Great Game Previews In History: 30 December 2013
Today In History
In 1944, Greece’s George II, faced with a Communist (and, ergo, viciously anti-monarchist) government, appointed a regent, Archbishop Damaskinos, and agreed to let a referendum decide the fate of the King of the Hellenes. Eventually, said referendum restored the monarchy, but it was all for naught. George II, by the way, was the cousin of Prince Philip, now the consort to Queen Elizabeth.
In 1947, also on December 30, King Michael I of Romania, was forced to abdicate by the Soviet-backed regime in his country. Michael, by the way, is still alive, splitting his time between Switzerland and Romania (his citizenship was restored after the fall of Communism). He does not agitate for restoration of the monarchy, believing that such a move must come from the people, though he is wildly popular in his home country and has acted for his nation, advocating for Romania’s entry into NATO, for example. He is also the last surviving commander-in-chief of an European Allied nation from World War II, the only surviving monarch from the Interbellum and one of only three heads of state still alive from World War II (King Simeon of Bulgaria and Tibet’s Dalai Lama are the other two).
Kings at Blackhawks, 7 PM
Records: Kings (25-10-4, 54 points, 3rd in Pacific); Blackhawks (27-7-7, 61 points, 1st in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: Kris Versteeg got the winner in a 3-1 Chicago victory Dec. 15 at the United Center.
Last 10: Los Angeles 7-3-0; Chicago 7-1-2
Historical Context: Michael, God bless him, has been waiting to take his throne nearly as long as the Kings waited for their first Stanley Cup. Like the Kings, he’s very much respected, but he does do some silly things, like presenting tabloid Man of the Year prizes to socialists, sort of the Romanian monarchy equivalent of keeping Dustin Brown as your captain.
Red Wings at Predators, 7 PM
Records: Red Wings (18-13-9, 45 points, 4th in Flortheast); Predators (17-18-4, 38 points, 7th in Conference III)
Last Time They Met: The Preds got a shutout, winning 2-0 at Joe Louis in front of rookie goalie Marek Mazanec.
Last 10: Detroit 3-5-2; Nashville 4-5-1
Historical Context: George II of Greece is said to have remarked that “the most important tool for a King of Greece is a suitcase.” Remember when the Red Wings complained about all the suitcases they had to pack, what with the horrible five-star travel they had to endure as members of the Western Conference? Like George, they fled their homeland and have found their new digs tough sledding indeed. And when they do return to their old kingdom, they find their legacy looted. Detroit is 1-2-2 against Conference III this season.