This week’s NHL Mailbag tackles all the important issues in today’s world. Chicken wings — are they garbage or trash? Why would you ever eat one? Do you love to waste money? Also, we’ve got some questions about the Devils’ potential new uniforms, how to improve the Winter Classic documentary show that’s on that channel and whether the Flames have been getting screwed by referees since Dennis Wideman annihilated that poor linesman last season. Mailbag!

1. Why do you think chicken wings are so bad?


Great question, Dave. Simply put, chicken wings are a scam perpetrated by a secret society of chicken wing distributors and the American public has fallen prey to it for five decades. Let me explain.

— Chicken wings are literal garbage: About 50 years ago, people literally treated wings like trash and threw them into the garbage, where they still belong today. People that cooked and sold food considered it to be the most useless piece of the meat in the industry, and rightfully so. Then one day, some huckster in Buffalo slathered these monstrosities in butter and sauce and suddenly they became edible.

Pro-tip: You deep fry anything and cover it in sauce, people will eat it. I’ve eaten broccoli because of this, but you’d never hear me defending the taste of broccoli.

But as the years passed, The Wings Lobby pushed the idea that eating wings was cool. They were a party food. IT’S NOT A PARTY WITHOUT WINGS! You know what food is better than wings to serve at party? Literally anything else. Today, you can’t get through a commercial for a bar without someone eating wings like a god damned sucker. They have a boneless version with more meat and better flavor RIGHT NEXT TO IT ON THE MENU!

There’s a freaking chain restaurant called BUFFALO WILD WINGS because of this notion that wings are something you eat when you’re out with the gang. You’ve been had. You’ve been tricked. They should rename the chain BUFFALO WILD GARBAGE.

WALTHAM, MA - NOVEMBER 22: "Dirty" Chicken Wings with Our Own Dry Rub, Agave and Buttermilk Ranch, pictured at Tempo Restaurant in Waltham, MA. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
WALTHAM, MA – NOVEMBER 22: “Dirty” Chicken Wings with Our Own Dry Rub, Agave and Buttermilk Ranch, pictured at Tempo Restaurant in Waltham, MA. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

— It’s a lot of effort for very little meat: The chicken wing is the least efficient way of getting fried chicken into your mouth. You look like Tom Hanks in Big eating the mini-corn when you put that tiny-ass trash stick up to your mouth. People pay 10 bucks for a plate of these nothings and think it’s a great deal. Has anyone ever eaten a plate of wings and been full? Or half-full?

If you get a tiny drumstick, at least you’re not performing a freaking deboning and autopsy of your food like you’re Melinda Warner on SVU. A chicken wing is like 90 percent bone, five percent meat, five percent skin, 100 percent crap. It’s the most exhausting, unsatisfying appetizer you can order. Do better.

— Meals that require a shower afterward are bad: You know it’s a gross-ass meal when you get 10 sticks of meat shit slathered in sauce and the waitress hands you a lemon-scented wet nap because the bar doesn’t let customers shower afterward. The only meal you should eat that requires wet naps is ribs, because you don’t have to snap every rib in half, there’s way more meat, and ribs are worth a shower when you get home.

Wings are great if you’re into feeling like you just ate wings for next three days because you can’t get the smell off your face. It’s like someone spilled a tray of wings under your couch or in your car and you can’t pinpoint exactly where the smell is coming from. And it’s all for enough food to sustain a small child for two hours at best.


— Most orders are done out of peer pressure: You’re at a bar. It’s you and three of your idiot friends. Instinctively, one of these morons says, “Let’s split a plate of wings.” Because of the stigma that comes from being correct about the crap nature of chicken wings, you just say yes to avoid an interrogation about why you don’t like something perceived to be the best food on Earth. Telling someone you think wings are bad is on par with telling them you don’t like Westworld. You submit to the group wings plate to avoid confrontation, because god forbid Kevin has to wake up to the fact nobody but him wants wings.

The only thing worse than eating 10 wings by yourself is splitting 20 with three other people. “Let’s see, five wings so I owe… five dollars. I could have gotten three loaded potato skins for that.” Pay seven bucks for your own plate of mozzarella sticks and don’t look back.

Wake up, sheeple. If you look inside yourself, you know wings are bad. Break free of society’s shackles. Order anything else off the appetizer list and thank me later.

2. Devil Dogs

Wanna feel old? I’ve lived long enough to see the Devils change their uniforms. Why are they changing them? I have no idea. I’ve stared at these for most of my adult life and think they are pretty good. How do we exist in a world where the Devils are looking to update their sweaters, but the Ducks feel good about their collection of jerseys?

If they end up looking like these, just move the team to Seattle and start over.

I’ve never heard a negative word about the current Devils jerseys except, “Why don’t they wear the red and green more?” But they’ve had this look for two decades and it appears it’s time for the Devils to make more money.

3. Classic TV

They should move it off whatever network or website airs it now — I have no idea what it’s called. Cube? BazingaTV? Telescope? If knowing the place that shows the Winter Classic behind the scenes documentary thing was necessary to save my life, I’d be dead now.

Give it back to HBO so people can actually see it, and let HBO have final say over all content and make sure teams allow cameras and microphones everywhere. Maybe it’s the personalities or who has approval over what airs, but Jesus H were the NHL docs on HBO boring as hell compared to the NFL’s Hard Knocks.

Personalities should be factored into picking the Winter Classic teams, so there’s incentive to watch the show. Let Nashville play in the next one. Have a camera and microphone on P.K. Subban for a month. Let’s go with Penguins-Predators in the next Winter Classic and just have the whole thing be Subban doing karaoke and Phil Kessel eating and taking naps. That’s quality content HBO needs.

4. Who’s Lou?

Secret: No one reads anything I write. There’s no way Lou Lamoriello read this and if he did, there’s no way he cares. There’s only one thing I’ve ever written that resulted in a pissed-off email from a team or the NHL, and it turned out the thing I wrote was 100 percent accurate. I write jokes and you’d be surprised how many teams like them and/or don’t mind. I am but a bug on the windshield of a $4 billion tank.

5. Wideman Effect

This is the Wideman Effect, which theorizes that since Dennis Wideman trucked that linesman last year, the Flames are getting screwed by the referees. There’s no way it’s a thing. It’s just an idea concocted by fans to explain why their favorite teams lose. It’s a sad practice and it should be ignored at all costs.

Except when it comes to Odell Beckham and the Giants, who are the victims of a high-reaching conspiracy that goes all the way to the NFL commissioner’s office. Also, my fantasy teams are losing because the other owners are out to get me. I’m a totally sane person with a job and responsibilities. Thank you.

6. Fry vs. Fry

This is a really tough choice. Both are near-perfect meals. They are the opposite of chicken wings.

This boils down to chili vs. gravy, since both plates of potato heaven have cheese. The question becomes — do I want to fart a lot in an hour or do I want to fall asleep in an hour? Assuming I’m eating these dishes alone (I am), I choose farting. This is a good relationship tester. Only when you are in a place where you both choose chili can you be truly happy.