What's My Line?
by Michael Menser Dell, Editor-in-Chief
Throughout the grand history of the NHL, there have been many memorable lines.
"Has anyone ever told you, you have a beautiful five-hole?"
"Wanna ride my Zamboni?"
"I can get you in to see Pang."
But just as memorable are many of the great line combinations. Perhaps the first titanic trio was
Toronto's "Kid Line" of Harvey "Busher" Jackson, "Gentleman Joe" Primeau, and Charlie "The
Big Bomber" Conacher, who led the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup in 1931-32.
By the end of 1930s, Boston's "Kraut Line" of Milt Schmidt, Bobby Bauer, and Woody Dumart
was terrorizing the NHL, even finishing first, second, and third in the scoring race in 1939-40.
The 1940s saw the rise of Montreal's feared "Punch Line," featuring Maurice Richard, Elmer
Lach, and Toe Blake, and the dynamic debut of Detroit's "Production Line" of Gordie Howe, Sid
Abel, and Ted Lindsay.
Ever since, NHL teams have scrambled to find similar success, hoping to catch lightning in a
bottle with one magical merging of three distinct personalties. But even if a line produces on the
ice, it doesn't reach its full potential until it has a catchy nickname to slap on posters and T-
shirts. It's all about the merchandising.
Will any of today's lines join the ranks of the "Long Island Lighting Company," the "French
Connection," and the "Legion of Doom"? Well, they won't without the proper nickname.
Thankfully, LCS is here to help.
The O.C. - Andy McDonald, Teemu Selanne, and Chris Kunitz: While there is a regional
connection, it's really just a pathetic attempt to get Mischa Barton to show up at home games.
The Donut Line - Glen Metropolit, Marian Hossa, and Slava Kozlov: Nothing in the middle.
Colonel Klink - Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, and Marco Sturm: They really haven't played
together yet this season, but it's only a matter of time. Sturm's presence creates a natural
connection to the old Kraut line, and what says Germany more than Colonel Klink? Ho-o-gan!
His hair should be a logo.
The Apprentices - Chris Drury, Thomas Vanek, and Maxim Afinogenov: Donald Trump loves to
The Candle Line - Daymond Langkow, Jarome Iginla, and Alex Tanguay: After only a few shifts together, they've already been blown out.
Ahab - Eric Staal, Erik Cole, and Ray Whitney: They killed the Whale.
Hekawi - Michal Handzus, Martin Havlat, and Mikhail Holmqvist: Not only does it keep the
"H" theme rolling, the Hekawi were the Indians on F-Troop. When their ancestors were first
settling, they got lost and asked, "Where the heck are we?" That pretty much sums up the feeling
The Crazy Uncles - Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk, and Andrew Brunette: No one ever talks about
The Bolsheviks - Sergei Fedorov, Rick Nash, and Nikolai Zherdev: There's a revolution brewing
The Alamo Line - Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, and Jussi Jokinen: Modano and Lehtinen are
about the only two who can remember the glory days.
Summer's Eve - Robert Lang, Mikael Samuelsson, and Henrik Zetterberg: They're Maltby fresh.
Black Gold - Shawn Horcoff, Joffrey Lupul, and Ryan Smyth: Bubbling Crude. Texas Tea. It's
Gray Bar Hotel - Joe Nieuwendyk, Todd Bertuzzi, and Rostislav Olesz: These guys came out
flying against the Boston Bruins, combining for three goals and six assists. I think the name
represents each of them rather nicely. Gray fits Nieuwendyk because he's old. Bertuzzi should
be in prison. And Olesz will probably only stay on their left wing for a short period of time, no
longer than the traditional hotel stay.
Perfect Strangers - Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Alexander Frolov: Brown serves as Larry
Appleton to his two foreign linemates.
Love is all around
WJM - Pavol Demitra, Marian Gaborik, and Branko Radivojevic: Named for the WJM
newsroom on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Demitra, the wily vet, would be Lou Grant.
Radivojevic would be Murray Slaughter because, well, who gives a damn about Murray? And
Gaborik is Ted Baxter. He's the show.
Les Ivres Singes de Cirque - Saku Koivu, Michael Ryder, and Christopher Higgins: The Drunken
Billy - Jason Arnott, Steve Sullivan, and J.P. Dumont: I always liked the name Billy.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
The Milk Carton Line - Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, and Zach Parise: Elias is missing.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
The Expansion Line - Alexei Yashin, Viktor Kozlov, and Andy Hilbert: If not for expansion,
would these guys even be in the league?
Jagr is looking old
NEW YORK RANGERS
Diff'rent Strokes - Michael Nylander, Jaromir Jagr, and Martin Straka: Without Jagr playing Mr.
Drummond to Nylander and Straka, both would be out on the streets. And Nylander is definitely
Willis, and Straka is Arnold. What's Czech for, "Watchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
The Yankees - Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, and Dany Heatley: The line looks good on
paper, but it doesn't win in the playoffs.
The Phillies - Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne, and Mike Knuble: Much like these guys, the city's
baseball team doesn't have goaltenders, either.
TGINR Line - Steve Reinprecht, Shane Doan, Ladislav Nagy: Thank Goodness It's Not Roenick.
The Beak Line - Sidney Crosby, Colby Armstrong, and Nils Ekman: Just as a real penguin's beak
leads the way, so does Sid the Kid's line in Pittsburgh. And have you seen Colby's nose?
The Oreo Line - Joe Thornton, Jonathan Cheechoo, and Mark Bell: Soft and creamy in the
middle, especially come playoff time.
Set the dials to 1996.
The WABAC Line - Doug Weight, Bill Guerin, and Keith Tkachuk: Named in honor of
Sherman and Mr. Peabody's time travel machine, you gotta go way back to remember when
these guys were good. I know Martin Rucinsky is actually skating with Weight and Guerin, but
even Mr. Peabody can't go back far enough to remember when Rucinsky was good.
EOE Line - Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, and Dmitry Afanasenkov: Equal Opportunity
Employer. They'll try anyone on left wing.
The Mulch Line - Mats Sundin, Kyle Wellwood, and Alexei Ponikarovsky: The Leafs will be
chopped up by the end of the year.
The Mattress Line - Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Markus Naslund: Two twins and a queen.
OZ - Dainius Zubrus, Chris Clark, and Alexander Ovechkin: Ovechkin and Zubrus provide the
name's inspiration, Clark provides the brains, heart, and courage.