The Scene: Bob Gainey's office, seventh floor, Bell Centre. The phone rings.
Glen Sather: Bob? It's Slats.
Gainey: Oh, hello, Glen. How are you doing?
Sather: Fine, fine. Listen, Bob?
Gainey: Yes, Glen?
Sather: I've...been going through some things. All that drinking we did back in the '70s? Well, it stuck with me. I couldn't shake it. You've seen some of the contracts I've handed out, right? Well, that was the booze signing those deals. No...don't interrupt. It's okay now. I'm doing the twelve-step thing, and I'm at the part where I have to make ammends. I can't, in good conscience, keep Ryan McDonagh. We were drinking, I bought the last round and...well, it wasn't well done of me. I took advantage and stuck you with Gomez, so I shouldn't have stolen McDonagh as well. Listen. I'm trading him back to you for a seventh, okay?
Gainey: Um, okay. But you'll have to clear it with Pierre first.
Sather:(laughing) Yeah, right. So, we've got a deal?
Gainey: Of course!
An hour later, Gainey's phone rings again:
Scott Gomez: Bob? Hi. It's Scott.
Gainey: Hello, Scott. How's your recouperation going?
Gomez: Well, here's the thing, Bob. I've found Jesus.
Gainey: What? Was he missing? Ha ha.
Gomez: No, seriously, Bob. My new physio has shown me the light. He says we've all got to be responsible for what we take from the world, and make sure we give the same back. I'm taking too much, Bob. I need to retire from hockey and start giving something back.
Gainey: Seriously? You want to retire?
Gomez: It's the right thing to do. Hockey's been great, and I've earned a lot of money playing it, but it's time for me to be the giver, not the taker. I know this is hard for you to hear Bob, but I'm going to have to leave Montreal.
Gainey: ALL RIGHT!!...I mean, right is important. As in, the right thing. Scott, I'm proud of you. Do the what's right for you.
Gomez: Thanks, Bob. You're like a second dad.
A little later, the phone rings again:
Gainey, warily: Hello?
Sidney Crosby: Hi, Bob? It's Sidney.
Gainey: Sidney! How's your recovery going?
Crosby: I'm ready to go, Bob. But, you know what? I don't know how much time I might have left in the league, and I want to play where my heart is. I mean, I love Pittsburgh because they drafted me, and Mario's been really great. I won the Cup here. But my heart's always been in Montreal. I love the Habs and I want to end my career there, no matter how long I've got left.
Gainey: Well, Sid, that's great. But we just don't have the assets to trade for you.
Crosby: It's okay. My lawyers say the Pens didn't take proper care of my health and we have a helluva lawsuit here. They're willing to let me go for a token return.
Gainey: Yeah, right. Like,say, Diaz?
Crosby: Well, you'll have to do better than that, but if you sign and trade Kostitsyn, that might work. They need wingers for Geno.
Gainey: Thanks, Sid. I'll get on it.
Larry Carriere: Bob? Hi. It's Larry. I've...found something.
Gainey: You found something?
Carriere: Yeah. It's kind of weird.
Gainey: What do you mean?
Carriere: I found an old fax machine. Probably 20 years old. But there was a piece of paper stuck in it.
Carriere: Um, yeah. It's a contract. It says Scotty Bowman agrees to be GM and coach of the Canadiens until otherwise notified.
Gainey: Seriously? Is it signed?
Carriere: Yup. If we want to push it, he's ours.
Gainey: Push it.
And so, the Canadiens suddenly freed up seven million in cap space, which enabled them to sign Shea Weber. They traded a seventh-round pick to get Ryan McDonagh back. They traded a fifth and Andrei Kostitsyn for Sidney Crosby and they signed Scotty Bowman as GM and coach. The next season, they won the Stanley Cup and all their fans rejoiced.
And that, my friends, is my Christmas miracle story for you.
Merry Christmas, happy Hannukah and a very happy holiday for you who celebrate a different tradition. I'll see you for the tank in 2012.