The ILL-uminati

A rough sketch of the Puckmovers’ symbol, the all-seeing eye of the NHL

Sometimes you choose the path, other times it chooses you. It’s time to lift the veil, open your eyes and perceive the flawed world in your 180-degree field of vision for what it really is.

Something is rotten in the sport of hockey, in a place far, far to the West of Denmark. The Philadelphia Flyers mysteriously failed to materialize Ryan Suter, and Zach Parise, and then coveted restricted free agent and super amazing defenseman Shea Weber.

The Flyers don’t miss out on guys like this. My nose is to the air and it smells like the wind is blowing in from the marshes down by the airport.

This is just further proof that the National Hockey League, after 39 years, is still out to get the Flyers.

Why do you think the Flyers haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1975? Poor luck in the Finals? Goaltending problems? THE OTHER TEAM BEING BETTER?!?!? It goes much, muuuuch deeper than that, my pretties.

The NHL witnessed the Broad Street Bullies and it did not like them, being as they crashed the league’s high tea with an attack on ice equivalent to the Oakland Raiders. Freddy’s Philistines bashed their way to the top over a four-year span and generations of Flyers have been paying for it ever since. Loop together all the footage from Dustin Hoffman’s performance in The Marathon Man and he still wouldn’t be able to out-run the creeping, prevalent danger those shadowy forces still represent to the Delaware Valley four decades later.

No…it’s not safe. It never will be.

In 1977, the NHL formed their own version of the Freemasons that we have been trained to call “The Puckmovers,” though to pronounce its real name would require the removal of one’s tongue and adenoids. The group is sometimes referred to in Philadelphia as the “Ill-luminati” for their penchant for picking on the Flyers and our town’s nickname among the intellectual elite.

Their first acts were small but powerful.

One year in, “They” tried to kill Rick MacLeish by sabotaging his skates, causing him to fall face-first to the ice in Los Angeles just when the skate of Marcel Dionne came through the picture, meeting his neck and producing a Frankenstein-like scar after surgery.

Fred Shero was also curiously addled more than usual when he lied to the Flyers that he was retired from coaching, only to resurface as head coach of the hated Rangers.

When the Flyers played the Islanders in the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals, they simply had the referee, Andy van Hellemond, known to be in gambling debt, make a heretofore unknown judgement in overtime in favor of the New Yorkers, leading to a Game 1 defeat on home ice. They also got to the Game 6 linesman, Leon Stickle, putting him on the payroll and blinding him temporarily so that he ignored a key offsides call in the first period. There is also speculation that Stickle was stricken into overtime, so that another missed offsides led directly to the Cup-clinching goal which kicked off an Islanders dynasty.

Tim Kerr’s “timely” injuries which cut short his playoffs in both 1985 and 1987?? No coincidence. Secret NHL agents infiltrated the Coliseum here and visiting dressing rooms in order to exacerbate his injuries behind the scenes, with as-yet unproven rumors of horse tranquilizers, cancer-laden needles and late-night drives to campgrounds where huffing Antifreeze became a hobby clouding the nobility of his recovery efforts. The Flyers couldn’t go and make Wayne Gretzky look bad, now, could they?

Never mind that Gretz might have paid for his wedding to take a dive in Games 1-6 only to come rising to the surface in Game 7…

And oh Lordy lordy Lord, how they orchestrated the greatest con job in history, the Greek tragedy that was Eric Lindros’ eight years in orange and black. It’ll take longer than Bernie Madoff is in prison before we get down to the morass of pay-offs that bisect the globe to pull it all off.

The over-hyped and underwhelming acquisitions of Chris Gratton and Adam Oates? Letting go of Patrick Sharp, Justin Williams, Ruslan Fedotenko and Dennis Seidenberg so early in their careers? The rumors that Lindros slept with Rod Brind’Amour’s wife to pave Rod’s way to Carolina? Absolutely the work of The Puckmovers.

Thanks to The Simpsons

If the unblinking eye had been moved to emotion, it might have blinked then, releasing tears in shame…or laughter…

In 2010, the NHL’s version of the Star Chamber committed its most heinous series of acts against the franchise to date.

Struggling defenseman Ryan Parent had to have been “persuaded” somehow to play worse than usual, and further, be programmed to take out Flyers goalie Brian Boucher in a goalmouth pile-up, leaving the team to rely on Michael Leighton. It’s on the QT, very hush hush, but while Boosh was having trouble standing upright, Parent had some Grade-A puck bunnies shuttled to his front door.

This was, of course, after they forced “Martin Biron” (who we believe was kidnapped, strapped to a chair in an undisclosed location near the Thousand Islands and forced to watch his clone refuse to be low-balled) to demand far too much from the Flyers, guaranteeing that he wouldn’t be back in Philadelphia — and worse — to play for the two teams located East of the Hudson and in the same division.

Do you think that Chris Pronger’s career-threatening health issues are merely a series of unfortunate events? PLEASE. The cabal of Canadian financiers finally got around to plotting its revenge on Pronger for making like the Hamburgler of the Stanley Cup Finals two years back.

The Puckmovers do not take kindly to people who disturb the status quo. Nikolai Kulemin a milquetoast Russian winger? No way, Jose. More like a sleeper agent, awakened by the random phrase “Gosh, that Italian family in the front row sure is quiet,” spoken by Toronto head coach Ron Wilson. Word is, Wilson himself has had to move on every few years due to problems with firearms and late-night milk cravings after staring at the King of Diamonds a little too closely.

Though it will never be shown the light of day by even the purest of New York Times investigative reporters, those who comprise the Priory of Hockey Zion are rumored to have perfected a state of matter that allows solids to pass through it, and for it to pass through solids.

You knew, I knew, that Patrick Kane’s shot in Game 6 couldn’t have found some hole in Leighton’s pads through simple physics…the puck was switched before overtime. Pronger caught on, which is why he rushed frantically after every game to spirit the disc away, but was struck down once and for all before he had unleashed the real, solid scientific evidence on a candid hockey world.

Ed Snider is considered a very powerful man in the NHL, so you may be asking yourself why he has allowed this to continue. The answer is simple: a) every businessman has no allegiance except for his own survival and b) to head off the renewed threat of Communism.

The Puckmovers are all that have kept the NHL from complete revenue sharing — basically, THE Communist way of running the league. The amount of wealth that has been trickled down and redistributed to the proles already is completely mortifying to the 79-year-old. For it to go any further would completely destroy him…if the residuals of his years overseeing the Sixers aren’t already working their black magic. But he cannot reveal the true plans of the Unholy Trigintumvirate upon pain of death from a slow IV drip of liquefied pork/double bacon cheeseburgers/king prawns.

If you have any further information on this shady conglomerate, please let us know. But not out in the open. Or on the internet. Or the phone. Or text. Or mail, “e” and snail. Or in person. Actually, if you know anything, just stay away from me, man. I got a wife and kids and a cushy job and I really don’t feel like waking up dead tomorrow.

Keep a watchful eye and be careful my friends. Fidelio.