A weird series of coincidences has lead to Dan Hamhuis' return to Nashville being tonight, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. I mulled during the regular season how Nashville should receive Dan. While he was, by all accounts, a classy guy, and a good defenseman, Hammer made a certain bridge-burning joke upon his arrival to Vancouver:
Hamhuis slipped in a jab at Nashville, noting that the attendance at the Summer Summit was awfully similar to the attendance at a Predators home game in November.
Hamhuis' defenders will say that he was just trying to warm up to new fans. That's fine--but reifying Canadian stereotypes about hockey in the American South is not the way to do it. Rip on the former team, the old teammate, or the previous coach, but you shouldn't go after the fans, especially the fans in Nashville, who are nothing but supportive. It's pointless --when you mock the dedication of a fanbase, the only people you insult are the diehards who always showed up, not the bandwagoners, who failed to fill up the arena.
Defenders also cite his community service record. And that's great, but it's not a free pass to mouth off. Let's keep separate issues separate--we're not indicting Hamhuis' character, or trying him in a court of law. We're letting him know the consequences of insulting the loudest barn in the NHL.
Maybe you think I'm being "super sensitive," but I didn't take his comment personally or find it offensive. It's all in good fun; and it's in good fun that I'll boo him.
So I say let him have it. But how to do it? I'm open to ideas. Here are some obvious ones:
- Booing every time he has the puck--simple and effective, but will leave broadcasting crews confused as to why.
- A variant on MSG's "Can you hear us?"--again, will leave more people confused than anything
- "Hamhuis is a sissy"--a classic, but maybe too generic.
- "Haaaaaaaaammmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhuuuuuuuiiiiis"--Usually reserved for goalies.
Who's got a better idea? I'm looking for simple and to the point.