I think it's about time the Semin-Ovechkin-Backstrom line had a name. They're obviously very good together, and they're not some flash in the pan line. They'll be on the same team for a long time, or at least we can hope so. So, here's your chance to throw your ideas in the hat. We used the DC Politics for Rod Langway when we called him "The Secretary of Defense," I think we could do it again. I think we could call them "The Capital Gains Line."
The line names I'm not a big fan of most of the time are the names that play on letters of the guys names. Occasionally it works out, like the JOB line here in DC, of Juneau, Oates, Bondra. Can anyone else remember great initials lines? There was the KLM line, but they weren't NHL. If it spells something cool, I'm for it, but SOB line for Semin, Ovechkin, Backstrom isn't exactly awe-inspiring. I'm not against it, it's kinda funny, but I think we can do better.
These guys are all European, two Russians named Alex and a Swede. That makes all-Russian names difficult (You could try combining Swedish Tre Kronor and Russian Kremlin for a Tre Kremlin Line, but that's too complicated. Maybe Tre Komrade?). We've got DC politics to work with, not to mention the silly skills these guys have, though I doubt "The Sillynanny Line" would go over well. They're all young and multi-talented, so this shouldn't be too hard. Though I like the idea that the Flyers came down with "Stockholm Syndrome" after getting torched by Backstrom.
You could play on their fat contracts and call them the "Pork Barrel Line" because that's where all our discretionary funds are going, but then again, after the Ovechkin slaphsot Chris Clark took in 2007, maybe they should be the "Earmark Line." If we could all agree, maybe we could call them the "Consensus Line," but then again, a "Census Line" only comes around once every ten years. Too bad "The Party Line" has already been used once.
If you wanted to make a legal reference, you could call them the "No Contest Line" because they have no defense.
So, again, I think we should play off DC politics and call them the "Capital Gains Line." The only problem is the line that can shut them down is "The Line-Item Veto." Then again, I think our checking line could be called the "Filibuster Line," because they never let the other team spout off. Or maybe "The Beltway Line" because they clog lanes and cause traffic. I'd love to retroactively use one of those for the Konowalchuk-Halpern-Dahlen line. If we had a bunch of slow, big skaters, we could call them the "Monument Line."
I just know that if Kyle Wilson ever makes the team, his line should immediately be called "The Wilson Bridge."
I know it's all the rage to name lines. I can tell you, I was following hockey quite closely at that time and it's only in the last month I knew the name of the Bertuzzi-Morrison-Naslund line was "The West Coast Express." The other recent big name line was "The A Line" in New Jersey of Jason Arnott, Patrik Elias, and Petr Sykora; too bad they didn't stick together too long. Some of the great line names in history are well remembered, and many of them followed similar themes. You had lines made up of guys of the same ethnicity (The French Connection line of Glibert Perreault, Rene Robert and Richard Martin, all French Canadian, on the Buffalo Sabres in the 1970s). For the older crowd, Boston had a Uke line (all Ukrainian) of Bronco Horvath, Johnny Bucyk, Vic Stasiuk in the 1950s and a Kraut Line in Boston that included former Caps GM Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer in the 1940s. There was also the Mafia Line in New York with Phil Esposito, Don Maloney and Don Murdoch (Phil, the "Godfather," and two Dons, in the late 70s).
Then there were lines that had to do with the team name: The Long Island Lighting Company of Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier and Clark Gillies, because they always lit the lamp for the New York Islanders. (also known as the Trio Grande Line, which is awesome). How about the Triple Crown line for Charlie Simmer, Marcel Dionne, and Dave Taylor on the LA Kings, named for the giant crown on their jersey.
The Rangers from 1964-75 had a GAG line, for Goal a Game, renamed the TAG line, for Two a Game, that featured Jean Ratelle, Vic Hadfield and Rod Gilbert. I'm not too keen on what they'd call this line if they keep scoring four, though. You had lines for jersey numbers, "Crazy Eights" featuring Mark Recchi (8), Mikael Renberg (18) and Eric Lindros (88) in Philly. Lindros centered another line, the Legion of Doom, with John LeClair and Renberg, so named because they were huge, and they were really good.
During the dump and bump 90s, even checking lines had nicknames, like Detroit's Grind Line of Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, and Darren McCarty, and the Devils had the Crash Line of Bobby Holik, Randy McKay and Mike Peluso, another line of huge guys. I guess when you're winning Cups, you can do whatever you want.
Then there are opportunistic names that are fun, like late 30s Brett Hull playing with 20 somethings Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux, he called it "Two Kids and a Goat." How about the Sedins and Jason King as the "Mattress Line" (2 twins and a King). And how about ' "The Option Line"—Pittsburgh Penguins (1990–91)—John Cullen, Mark Recchi, and Kevin Stevens – the line came together when all three players were in the option year of their respective contracts.'
Some fun names were the "Punch Line" with Rocket Richard, the Scooter Line with Stan Mikita, and the Party Line with Denis Savard. The greatest line name for me was the Production Line of Sid Abel (former Cap Brent Johnson's Pappy), "Terrible Ted" Ted Lindsay and Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1950s, then the Production Line II of Howe, Alex Delvecchio and Frank Mahovlich (The Big M). I'm not a big fan normally of reusing line names, but in this case, Production related to the Detroit automotive industry, and the re-named line still had an original member. I guess if Detroit wanted a play on that these days, they'd have an offensive line called "The Strike Line" who plays for higher wages, a checking line called the "Shutdown Line" for the guys who don't let the opposition get started, and an all Swedish Line called the "Saab Story." How about an "Anti-Freeze Line" for blazing fast skaters?
(Citing sources, I knew about a lot of these from my own reading over the years. For some of the more obscure names or facts, I pulled from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ice_hockey_line_nicknames).