As I left the house last night, I grabbed a white Jackets hat off the coat rack by the door and commented to Wendy, "I hope somebody gets a hat trick tonight so I can get rid of this thing." Since the Jackets hadn't had a hatter at home since before the lockout, I figured on coming home with my most recently purchased and least favorite Jackets hat.
Then Rick Nash netted his second of the evening, a power play goal off a rebound. A rather Nashesque goal. With only 3 minutes left and a one goal lead following that goal, myself and about 16,000 other people figured we'd see Nasher on the ice with an empty net.
Unlike two nights earlier when Zherdev passed to Beech for the EN goal, thus passing up a hat trick of his own, Nash had nobody to pass to. His one option was to shoot it, setting off a flurry of hats from the stands. From my perch in 209 I took my hat off, looked at Wendy and said, "Honey, I get rid of this thing!" With that I launched it towards the ice.
Physics and wind resistance pretty much ensure I'm not going to get it to the ice, so we in the upper bowl rely on the kindness and hockey mindedness of others to get our hats to the ice. I followed it as it progressed towards the ice. It took three more throws, and it got to the second row. Then the guy in the second row picked it up, looked it over, and tucked it under his arm.
That's right, a hat destined for Rick Nash, or more specifically the hat bin in the concourse, was picked up by some cheap-ass in the second row, looked over, and determined to be a good find. On New Year's Eve, no less. If you're supposed to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day for good luck, what's stealing a hat trick hat got to do for the upcoming year?
The obvious hygiene concern of putting another, unknown person's hat on your head aside, that's just beyond poor hockey etiquette. The hockey gods will not look on this favorably, and hopefully they make the little scrote that kept Nash's hat pay and pay dearly...