A long time ago in an arena by the bay… two hockey bloggers found themselves sitting at home on a Friday night. Dinner had been consumed, pajamas were on, and the only thing left to do was to find a movie on television. Enter “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back”.
As the movies progressed, Jason Haas and I did the only thing we could to make the evening complete. We cast Lightning players past and present in George Lucas’ space epic. The original trilogy only, of course. We’re not complete heathens.
Who’s who in our Lightning/Star Wars crossover? Read on…
Obi-Wan Kenobi : Steve Yzerman. This was a no brainer. Following the dark days of OK hockey, the new ownership and Stevie Y were our only hope at climbing out of the basement of the league. He’s taught the team well and could totally rock one of those Jedi robes.
Yoda: Guy Boucher. Like Yoda, his methods may be strange but there’s no doubt that they’re effective. There’s also no questioning his wisdom. If he could sit in a backpack as his players trained, I’m pretty sure he would too.
Luke Skywalker: Steven Stamkos. The young hero of Tampa’s story these days. Just as Luke took the first steps towards his destiny when he met Obi-Wan, Stammer took his when Steve Yzerman and the Lightning drafted him first overall in the 2008 NHL entry Draft. As Luke matured into warrior learned in the ways of “The Force”, Stamkos has grown into one of the elite players in the league.
Han Solo: Ryan Malone. A handsome scallywag who is a little rough around the edges. He fights for himself but also for the greater good. Han has a bromance going with Lando Calrissian and Bugsy has a famous bromance with… well, read on.
Chewbacca: Victor Hedman. This choice was made because of Victor’s height. And the fact that of all the guys on the team we would not want to beat him at chess because he might rip your arms off.
Princess Leia: Vincent Lecavalier. Purely because imagining him in that bun hairdo is really funny.
R2D2: Martin St. Louis. Small but mighty. R2 always seems to be in the mix and so does Marty. The droid was one of only 4 characters to appear in all 6 Star Wars movies and Marty’s been with the Bolts for a long time too.
C3PO: Eric Brewer. He just kinda looks like 3PO.
Jawa: Radko Gudas. Random and funny. Just think about it.
Ewoks: Dana Tyrell, Marc-Andre Bergeron. Little, furry, and kind of cute. With a wicked slap shot in some cases.
Cantina Band: Evan Oberg, Mike Angelidis, J.T. Wyman, and Keith Aulie. Up and down from the AHL, the perfect accompaniment to any gathering. Just like at Mos Eisley Cantina.
Lando Calrissian: Mike Smith See : Han Solo/ Ryan Malone.
Darth Vader: Brad Richards. A Lightning player who went on to have great success elsewhere and definitely a divisive figure among fans to this day.
Boba Fett: Dominic Moore. He’s played for an insane amount of teams over the course of his career. That’s kind of like a bounty hunter. Boba is also a bad ass and so is Dom.
Admiral Akbar: Martin Raymond. The coaching staff member we most want to hear say “IT’S A TRAP!!”
Emperor Palpatine: Gary Bettman. Pretty much goes without saying.
Who did we miss? Who would you have cast? Let us know in the comments!