Happy Birthday To You…
This is a new feature on NWSB and its purpose is to let you know, if you are the girlfriend of the player or just a stalker, what you can get him for his birthday.
We’ll have a column up for a specific player the week of his birthday because we all know leaving birthday presents until the last minute is commonplace in today’s busy society.
Our first honoured player is the newly-acquired defenseman from Ile-Bizard, Québec, Marc-André Gragnani.
Marc-André turns 25 this coming Sunday, March 11th. His hometown of Ile-Bizard is about a 30 minute drive from Montréal, so it’s more than likely he grew up a Habs fan.
Before entering the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres, he played in the QMJHL for the P.E.I. Rocket. He was drafted in 2005; 87th Overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
So without further ado (and I’ve put a lot of thought into this), here are the top 5 things you should get Marc-André Gragnani for his 25th birthday.
A Pirate Party
Over his short career both in junior and pro, Gragnani has played for four different teams not counting the Canucks.
Whether you call it fate or coincidence, three of those pre-Canucks teams are very pirate related; and I don’t mean the downloading music kind.
He played four years for the P.E.I. Rocket; a maritime team based in a location perfect for a pirate outpost. As he became more experienced in the QMJHL, he plundered more and more booty in the form of goals each year (2, 10, 16, 22).
Along come the Sabres. Most hockey fans will probably know what the vintage Buffalo Sabres logo is or just what the word sabre means. A sabre is a type of sword and the primary weapon of a pirate is the sword.
Finally, the AHL Portland Pirates. Do I really have to explain this one?
The point is if you’re bent on giving Marc-Andre the best surprise paaarrrrrty ever, make it a one-eyed one.
The consensus over the last few days with regards to Gragnani’s play in his first few games in blue and green has been better than expected.
We’ve seen the guy play deep on the powerplay while remaining responsible on the blueline and that’s a really good thing.
First of all, he hasn’t scored in 32 games. The last time he tallied was November 12th at Boston in a 6-2 loss. Before that, he last scored one goal during the 2011 Playoffs.
For Luongod’s sake, maybe a goalie sometime this week could just spot him one.
Dinner Out with Coach Vee
The 6’2”, 201lb defenceman spent two years under Vigneault with the Rocket on P.E.I. With all the hullabaloo surrounding the closure of the trade deadline and Hodgson being shipped out, I highly doubt they have had a chance to reconnect.
So why not provide a gift card to a nice restaurant in Vancouver? Italian restaurants are off bounds because AV would just be reminded of Aaron Rome.
I suggest Seasons in the Park at Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s extremely romantic and the two can share a dish of warm nuts pre-meal. That fits perfectly because it’s exactly how I feel about the trade as a whole.
Seasons in the Park is also fitting because that’s precisely what we hope they can do is spend seasons and seasons in the park, albeit another one (Stanley) with Lord Stanley’s mug.
Trade for Vince
Obviously the trade deadline is over and the Canucks already have their saviour Zack ‘Jesus’ Kassian, but while out for said dinner, AV breaks the news to Marc-André.
Alain whispers to Marc-André who’s looking away awkwardly.
“Pssst, Marc, over here. I got you something.”
“Oh hey, what’s up? What do you want now? Oh, you got me something? You shouldn’t have Viggy; really!”
“It’s okay, it’s okay! I’m going to convince Gilly Gilly to trade for your hometown ami Vincent Lecavalier. First, he’ll trade back for Cody Hodgson so I can humiliate him some more and have him traded to Tampa with Schneidz.”
“Ooooh yay. Thanks Alain. You’re the best; even though that is kind of harsh.”
Honey Badgers, Grizzlies and….Snakes?
Giving a pet as a gift can either be the best or worst thing you can do. It can definitely backfire but this one for Marc-André is a sure-fire thing.
While this animal can typically be found in any province or place in the world, Ile-Bizard is known for a large garter snake population.
While MAG-5 has probably already been given an animal name by his team-mates, one that would surely fit him is snake. It’s very representative of the way he sneakily makes his way down behind the net on the PP.
Earlier we discussed how the Snake or MAG-5 has been snake-bitten in terms of scoring goals. For a d-man who’s billed as offensively minded, you do need to chip in a goal every once in a while and certainly more than once every 32 games.
If Gragnani is the snake, he can’t be snake-bitten! Am I right? Ah thank you!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARC-ANDRE! HERE’S TO ANOTHER GREAT 25 YEARS AND MANY, MANY MORE!
Check out my buddy Richard Hodges’ Canucks Player Intro for who else? MARC-ANDRÉ GRAGNANI