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2015 Pensburgh NHL Hot Taeks Draft

In lieu of the NHL holding its annual Entry Draft, we at Pensburgh, with the assistance of a fireman from Matchsticks and Gasoline, decided to hold our own draft. Except for those who dish out the hottest and spiciest of taeks. Welcome to the first annual Hot Taeks Draft.

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This evening in Florida, so many young, talented men are about to start the next step in their journey towards the NHL. The NHL draft is where stories are born, stories that stick with fans for ages. I can still remember being a kid and watching the Sedins being drafted. I can remember exactly where I was when Vancouver fucked up their goaltending situation by trading Cory Schneider: I was drinking iced coffee and yelling at a stray cat to get the hell out of my garbage.

Right now though? This moment, this moment is for the taekist. The age old profession of spitting molten rock, fire, and ash that scorches readers/listeners. The hot taek is, at it's very heart, the most scorchingly ridiculous blast of words that could melt steel beams. It may very well be true that the inside job was the result of too many taeks being spit at once. When Mike Darnay reached out to Twitter about this idea, I jumped at the opportunity to assist him in celebrating the hot taek.

The hot taek is a beautiful piece of existence that creates as much as it destroys. It can be a righteous cleansing fire or an uncontrolled wildfire that destroys everyone it contacts. With flames reaching a pinnacle of 69,420 nice degrees Fahrenheit you mustn't touch it, lest you feel the burn. The taek can give, and it can take away, readers beware for your eyes may melt in your skulls.

- Mike Fail, nerd in the basement of Matchsticks and Gasoline

With the first pick, MikeFAIL selects from Toronto Sun organization... Steve Simmons.

There is no one better in the business or more worthy of being selected first overall than one Steve Simmons. The product of the Toronto Sun and Toronto media juggernaut, Simmons year after year has propelled himself into the forefront of taekology. His taekability ranks far above his peers and he is never outdone in becoming a focal point of the skilled "hot taek". The biggest key to his taek strength is the scorching ignorance Steve possesses. If ignorance was Corsi, Steve Simmons would be the Patrice Bergeron of it.

Notably, in recent months he has taken it even further. From his ineptitude to slide into DMs, to arguing in an October issue of The Hockey News that Jake Muzzin couldn't play for some teams in the NHL.


In late May, Steve took a very obvious jab at the stats community by criticizing Anton Stralman's "possession stats" after a bad pass lead to a goal against. There is no denying he the level of scorch there. When I first read it, my computer overheated and I singed all my ball hair off. But by far, what set him ahead of his peers this year is a series of three tweets when Toronto fired Dave Nonis:

With the second pick, HellBlazerVice is on the clock and selects.... Joe Haggerty.

"Haggerty's ability to make hot taeks is incredible. His fascination with Shawn Thornton and his importance to the Bruins puts him up there with Simmons. The fact that he actively antagonizes bloggers because they do better work than he does is great for his value.

His twitter account is a volcano of taeks. Unfortunately, he will never be able to to his greatest taek, the one where he wrote a column at 2 in the morning and wrote all sorts of gibberish (Deadspin). I lost out on the best taekist in the world but i'm happy with an elite taekist like Haggerty at #2"

Jesse Marshall, noted Penguins fan, representing the third pick, selects... Jack Edwards.

"Two big bruisers from Boston going back to back here with my selection of Jack Edwards. If being a homer is a fine art, Jack Edwards is Michelangelo. His blind love and affection for all things Bruins related is nothing short of cult-like. Perhaps my favorite Edwards moment was his appearance on Pittsburgh's 93.7 the FAN.

Shortly after the infamous Cooke/Savard incident, Tribute-Review writer and talk show host Joe Starkey entertained Edwards on the Pittsburgh radio station for a Boston-based recollection of events. The result was Edwards sounding less like a hockey announcer and more like the Ultimate Warrior on a Saturday night WWE shoot promo with Gene Okerlund. Never forget the time he compared Bruins/Canadiens to dumping tea in a harbor, or something. (YouTube)

Scott T., @NHLFlyera, with the fourth pick, selects... Randy J. Miller.

"With the 4th pick in the inaugural Hot Take Draft, I am proud to select Randy J Miller of NJ.Com. Miller is a legendary takist well known for articles like "Flyers Sinking Again With Giroux As Captain: Time For A Change?". He is also famous for plagiarizing translations and arrogantly refusing to take responsibility for his journalistic errors. Proud to have him aboard!"

Josh Ressel, with an arguable bad, but still great Top 5 pick, selects Mark Spector.

The Ressel's are (not) proud to select Mark 'Oily' (I made that up) Spector, the famous Sportsnet basher of the Canucks, hater of corsi, lover of the Oilers.  Mark took an analytic hiring by his beloved team as a chance to criticize the man's character, and mention nothing of his work.  What a hockey writer....  Can't wait to see him on the computer for the Ressel's.

Tyler Countie, upset that the Bruins Boys went early, settles for Ken Campbell with the sixth pick.

Devastated by my home town heroes Haggerty and Edwards being off the board, I had to go for the next true standout. So with my pick, I have selected Ken Campbell.

Ken's drivel really stands out to me, which is amazing as he has shared a news outlet with Adam Proteau for so many years. There is so much to choose from, such as the "The death of Corsi? It's only a matter of time now" but lets take a look at what he posted just yesterday.

In this article (THN) he suggests that the Maple Leafs should be willing to trade Kessel away for absolutely nothing. Now that is why you're my pick, Ken. Keep up the good work.

Whoabot, with the seventh pick, makes the host hometown proud, selecting the Super Genius, Mark Madden.

I'm very excited today to select Mark Madden, a real Man's Man with several "talents". Mark has a history of truculence, as he was a commentator in WCW before he was fired for eating Tony Schiavone.

Madden's status as a flaming garbage barge (Garbarge™) will never change. You can go take a peek at his Twitter profile and you will undoubtedly see two things: 1.) a lot of misspelled words/unnecessary abbreviations, and 2.) retweeted photos of asses in yoga pants. Mark Madden LOVES women, except the part for where he actually hates women. A true established takist and Hockey Guy™, the only people you'll see him trash more than Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby (who is bad) are the people he finds after searching his own name.

In conclusion, no words I can use about Mark will fit him quite as perfectly as his own words:

Mr. Feathers in da Hat is proud to select, with the eighth pick, Dave Staples

Dave Staples is one of the most underrated take prospects in the pool, in my opinion. While his takes aren't quite hot enough to melt steel beams, he does his damned best to get there. His will to hot take is unmatched among other prospects in this draft. He will make a great addition to my take organization.

Everyone's favorite Ninja who owns a cool dog and grows a cool garden, Greg Sinclair, with a great pick late in the Top 10, selects Damien Cox

The thing with Mr. Cox is I'm not sure when he is trolling to get a rise out of people on twitter (because that is insanely easy to do - say one word about stats and us corsi geeks get our knickers in a bunch) or when he just has a strong, sincere, and terrible opinion

Exhibit A

What he is trying to say, I gather, is that women's hockey is only good when it is a finesse and speed game, but when women start getting chippy, he does not support it. But he's got no problem with a man biting another man in hockey

Except when he doesn't support fighting, in general: (Toronto Star)

Exhibit B: Obvious trolling? Or just doesn't like stats?

Exhibit C: Gotta Ask The Question: (Toronto Star)
Reporters do have to ask the question. But it seems highly unlikely that Bautista is juicing since he's never failed a drug test in the 5 years since the article was written and his performance has stayed consistent.

Exhibit D: Cox's Kessel Conundrum

If the Leafs are winning, the Leafs should not Trade Kessel.

If they are losing, it is Kessel's fault because he is out of shape and lazy and "not a Carlyle" player.

2012 - "Trade Kessel" - Toronto Maple Leafs need to turn page on Phil Kessel  (features the "not a Carlyle player" quote) - Toronto Star

2013 - "Trade Kessel Because The Leafs Are Losing RIght Now" Maple Leafs must keep first pick, deal Phil Kessel - Toronto Star

2014 - "Don't trade Kessel because he's doing better than David Clarkson" Phil Kessel's ascent a lesson for David Clarkson’s doubters - Toronto Star

2014 - "Don't Trade Kessel Because the Leafs are Winning Right now" Leafs' Phil Kessel letting play do the talking for him -  Toronto Star

2014 - "Don't Trade Kessel Because the Leafs are Winning Right now" Leafs' Phil Kessel letting play do the talking for him - Toronto Star

2015 - "Don't trade Kessel because the return would be too low. Rebuild his value and then trade him!" - Toronto Star

Pensburgh's own Mike Darnay makes a pick from well outside his own territory, selecting Terry Jones.

Chris Abraham, proud to select Buffalo's own Mike Harrington.

Recently Mike Harrington cried crocodile tears over Babcock "leveraging Buffalo" and going elsewhere. It's a really logical decision to take this homer and his taekabilities.


Robbie Naugle, hater of all things Rangers, is happy to select Larry Brooks

With the 12th overall selection in the 2015 Hot Takists Draft I am happy(?) to select Larry Brooks of the New York Post. What makes Mr. Brooks so valuable to the hot takes industry is his ability to make himself the center of attention in any given situation without hesitation. He made us like John Tortorella for a brief millisecond.

Just during these past few weeks as his beloved Rangers made a run at the Stanley Cup he actually asked Rangers coach Alain Vigneault during a press conference during the Eastern Conference Finals if Henrik Lundqvist would be replaced by Cam Talbot in net for New York (NY Post). He was serious. Vigneault laughed at him.

He also managed to defend Rick Nash and propose trading him in about the same breath. He called Tom Wilson a predator and disrespectful to the game of hockey which is very ironic because Mr. Brooks writes for the New York Post, which is disrespectful to actual journalism.

To wrap this all up and to summarize the artistry that Mr. Brooks applies to his hot take game, I leave you with this gem.

Dan Girardi sucks.

Asmae T, with a similar pick to her favorite team the Bruins, selects Al Strachan.

Al Strachan is a smart two-way, bitter and probably racist and therefore perfect for New Englad center who can do it all. He showed he can be an excellent playmaker on HNIC, using his big frame to shield his narratives away from bloggers coming after him.

He spent a few stellar seasons with HNIC before he was traded for writing a book called Why The Leafs Suck while he was working for Leafs Network CBC Canada. We saw how this intangible trait differentiates leaders from followers and we are proud to have this dynamic, explosive and hard to defend against prospect amongst our corps.

M. Peterson, with perhaps one of the biggest hyped picks in this draft, maybe even this draft's own Lawson Crouse, gets a great pick in the one and only Sam Carchidi.

A silent threat, Carchidi takes a different route to achieve the perfect hot-take. Differentiatiating himself from other Corsi Truthers by not outright denying statistics, but by completely making up his own from already existent, debunked stats, Carchidi employes the obviously legitimate advanced statistical analysis tool: "combined" plus-minus. What truly sets him up as a truly great hot-takeist, though, is his love of GRIT and it's many intangible contributions.

Again, our own Mike Darnay, with more picks in this draft than the Penguins have had in a decade, selects hometown pick, Rob Rossi.

Rossi is a pure takist when it comes down to it. When he was a beat writer for the Penguins, he had to keep the spice level down and stick to reporting, but when he became a columnist, it all came out.

It even got to the point where Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told Rossi to "go sell ice cream" over his takes. What a time to be alive.

Whoabot, with also his second pick, drafts the ever popular and analytics loving, Jack Todd

Scott T. comes up big in the second half of the draft, selecting Dejan Kovacevic

I am proud to select the legendary Pittsburgh taekist Dejan Kovacevic in the sound round of the 2015 Hot Taeks Draft. This pick truly demonstrates my willing to forgive. In the summer of 2014, my wife and large children were incinerated when Kovacevic proclaimed that the Penguins lost to the Rangers because Dan Blysma refused to play Tanner Glass and Deryk Engelland.

While it still hurts, I am proud to publicly forgive Kovaceiv and welcome him into this great franchise.

Cat Silverman, representing the Coyotes (I think?), selects Jim Matheson.

Known to be a strong hot taekist, but not for the sake of trolling.

Matheson is firmly convinced that what he's saying holds weight; like many tier II insiders, he bases his insider predictions on quotes from coaches and his own analysis of the game, only he's so many evolutions of NHL play preference behind the current status quo that most of what he says ends up being wrong.

He's a surprisingly lethal asset in any hot takery team because unlike some of the higher-drafted taekists, he's not trying to troll or stoke the flames of the analytics-narrative battle. He's genuinely just trying to give well-thought out insider information, so he won't always block you. He's just trying to help; if John's Steinbeck's iconic protagonist Lenny was a hockey insider, he'd be Matheson.

Scott Matla selects Adam Proteau. (Tim Murray voice).

*Scott approaches the podium quietly humming the theme from Game of Thrones*

With the 69th (19th whatever same thing)Pick in the Hot Takist Draft…

Crowd: "Niiiiice"

We are proud to select Adam Proteau formerly of The Hockey News.

Bob McKenzie: "He brings a complete Takist game full to the brim of #PleaseLikeMySport and by making dated references that only a small percentage of people understand on Twitter. He’s great at blocking shots and every single person who even slightly disagrees with his point of view."

Pierre McGuire: "He’s almost Haggerty-esque in his ability to not field the slightest bit of criticism before immediately blocking people…a great fit in Montreal where alongside Jack Todd they form a great 1-2 Twitter Blocking combination"

*Proteau takes the stage*

"So did you all see Game of Thrones when your favorite person died then I made a reference about it on Twitter? No?"

*Proteau blocks the entire audience*

Holy cow, Mike Darnay is on the clock again. Insiders suggest he is gonna go across state for this pick.....and he does. Tim Panaccio.

As GM of the Pensburgh Takists, I would just like to clarify that I am ensuring that by drafting Panaccio, I also will be trading for the rights to all the takes about CB. Thx.

50 Mission Cap Mike is on the clock, and he quickly picks Rob Tychkowski.

First of all, at 50 underscore mission cap would like to thank the Chicago Blackhawks for winning this year's Don Cherry Cup of Takes. In winning three championships in six years, the Blackhawks have ensured we will be flooded with something never seen before in the salary cap era: scorching hot dynasty takes. Are the Blackhawks a dynasty? What constitutes a dynasty? Is a dynasty a sandwich? Did my wife leave me for a dynasty? We may never know.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: in true draft fashion, the speech just continues on like this for fifteen minutes, so we fast forwarded to the pick]

With the 21st pick in the draft, I am proud to select, from the Edmonton Sun, Rob Tychkowski.

While you shouldn't pick for pedigree, when the opportunity comes to take an Edmonton Sun takist with a late first round pick, you make that pick. I remember when I lived in Edmonton and the Sun randomly decided to give me a two-month free subscription. In this storied paper, I saw takes hot enough to melt steel beams sandwiched between copious scantily-clad Sunshine Girls and used truck ads. I then let the Sun papers pile up on my doorstep until the paperboys got the hint and stopped delivering. But by then I knew: this was a top-tier franchise for turning out elite takists.

Tychkowski has been one of the top take producers for the Sun. Often overshadowed by legendary Edmonton takists such as Staples and Van Diest, Tychkowski put up a promising 2014-15 campaign. This past January, he managed to read between the lines of the actual words of then-Oilers coach Todd Nelson to drop his hottest take of all: that the Corsiati was conspiring to keep Nail Yakupov out of the shootout. Last season was his best campaign for the Sun since 2008-09, in which he blamed a bad team performance on then-Oiler Dustin Penner, presumably because Penner would have rather read old copies of Maxim in the locker room than drop truthquotes into Tych's take recorder.

While consistency remains a concern for Tychkowski, I am confident some further seasoning in the strong system of the Edmonton #PleaseLikeMyArenas will help him reach his potential as an elite hot takist in this league.

J. Dylan Burke, picking 22nd, gets the one he wanted all along, Gary Lawless

With the 22nd selection the 2015 NHL Hot Taekist Entry Draft, I, J.D. Burke, am proud to select, from The Winnipeg Free Press... Gary Fuckin' Lawless.

It is with great honour and pride that I am able to make this selection. I'd like to point to the fine work Gary has done over the years, showcasing the arrogant, brazen, childish and immature behavior of two players from his beloved Winnipeg Jets that have absolutely nothing in common. I'm talking, of course, about Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien.

A non-sequitur to be sure, but I seem to recall a report suggesting that Winnipeg was Canada's most racist city.

While it's easy enough to point to the infamous track pants-ghazi situation of 2015 as the tipping point for Kane's time in Winnipeg, Lawless was well over a calendar year ahead of the curve, pointing out that Kane posing for a photo in Vegas with money as an imitation phone was grounds enough to send him out of town for a seventh-round pick. And he was right.

Gord bless this man.

Randi, representing her favorite team, the Sharks, picks local takist, Kevin Kurz
Greg Sinclair, back for a second pick in this draft, lands Cathal Kelly, who fell further than expected
Asmae, also back for the second time lands the sometimes ice cold, yet also sometimes spicy Mike Russo.

Smart, elite and complete taekist who spits fire to win. Has a powerful release of his taek, which he was never afraid to use to take shots at Patrick Roy on line. Russo was once quoted as saying Roy was "unhealthy for the game of hockey" and "garbage". We believe his pest-like nature and his ability to consistently ruffle former hockey players will provide this team with heart and motivation to win.

HellblazerVice loves nothing more than hating the Rangers, so picking Stan Fischler off the board is not surprising.
Getting Stan Fischler at 26th overall is great value. Fischler's taeks have aged like a fine wine. No matter what, he'll find a way to make the Rangers look like they're unstoppable. His twitter feed during the Rangers playoff run is a great example. No matter what, the Rangers are a better team. The Rangers have human traffic cone Dan Girardi on their top pairing, yet Fischler says the Rangers have the edge on defense.

Afterwards, he says the Lightning have to be firing on all cylinders to beat the Rangers (who ended up losing because their offense was invisible). No matter what the odds are, the Rangers will always come out on top. Or my personal favourite, where he claims the Rangers have mastered Ovechkin, Holtby and Toughness. While his taeks about most other teams are hit and miss, he'll always spit fire when it comes to Rangers taeks.

Chris Abraham loves it when Matt Cooke talks about penis, so his selection of Don Brennan makes a ton of sense.

Don Brennan once wrote an article about Matt Cooke talking about his "package". I'm not making this up, this is real journalism from a few years ago. You can still read it here, but here are some of the finest taeks from it:

But arguably the best taek is this one, where Brennan asks you to visualize his crotch:

Brennan also urged on the Senators to injure Penguins players referenced in this article.

MikeFAIL back at the podium with the late pick of Derek van Diest at #28
I seriously cannot believe how Van Diest fell this far to 28th overall. I live in Edmonton, I know what kind of taekist this guy is. If you aren't super familiar with Derek, he is among the very regal "Dellow Taekists". He is also rumored to be the man who called Dellow a "prick". What really sealed the deal as a quality taekist is last August's scorching attack on the blogging community.

Check out the Hot Takery's write-up on it here. The great and venerable Yakov Mironov of the Leafs Nation detailed all the lava blasts here:

Tyler Countie back again, this time with the final pick in the draft, the sometimes basic, but always speculative and somewhat spicy Darren Dreger.
Darren Dreger carried water for the Maple Leafs for so long, he forgot how to go back to actual reporting when his cousin lost his job as the Leafs’ GM. This was fantastic in that it goes completely against what he had been saying previously, and is only there to try and make the team look better (and it did not work).
There will be no 30th pick overall, due to the Devils being forced to forfeit theirs, not for cap circumvention this time. Just for being terrible.

That concludes the first ever Hot Taeks Draft. We want to thank all the burn wards in the 50 states and Puerto Rico for helping us get this done. There is enough liquid magma in this draft to build 69 more Hawaiian islands, so remember to wear protective equipment when sharing this.