Tuesday, December 22, 2009


MONTREAL — In recent months, the National Hockey League has begun to investigate charges that some members of the NHL have used performance-enhancing hugs before and during games.

"These people have no shame," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday. "Right before a big game, some of these guys will shoot-up on love, sometimes from other players, but other times even from a family member. Shockingly, some players have even been known to exchange hugs during the game itself."

Some hockey insiders have long attested to widespread hug use among players. However, the full scope of the problem was not understood until late October, when McGill University performed a study which showed huge spikes in self-respect, and "warm, fuzzy" feelings.


After reviewing the study, the NHL began an internal investigation and a full-out review of hug-use policies.

"The problem we're seeing is that hug users have a distinct advantage over the hug-free due to being pumped up with confidence," Bettman said. "In our game, endurance and skill are key factors. Hugs serve to artificially heighten a players stamina. Put simply, it's unethical."

The Canadiens in particular have been singled out primarily due to the actions of F George Laraque after he admitted to frequent hug use.

"When people hug me, it makes me feel like I'm the best and that they love me and I can win," Big George told your humble reporter. "I'm a winner!"

Laraque confirmed McGill's study wherein the results seem to indicate that hugs are most often taken during games right after a goal has been scored; a revelation that has shocked the hockey world. In today's NHL, this happens more frequently than ever before.

For Laraque, post-goal hug have become fewer and further between. His urges are heightened each time he is on the ice for an opposing team's goal and is forced to watch the euphoria ensue as the enemy mercilessly hugs each other in front of him; an event that happens all to regularly these days.

Laraque's addiction rages so deeply, that he has been known to join an opposing team after a goal against just for a taste of that sweet juice that is the warm embrace.

In the search for hug users, the NHL has gone over literally hundreds of hours of tape, hoping to catch huggers in the act. They are also relying on testimony from hug users such as Laraque.

"George really stood his ground at first, saying he didn't want to give up his friends due to some kind of 'code'," Bettman said. "That all changed when we promised him a Happy Meal."

More updates as events warrant.

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