thereof. The TSN television deal will have started to pay at that point. If Ottawa has a strong season and makes the playoffs, ticket sales will be strong. If Ottawa doesn’t spend to at least league average, what does that say about Melnyk’s ability to support this team as its window of contention starts to creak open again?

Kudos to TSN for its classy piece on Bryan Murray

I’m sure many of you have already seen this short piece on Bryan Murray’s battle with stage 4 colon cancer, but if you haven’t, it’s poignant, authentic, and well worth your time.

Nicely done, TSN – especially having the interview conducted by Michael Farber, a cancer survivor, and then throwing to the panel to talk about how they’re all going to get colonoscopies. It makes a difference, especially in bullheaded, traditional cultures like hockey’s, to de-stigmatize these preventative measures.

Finally, you can really tell how well-respected Murray is in hockey circles. Anytime you see someone who’s dedicated half of their life to an endeavor, it deserves a moment’s recognition.

All the best to Bryan Murray from the WTYKY fam.

Scotchcast Episode 8: Emotional Times

BLESS UP! Join Cyber Badboys Varada, Steve and James as they make the tremendous life decision of drinking hard liquor on a Monday night and share their emotions, shitty ideas and MUSINGS about everyone’s favourite team the Ottawa Senators. Topics include their EMOTIONS 20% of the way into the spiritual journey that is their season, betting several trillion dollars on who’s getting the boot from the roster when Marc Methot is released from his underwater prison and other frustratingly delightful tangents along the way. They, as always, take on hardball questions from you the beloved listener. Enjoy!

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Ottawa That 1st Period Against Detro Tho Vs. Minnesota City Wildernesses

First off, Lest We Forget…Tha Pass 

The most Swaggerless team in the West, the Minneapolis Wilds, snooze into town tonight. GET HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPED.
This team is so boring that not even Matt Cooke, a player who gruesomely sidelined our Captain for nearly a year, will be in the lineup to make things interesting.
Mild Rant: Take this moment as a pleasant reminder that you gotta hear both sides. Matt Cooke is a changed man. Oh, that Achilles laceration? Why he was just trying to neutralize the back of Karlsson’s ankle with the blade of his skate LIKE YOU DO in the game of ice hockey. It’s called Old Tyme Hockey. A throw back to the good old days, like the time that Bobby Clarke used the classic “use your stick to break the other team’s best player’s ankle” defense technique.  Good clean fun. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, WHATEVER FUCK!

Just Nudge Me if I Fall Asleep Writing About These Guys (or don’t, plz).
An item of “interest” for tonight is the Wild’s banged up roster. Zack Parise will not be in the lineup for tonight’s tilt after suffering a concussion. He is their best forward. He…is not playing. Matt Cooke is probably serving time in piece of shit jail and is also unavailable. So are some their other defensemen/who cares.
The Wild are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Penguins and are beginning a 3 game road trip. Can Ottawa take advantage of these things? I don’t know. They only seemed to do so against the Syracuse Crunch feat. Curtis McElhinny so far this season…but they also kind of just beat Detroit’s ass so should be interesting. If they can come out of the gate like they did last game I feel good but defenseman Ryan Suter is apparently amazing despite never getting written about and is no one’s favourite player. Oh, and Tomas “Gamblor” Vanek has one goal on the year which is hilarious. The sniper has one goal on the year so far. Let’s not be the #AccomodatingSens and keep him on the perimeter and …uhh…ON the schnide? Is that how you use that? *looks up* Speaking of having trouble in the biscuit department…

Kyle Turris Please Stay Chain Fliffin’ and Don’t Get Snakebitten

Gunna be the flyest at the grade 7/8 dance with that chain! Still needs a turtleneck but I still see you shinin’ my T.

Gotta feel for Turris after that Detroit game. He had what must have been quite a frustrating outing against a particularly sharp Jiminy Howard. First, he had a goal waved off for some reason (WTYKY is sad to report that Mr. Howard has since passed away from his injuries on the play. Please donate to his memorial fund here). Then after, that he springs free on a shorthanded breakaway and all the way from the Intensive Care Unit at the General Hospital, Howard manages to flash the leather and rob him…k..THEN AFTER THAT Turris is closing in on a two on one break (did I mention how awesome the Sens played against Detroit?) and who else but old Selke Trophy McGee, Pavel Datsyuk is the one backchecking on the play and makes an impossible takeaway on a goalmouth tap in. He even had other great chances on top of these! With 2 goals on the year and only one that counts, I really hope he can put one in tonight otherwise it could start getting in his head and no one wants that. He’s playing pretty well (though some more face off wins would be grrrrreaaaaat) and I would hate to see this slump go on. Considering he once went a month without one he’s capable of some Schnide Time but you know what? He’s a Platinum Angel who plays with Perfect Hockey Player Clarke MacArthur and Robby Bryan, I think he can get it done. This game will likely be decided by offense because as Sir Mix A Lot would say, things are lookin’ paltry on the back end.

And they said we were FOOLS for carrying 37 defensemen!
So on a D corps already so fragile that we had to turn to 36 year old Chris Phillips who was on the 3rd pairing last year to play with Erik Karlsson, we are now short one Big Rig. As a result we are going to see Karl play with a rotating cast of every left handed defender on the team. I am reaaaaaaaaally hoping that coming off a good game Wiercioch can actually run with the ball and kind of calm the shuffling down. Why? Oh just because Mark Borowiecki who has only played 29 career games is slated to start with Karlsson and this makes me … how you say…uneasy. Actually you know what? I bet Karlsson plays both left and right tonight and ends up paired with everyone at some point. Play along with Karlsson Pairing Bingo at home or on your Newton™ mobile device! The outcome of this game relies heavily on otherworldly play from Karlsson. So, business as usual, I guess.

Marc Methot Health Status Update: Still need to confirm but hearing from a couple of sources that Methot was seen gingerly doing the Shmoney Dance. Progress!

Craig Anderson gets a well deserved second consecutive start after one of his best performances of the year on Tuesday. Despite being a fan of his I can give him a pretty hard time for his inability to stop the first 10 shots of the game but he rose up to meet an big challenge that night. After facing only 2 shots in the first period (one real and one of the ‘trying to get one on net to pump the stats up in hopes the coach will be less mad at us at intermission’ variety) he stood tall and looked absolutely incredible as the Wings mounted quite the charge for the next two periods. Crazy hard to be thinking about Madagascar for a whole period then suddenly having to face like 30 shots in the next two.
Musings: I think this set goaltending tandem thing has really made Anderson up his game to prove that ain’t nobody gonna hold him down from being no.1. I hope he can stay hot but he’s going to need a lot of help from the forwards as…you know…dat D. Speaking of stepping up…

Finally, I don’t know how long our boy is for this team (thanks untradeable Colin Greening Contract!) but I wanted to give some due to E. Hondra. This is a guy who is coming out of stays in the press box and playing consistently very well. That’s gotta be a pretty tough task. If I were him and I was only getting the odd game after being an steady roster regular for the past couple of seasons I’d be so distracted trying not to fuck up that I’d be playing like…Colin Greening. With Marc Methot’s impending return in mid-2015 (don’t hold me to that bold prediction!)  I worry that Condra’s useful skill set and reasonable contract will make him the odd man out when the Senators are forced to make a move. In the meantime, couldn’t ask for a better guy to insert into the lineup in a pinch. Shouts to you Conrdra.

Anyway, let’s go smoke behind the Quickie before the game.