Have a Hockey Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas and at the arena,
Nobody was working not even a cleaner.
The pucks and the sticks were stacked in a ring,
In hopes that Lord Stanley would come in the spring.
The players had scattered to places more tame,
Imagining hat tricks they'd score the next game.
The coach with his headset, the GM in his suit,
Abandoned discussions of talent and loot.
When out on the ice there arose such commotion,
It attracted a crowd, expecting some promotion.
In through the doors and down to the seats,
We gathered together with sodas and eats.
And then, like by magic they switched on the lights,
And the rink was awash with an aura quite bright.
When, what to the amazement of all should appear,
But a giant zamboni and great players in gear.
The mystical driver was macho and manly,
So we knew in an instant it must be Lord Stanley.
Quick as the wind his charges they skated,
And he whistled and shouted, yelled and berated:
"Now, Gordie! now, Espo! now, Dionne and Clarke!,
On Gretzky! on, Dryden! on, Orr and Brad Park!
To the point with a pass, then into the slot,
Now breakaway, breakaway, get a good shot!"

As had many before them when bodychecks flew,
Made a pass, made a play, somehow to get through,
So back through the neutral zone, quickly they came,
Flashing skills that had brought them great fortune and fame.
And then right before us, all over the ice,
There was shooting and skating and passing quite nice.
As I turned from the rink, took a sip from my brew,
Lord S. hopped right down, joined the rest of the crew.
They were dressed in strange costumes we could tell at a glance,
With bright colored sweaters and suspendered short pants.
New sharpened skates were laced tight on their feet,
With gloves, pads and stockings that were tidy and neat.
Their eyes, how intense! So much it was scary,
And their faces were much scarred and grizzled and hairy.
Their broad crooked mouths opened wide to reveal,
The same toothless grins that had won fan appeal.
The ends of their sticks they held firmly and sure,
And their passes and shots were still sweet and pure.
Their faces and bellies were broader by far,
But they still had the fire that once made them stars.
They poked and they prodded, a few even fought,
And we smiled, contented, Old Time Hockey, we thought.
A wink from Lord S. and a smile not well hid,
Soon had us all feeling as though we were kids.
He looked on in silence, enjoying the show,
For what seemed like hours, then started to go.
And pointing a finger towards the locker room door,
And giving a shrug through the tunnel he roared.
He flipped off his skates, gave his team one last glower,
Then they all left the ice on their way to the shower.
But we heard him cry out as he stripped off his jockeys,
"Happy Christmas to all, Good Night and Good Hockey!"

{Author Unknown}