Love Letters from Lovesick NHL Enforcers

October 29, 2012

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field...

The NHL lockout has had a powerful and unexpected effect across the land. People are playing Angry Birds again and searching for long-lost high school crushes online. Those who aren’t even watching the US Presidential debates are Tweeting about it as if it was an argument over who the toughest guy in the NHL was. Wasted energy knows no extinction, and the energy we would waste on hockey, we waste on something else. (Season 1 of Girls now under the belt!)

Obviously, the lockout’s impact stretches beyond just the fans and the bars in which they live, but on the players, too. Hoping to stay in shape and earn a paycheck, many are heading off to play in the European leagues, particularly the enforcers, who have a small window of opportunity to make money in their career and face legal difficulties keeping in shape by beating up bouncers in strip clubs back in their home towns. And so, with an influx of privileged, athletic men washing over Europe, romance, not unlike in wartime, has blossomed and what follows are love letters written by NHL enforcers playing in Europe to their new mistresses.

From: Colton Orr
Your hair is blonder than America and your breath is unusual. I like that. It’s kind of new car smell mixed with Dr. Pepper. Baby, I need you to know that when I’m hitting people out on the ice, I’m hitting them for you, not my wife. For you, Ludmila, I would beat a thousand Gordie Howes to a pulp. You are my Russian chestnut.

From: Shawn Thornton
Maya, my magic mushroom,
I like the paintings you showed me in that museum with the weird name. They were cool. I mean, they didn’t really look like anything, but they felt like something. I love it when you stick your tongue in my ear and that you smoke at breakfast. It’s edgy. You’re like somebody, maybe Milla Jovovich, that I’d see in a movie and I dig that.

From: Brian McGrattan
Ana Banana,
I never thought I’d fall in love with anybody other than my wife, but when you texted me those pictures of yourself doing yoga the other night, I knew that I was a changed man. You have a body that would put a young Jessica Simpson to shame. I love your pigtails and your funny accent and that you’re hot for my tattoos. I love how much you can drink and how you never seem to get cold at the rink. I love your weird sneakers and how much you adore potatoes. One day I want to take you back to Nashville so we can take a leisurely ride on the General Jackson Showboat, our hands trailing in the deep, warm water beneath us.

From: George Parros
My Maria,
After you left in the morning I put on that shirt of mine you had been wearing. Intoxicated with your redolence I walk the ruined streets of this city breathing you in. You are everywhere, my love, you are within me and swirling all around me at the same time. You are the punch I never thought I would land. You are my destiny. You are the reason that the lockout took place, so that fate would lead me to you. And please, don’t worry about Andrei, I will take care of him. He’s a pussy. You’re safe with me, baby, you’re safe with me. As Pablo Neruda said, “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

From: Trevor Gillies
Iliana, my Seahorse,
You’ve awoken a part of me that I never knew existed. For years I thought I was little more than a brute, a savage beast whose sole purpose on the planet was to subdue and humiliate other men, but Iliana, you’ve shown me that I am more than that. I am a creative. Pottery classes with you have been sexy and inspiring, a kind of blossoming. It’s like the feeling I get after I punch the lights out of some guy and the crowd is going nuts and all my teammates are banging their sticks on the boards and going insane, and then I raise up my bloody fists as the medics attend to the guy I knocked-out, yeah, that’s the feeling you give to me. Wish to hell I wasn’t so married. If I divorced she’d get half of everything and then I’d be SCREWED.

From: Matt Kassian:
At first I thought your name was all crazy and complicated and I was all like, “Dude, you better back up here,” but then I discovered that you’re all crazy and complicated and so it’s, like, perfect. You are so hot when you throw coffee cups against the wall when your blood sugar is low, and it’s righteous that you’re so into sex tapes. You look awesome in them, easily the hottest chick I’ve ever been with! The sex I have with you is like from another goddamn planet. You really know how to take my mind off hockey, and the fact that Bjork is your aunt is way cool. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I’m completely into you and the elephant masks.

Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field. He won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest and dislikes Cuba. He works as a creative writer, copywriter, blogger and “journalist” and as he is modest, he feels awkward talking about his genius, which he recently found out does not translate into IQ tests. His work has appeared in the Toronto Standard, Slant Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and