Fights Erupt As Hockey Scores Big on Currency

The commemorative Canadian note
In response to the recent release of the Bank of Canada's commemorative $100 bill featuring Wayne Gretzky, the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States has issued a commemorative dollar bill with a hockey theme. The release has been carefully timed to coincide with the beginning of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But the Americans have tried to go one better than the Canadians by featuring Lord Stanley himself. The specially issued US dollar bill also features the logos of several NHL teams.

The official NHL historian associated with the Hockey Hall of Fame, Robert (Hawk) E. Steek, has issued a media statement asserting that he is "very disturbed" by the recent release of the American bill, claiming infringement of copyright. He also believes that Lord Stanley was not consulted before issuing the bill.

The official spokesman for the Bank of Canada, Ben Chedwick has also expressed outrage over the release of the American note, claiming that the United States is merely copying the Canadians. "First they copy us with hockey, and now with their currency. They're not going to get away with this!" he argued vehemently in a television interview yesterday. "Hockey is a Canadian idea, and so is the commemorative note." Sergei Puckov, a former NHL player and senior analyst with American Sportsman Today, believes that the Canadians are over-reacting, and are still embarrassed about the fact that it took them so long to win an Olympic hockey gold medal. The Bank of Canada's Chedwick says that this is nonsense. "It's the Americans who are trying to hide their own embarrassment, because deep down they know that the kings of hockey come from the great white North."

The commemorative American note
Reporters from Hockey Media Magazine International have been able to obtain a copy of the new American dollar bill from Toronto tough guy Tie Domi, who received it as change in an used clothing store while in the United States for a recent away game in Philadelphia. "I was at Value Village paying for the Winnie the Pooh pajamas and Snoopy socks I'd bought for my wife Leanne," said Domi, "and was stunned to see that the bill was already in actual circulation." Unfortunately Domi's dollar bill is marred by some blood stains from a recent on-ice fight, after he forgot that he had placed the bill in his underwear for security.

Despite the controversy, sales of the commemorative notes have sky-rocketed, and there are unconfirmed reports that the limited edition dollar bills are being sold for as much as US$35 on eBay. The notes are legal tender, and are available from national banks for $1, but due to the limited supply they are already virtually impossible to obtain. A misprinted copy of the note which reads "United Skates of America" may be worth as much as US $25,000.

Hockey guru Don Cherry brought the currency discussion into the public spotlight by making comments about it during his regular segment on Hockey Night in Canada. "It's great to see them fighting about the commemorative notes," said Cherry. "Fighting is what hockey is all about. " The National Council of Parents for Polite Children has criticized Cherry for his remarks. "We need to be examples to our children, and Cherry is not being a good role model for our little boys and girls, not to mention he has an atrocious taste in ugly ties. He's supposed to be a hockey commentator, not a cherry blossom," spokesman Ron Donald McBauer was quoted as saying yesterday. "We want to be polite about it, so we are asking Mr. Cherry: please apologize for your remarks, and tell our children that they need to be nice little boys and girls, on and off the ice."

Meanwhile Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is said to be delighted about finally scoring on national currency. Gretzky declined an interview, but neighbours said Gretzky had joked that rather than a $100 bill, it should have been worth $99.

The Canadian bill has four new security features to prevent counterfeiting, including a holographic strip and a watermark of a puck. The commemorative notes are available from all leading financial institutions and Canadian banks. In conjunction with the new bill, Canadian Tire stores are featuring a special month-long promotion offering double Canadian Tire money for all purchases made with the new $100, and a free souvenir roll of limited edition Stanley Cup toilet paper.

Posted Thursday - 2004-04-01 - 01:46:35 EST
by Staff Reporter Verdra H. Ciretop in Toronto
All Rights Unreserved - Loof Lirpa Publishing
Text may be freely copied & redistributed

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