In his last second-period intermission interview of the 2013 season, Predators associate coach Peter Horachek wrapped things up as he usually did — by praising, with a hogshead of faux-sarcasm for the questions asked by Pete Weber and Terry Crisp. I know that seems either tautological or oxymoronic, but he is acting like the praise is sarcastic as a joke on his reputation for having disdain for Pete and Terry’s questions.
But then he said something to the effect of “And for J.R. and everyone else out there, I’ve got the gravel all ready for the summer.”
At that moment, a man who had long been a punchline — unknowingly at first and always treated lovingly — gave a big fat wink to the crowd in on the joke, letting them know he was in on it, too.
It was as if a character became ever more cognizant he was a character and then finally acknowledged his author.
And, in this case, that marked the end of the character. Peter Horachek was fired by the Predators, — by phone! —for reasons I don’t fully comprehend (and neither did he), unless someone at the top said someone had to go and decided it would be the second-in-command.
But Peter Horachek wasn’t just a character, of course. He was an actual person with an actual job (at various times in his career with the Predators, he’d been in charge of the power play and/or the defensemen). And his departure from the Preds means, at least for the time being, one of Conference III’s Three-ist men is unemployed.
But let’s go back to the beginning.