When the Phoenix Coyotes started off the season, the comparisons to Major League were so obvious that everyone (myself included) beat the joke to death. Hell, Fast forward to March and Coyotes are hunting home ice advantage in the playoffs, and suuddenly, it's more of art-imitates-life than a joke.
(Though I really hope that they don't have a lifesize cutout of Jerry Moyes in a bikini -- "Every time we win, we peel a square.")
With that in mind, now more than ever is the appropriate time to cast Major League 4: Desert Dogs (yes, there was a third movie -- Major League: Back to the Minors starring Scott Bakula post-Quantum Leap, pre-Enterprise) with the Phoenix Coyotes. Let's meet the stars of this story:
-Shane Doan as the down-on-his-luck veteran looking for his big break, previously seen as Jake Taylor (no, not the Jake Taylor in Edmonton, the one played byTom Berenger). Sequels have to have a twist, of course, and in this incarnation, this character didn't wake up in the Mexican league; instead, he started off in an even more exotic place: Winnipeg.
-Ilya Bryzgalov as the wacky foreigner that no one understands, previously seen as Pedro Ceranno (Dennis Haysbert AKA the Allstate guy). Since his days in Anaheim, everyone understood that Bryz was a quirky, weird dude. Sure, he may not be into voodoo, but the guy's Russian -- instant ethnic mis-match comedy.
-Robert Lang as the smug veteran that no one wants, previously seen as Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernson). Ok, Lang may not be as arrogant as Dorn, but he's still rockin' the fashion mullet. Plus, he couldn't get an NHL gig before the Yotes came calling.
-Wojtek "Gretzky" Wolski as the wacky newcomer with the name that rhymes with a superstar, previously seen as Willie "Mays" Hays (Wesley Snipes). This, of course, leads to the requisite scene where Tippett tells Wolski "You may pass like Gretzky but you skate like $&!#"
-And last, but certainly not least, Lee Stempniak as the hotshot outsider who proves the naysayers wrong, previously seen as Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen). Instead of playing in the California penal league, though, Stempniak was playing in the purgatory known as the Toronto Maple Leafs. No word if Tippett gave Stempniak glasses upon arrival.
Now remember that in Major League, the hard-luck Cleveland Indians only won the AL pennant race. In Major League 2, they wound up winning the ALCS to go to the World Series. And in the third movie, um...well, it has the guy from Quantum Leap in it. (Oh boy!)
This, of course, means that the Coyotes will win the first round this season, win the Conference Final next season, then be replaced by Scott Bakula, currently seen in Men Of A Certain Age.