Editor’s Note: Inspired by Andrew Sharp’s excellent #HotSportsTakes series at Grantland (R.I.P.), we will occasionally attempt to write the worst Sharks column on the internet. This is satire (or an attempt, at least), and should not be taken seriously.
Today, we try to capitalize on the trend that’s taking the internet by storm: thinkpieces blaming millennials.
The hallmarks of many of our lives, and the victims of the world’s most destructive generation: millennials.
Yes, those millennials have left a trail of ruin that would make Darth Vader and the Terminator blush. Not satisfied with the long list of casualties to their name, millennials have a new target standing in their way, and it should make Hasso Plattner toss and turn in his SAP-branded sheets each night.
Many see the San Jose Sharks’ youth movement as a good thing, that the team will be able to turn the page from the most successful era in franchise history to a new chapter on the organization’s bright future, starring their prosperous prospects.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the kids are not alright.
Look no further than this postseason. When the lights shined brightest on the biggest stage, San Jose’s millennials forgot their lines.
21-year-old Kevin Labanc couldn’t crack the roster. 20-year-old Timo Meier failed to record a postseason point. Labanc, Meier, and their Barracuda buddies blew home ice advantage in the Conference Finals of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Some might turn to Labanc’s regular season scoring, Meier’s possession numbers, or the Barracuda’s deepest run in their history as encouraging.
This generation is willing to excuse away their failures in the same time it takes to receive a “snap.” And I’m not talking about fingers, folks.
But that coddled mindset won’t cut it in professional hockey.
You see, the National Hockey League awards Hart Trophies and Stanley Cups, not participation ribbons and gold stars. Unfortunately, the instant gratification generation is used to getting things immediately.
Patience is no longer a virtue for millennials, but a lost art.
A penny saved is now a penny spent, and millennials only bite off less than they can chew.
But there’s hope, readers, as the boomers once again spring in to save the day. Yesterday, the New York Post noted that the Sharks are interested in acquiring 34-year-old Ilya Kovalchuk, and setting up a reunion with head coach Peter DeBoer. You can’t bet enough on that kind of wisdom and experience, and the Sharks should go all in.
Bring back Joe Thornton.
Re-sign Patrick Marleau.
Add Jaromir Jagr, while you’re at it.
And do everything you can to hang on to Paul Martin and Joel Ward during the Expansion Draft.
These guys are from an era when players were concerned about the score on the rink, not their Klout score. They have master’s degrees from the school of hard knocks, and San Jose’s millennials fell asleep during lecture.
It’s time for tough love, not endless praise. A slice of humble pie, not the whole entitlement soufflé. A blast from the past will teach the millennial Sharks some valuable lessons, and maybe then the organization will be ready to go back to the future.
But you can’t leave the millennials to their own devices.
After all, they’ll just turn on their own devices.