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Really, they couldn't make this stuff up

September 19, 2006|Mike Penner | Times Staff Writer

A new movie in Canadian theaters deals with a plot to kill off key figures in a professional hockey league. No, it isn't a documentary about the NHL's obliterated 2004-05 season.

"Bon Cop, Bad Cop" is a work of fiction, though some of its characters are clearly based on real-life NHL owners and officials. The movie focuses on a serial killer who has targeted some of the biggest names in professional hockey, among them:

* Peter Picklington, team owner who made the outlandish move of selling a hockey legend to a team in the United States. Real-life inspiration: Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington, who traded Wayne Gretzky to the Kings in 1988.

* Fred Grossbut, team owner who outraged all of Quebec by moving his club, named the Fleur-de-Lis, to Colorado. Real-life inspiration: Former Quebec Nordiques owner Marcel Aubut, who moved his team to Denver in 1995.

* Harry Buttman, league commissioner who is short of size and long on annoying personality, played in the movie by a dwarf. Real-life inspiration: Take a guess.

According to Adam Procteau of the Hockey News, the NHL is not mentioned in the movie for "lawyerly, litigationy reasons."

Writes Procteau: "Given the plot, it's completely understandable why the league would've been averse to the idea of adding their brand to the movie.... Still, at a time when NASCAR was savvy enough to lampoon itself [in 'Talladega Nights'], why shouldn't the NHL explore every opportunity to lodge its logo in the public eye?" One possible reason: Nobody lampoons the NHL better than the NHL itself.

Carry that weight

The U.S. Ryder Cup team arrived in Ireland on Monday, about three hours later than originally scheduled.

Reason given for the delay: The chartered plane was carrying too much baggage.

(Supply your own punch line here.)

Tiger Woods arrived separately. Having already been in England, where he played, briefly, in last week's World Match Play Championship, he stayed in London over the weekend. On Sunday, Woods attended the Chelsea-Liverpool soccer game, proving he knows something when it comes to big match play.

Bad omen for the U.S.: Liverpool, the visiting team, lost, 1-0.

Trivia time

How many Canadian teams have won the Stanley Cup during Gary Bettman's tenure as NHL commissioner?

Waiter, there's a

bug in my soup

According to the English newspaper the Daily Mail, a hidden listening device was recently found in the favorite restaurant of Chelsea's coach, Jose Mourinho.

"The bug was found in an electrical plug at Portal, the Portuguese restaurant where the Chelsea manager is said to have plotted [Arsenal defender] Ashley Cole's transfer to his club," the Daily Mail reported.

Portal owner Antonio Correia said the bug was detected when staff listening to a radio in the kitchen heard "terrible feedback.... On one frequency, we could hear what was being said near to the serving hatch."

Correia hired a security company to check the dining room regularly for bugs. Will Geddes, director of the security company, told the newspaper, "Who knows why the bug was there? It could have been as simple as a wife checking on a husband, but there could obviously be a more sinister explanation."

Trivia answer

One. The Montreal Canadiens defeated Gretzky and the Kings in the 1993 Stanley Cup finals, four games to one.

And finally ...

Deion Sanders, NFL Network studio analyst, on the Oakland Raiders, who have been outscored in their first two games, 55-6:

"I'm telling you, by Week 8, Art Shell will look like Morgan Freeman."

*

mike.penner@latimes.com

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