The Hockey Hat Trick: What Happens to all the Hats?

Hat TrickI just finished watching Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference Finals, and while it was a pretty exciting game, and I couldn’t be happier for the Nashville Predators and their fans for the big win and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, I did witness something during the game that is causing me quite a bit of concern. In the third period, Nashville’s Colton Sissons scored his third goal of the game, thus completing the hat trick, which was celebrated by Predators fans throwing hats onto the ice. I know this happens virtually every time someone scores three goals, but as I’m not an avid watcher of hockey I haven’t seen this happen live before and therefore never really gave it much thought. Tonight as I watched hats raining from the stands and people workers skating around trying to sweep up the hats as quickly as possible so the game could resume, I found myself wondering what happens to all of those hats.

There are three acceptable scenarios to what happens with the hats once they are swept off the ice, and although it’s possible that none of these things actually happen, I like to believe that we live in a society that does the right thing when it comes to deciding on important issues like what to do with all the hats thrown onto the ice during a hockey game. The first acceptable solution is that all the hats are put in a lost in found area, where fans who threw the hats could pick them up after the game, which would be ideal so the men don’t have to explain to their wives what happened to the twenty-five dollar hat that they bought them for Christmas, that he claimed was the perfect gift. It would obviously be complete chaos if everyone who threw their hat just showed up and started digging through a bin looking for their particular hat and this also would create the possibility of people who had no hat in the first place showing up and trying to claim one of the hats as their own, but I’ve got the perfect solution. If you’re going to throw your hat, write your first and last name on the underside of the bill. Hockey teams could employ people just to sort through thrown hats and arrange them alphabetically so when fans showed up to the lost and found area following the game, they could just show their drivers license and the hat could be returned to the rightful owner in a matter of seconds. Look at me creating jobs and solutions. I’m only twenty-six, but if you insist, I’ll consider running for president in nine years.

If the lost and found system proves to be too much of a hassle, then the second acceptable solution to the abundance of hats is giving them all to the player who scored the three goals and was responsible for this mayhem in the first place. You may be thinking, what would a professional athlete want with a box of other people’s smelly hats? It would be a nice memento to commemorate the occasion, plus hockey already has some pretty weird traditions, like throwing hats onto the ice, so maybe this would be right up the player’s alley. The third and final acceptable thing to do with the hundreds of hats thrown onto the ice after a hat trick, and my personal favorite, is storing them in a compartment below the scoreboard and dropping them onto the ice each time someone scores three goals in the future. Over time the hats would accumulate to such a large number that it would undoubtedly take a massive amount of time to clear them from the ice, allowing the home team the perfect opportunity to rub into the opponents face just how awesome they are and how many hat tricks their players have completed. Unless the hats are handled in one of these three ways, I don’t think I want to know the truth about what happens to them, because the truth would probably just end up disappointing me, and all of the other people out there who want to imagine we live in a society where throwing hats onto a hockey rink results in one of these awesome ways.

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