The Elbow staff
SUNRISE, FL – In a sharp shift from the brutal initiation process that first gamers have been subjected to in the past, the Buffalo Sabres decided not to force Sean Malone to skate onto the ice to do a lap on his own before Saturday's game against Florida.
Instead, they all skated onto the ice together and participated in the usual pre-game warm-up, saving the first-gamer from potential life-ruining embarrassment.
"That was a relief to see all the boys follow me out from the dressing room," Malone said. "I don't know how I would've been able to handle the crippling embarrassment of skating one entire lap of half of the ice on my own, with my family and best friends in the stands."
"That's the sort of thing that can ruin a man."
Malone's father said that his son had barely slept a wink in the past week.
"The unknown is the worst," he said. "Will he be hazed in front of everyone he's ever loved, or will he be spared? It was a rough few days in the lead up to the game."
Team captain Brian Gionta said that it was about time NHL teams start weeding out savage initiation rituals like this one.
"In this day and age, I don't see how we still find it acceptable to send young guys out there on the ice on their own," he said. "As a society, I hope we're finally past treating our teammates like that."
According to sources, NHL.com had already published a story about the hilarious prank for a record 600th time, anyway.
Social media image courtesy of Dinur