The Elbow staff
TORONTO, ON – With the Maple Leafs' playoff run coming to an end on Sunday night, forward James van Riemsdyk announced that he has hired a surrogate to spend the summer chewing his trademark green mouthguard.
The surrogate – a part-time accountant from Toronto – will be required to spend at least two hours a day with the piece in his mouth.
"In order to maintain the correct resistance for next season, it's really important that the chewing continues as if in regular game conditions for the entire summer," van Riemsdyk told the media as he cleared out his locker on Monday. "So I've told the surrogate that he'll have to chew it like he has a pretty serious gum addiction."
"I give it a good workout during the season, but the dentist thinks I should give my teeth a rest over the summer. Apparently I've worn them down so much that it's almost counter-productive even having the mouthguard in."
Head coach Mike Babcock said he can rest easy knowing JVR's most prized possession is in good hands.
"Apparently Patrick Kane spoke to James earlier this season and recommended this guy," Babcock said. "He took care of Kaner's mouthguard in the summer of 2015, and look how his next season turned out."
"If it's anything like that, we'll take this guy on full time and get him to mind everyone's dentures next summer."