(Photo: Paul Bissonnette)

An inescapable craze struck the nation this off-season, more feel-good than Guardians of the Galaxy and catchier than the song “All About That Bass”. I am referring, of course, to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We here at The Pink Puck not only nominated our readers, but we’re so dedicated to giving back that we have watched every single video of an NHL player doing the ice bucket challenge (yes, every single one), and fellow Pink Puck writer Mollyhall and I have teamed up to bring you the best of the best, cream of the crop challenges you can’t afford to miss.

Stay frosty, friends, and don’t forget to donate.

Sam Gagner of the Arizona Coyotes
JH: I don’t even remember what I did for my 25th birthday, but I feel like it was exponentially less fun than this.

MS: Things I admire about Sam Gagner’s Ice Bucket Challenge:
1) his decision to wear what seems to be a light purple shirt paired with more aggressively purple shorts;
2) creative use of slo-mo, which would have done the director of 300 proud; and
3) his decision to use the word “nominate,” as if this is an honor that his friends have bestowed on him.
Things I do not admire: HOW DARE YOU WASTE A PERFECTLY GOOD CAKE.

JH: Here’s what I like about Sam Gagner’s ice bucket challenge – he understands what we want. He gets that we want to see someone get soaked as hilariously as possible, but he also understands his role, which is to wear a thin, light-colored t-shirt, because come on, that’s like half the fun.

Tim Gleason of the Carolina Hurricanes
MS: Tim Gleason’s Ice Bucket Challenge reminds me of a dream I had once, where Ron Burgundy was using Elvis’s tub at Graceland, and when I said, “Ron Burgundy, you can’t be in here,” he stood up from the bubble-filled tub with bubbles covering all his delicate parts the way a mermaid’s hair does.

Tim Gleason’s Ice Bucket challenge also makes me wonder at what point during his bath Tim Gleason plans to open the champagne at his side and drink it, apparently, directly from the bottle.

JH: I feel like if Kanye West did the Ice Bucket Challenge, it would look a little like this, only Kanye West would be playing softly in the background.

Anton Khudolbin of the Carolina Hurricanes
JH: If you watched Evgeni Malkin’s ice bucket challenge and were like “cute, but not Russian enough,” and then you watched Alexander Ovechkin’s where he’s in his underwear in the shower and were like “kind of strange, but not Russian enough,” my friends, do I have the ice bucket challenge for you.

MS: Who runs the costume department in Anton Khudobin’s life? That person needs a raise.

Other questions raised by this ALS Bucket Challenge video: what are the paddle and life vest for? Where is your boat? Wearing flippers and a life raft in your paddle boat suggests a real lack of faith in your boating ability. Anton Khudobin: have you ever been boating before? Are you sure you can do it alone? I’m not saying you can’t. I’m just asking if you’re sure.
JH: “Hello ladies, look at your man, now me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he is not me. But if he starts working out like a crazy person and dumping water on his head wearing tiny shorts, he could look like me. What’s this? It’s two tickets to that Blackhawks game you wanted. I’m on a wakeboard.” – Jonathan Toews, probably.
MS: Does anyone ever get the sense that the “Captain Serious” moniker, like, really messed with JayTayves head? Do you think he’ll spend the whole rest of his life shouting into the abyss, “I’M THE COOL DAD! I’M THE COOL DAD!!!!!!!!!!!”
JH: Is there such a thing as trying too hard at an Ice Bucket Challenge? I think we may have reached that point.
MS: “I want to make a video that will confuse you, emotionally. I want it to pump you up to fight ALS, but also for some reason make you very sad about the hardships of life. Must include adorable children playing a sport people love, so that their heart muscle will get a full workout. Make sure to zoom in on that one kid’s face, you know the one, with the SAD EYES. I want to incapacitate people for a few minutes, really make them realize just how terrible they are for not running up mountains in Newfoundland, carrying buckets of water to thirsty stray dogs, and teaching babies about teamwork and the value of always giving 100% by playing sports. Oh! And in the background let’s have a hopeful folk/rock tune from the MOST Canadian band we know, like maybe Great Big Sea? They’re pretty Canadian, right? Yeah, they’re pretty Canadian.” – leaked memo from Dan Cleary to his ALS Ice Bucket production team
JH: There are a bunch of Ice Bucket Challenges where zambonis were used, but Andrew Ference did it first. Andrew Ference was, like, the first guy to up the game and make people realize they had to do more than put some dinky ice cubes in a bucket. Andrew Ference expects excellence. He demands it. He will captain us all to greater Ice Bucket heights.
MS: All right, look. The truth of this is that Andrew Ference is always going to win every Good Guy award, ever. We can be bitter about this or we can accept it as part of life. Andrew Ference is a guerrilla-gardening hot dad who cares about the environment, LGBTQA rights, children, and probably a whole bunch of social causes that we’re all too self-involved to even KNOW about. You win, Ference. YOU ALWAYS WIN.
JH: Andrew Ference: Living King Clancy award.
JH: I posted this video to my twitter, which my parents read, and it thoroughly impressed my mom. She brings it up pretty much every time we discuss the ice bucket challenge. “Who was the cute guy who sat under the ice truck?” She asks, proving that no matter what PK Subban does, there is a 100% chance that if you brought him home to your mom, she would like him.
MS: PK Subban challenged Drake. I mean? What else do you want from him? I know Drake was too busy still sitting in that chair from the Anaconda video, but PK Subban tried. That’s what counts. In the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, as in literally everything else that PK Subban does, 100% effort was made.

Also, does anybody in the whole world love life as much as PK Subban? What’s the over/under on someone convincing PK Subban to make a life coach video series where he just looks right into your soul through the camera and says, “YOU’VE ONLY GOT ONE LIFE, SEELEY! LIVE IT!” I’m asking for a friend.

JH: RING RING RING RING RING RING, BANANA SUIT (doo doo doo doo doo doo doo).

But in all seriousness, why does Marc-Andre Fleury have a banana suit? At what point in his life did he go to the store, look at it, and go, “yes, I will definitely use this in my future”? Why don’t I live the kind of life where I need a banana suit?

MS: The true MVP of this video is the Fleurys’ adorable baby girl, who takes on look at the cold water her mom and that huge banana are dumping on their heads, and just goes, “Uh, no thank you.”
JH: Are you looking for a way to say “donate money to researching a cure for ALS” while also ostentatiously saying “as a hockey player I make more money than most twenty-somethings  lie awake at night crying of and dreaming”? Then boy, does Christian Hanson have a way of doing the ice bucket challenge for you!

MS: Julia was fooled by this video, but my cat eyes were not. THOSE ARE ONE DOLLAR BILLS, CHRISTIAN HANSON. That’s probably, like, $30 in one dollar bills. That’s enough dollar bills for a chicken fajita and a couple large margaritas. I mean, every dollar counts when it comes to medical research; I’m just saying, this is a lot like the time my mother printed out a fake $100 over a stack of ones and put it in my Christmas stocking. “HOLY CRAP A THOUSAND DOLLARS!” I shouted, and my Mom said, “Ha, ha, sucker, that’s like enough for half a tank of gas and a sandwich. MERRY CHRISTMAS.”
JH: That was, dare I say it, ice cold of your mom.
I know. I’ll see myself out.
JH: In fair Vancouver, where we lay our scene, a lonely Eddie Lack curls up to a Florida Panthers jersey (already a sign of deep anguish) and bellows sadly into the night for his former goalie partner, the other half of the “best friends” necklace he probably wears every day. “LUUUUUU,” he wails as it rains on his head like it is always raining in his heart, “I CHOOSE YOU. LU. LUUUUUUUU.” For never was there a tale of more woe than Eddie Lack and his Luongo.
MS: No, but seriously, how long did Eddie Lack wait after Lu got traded to Florida to buy that jersey? Did he have it before even Lu did?

 
JH: Sometimes, I worry about Paul Bissonette. What drives him, I wonder? What fuels his endless quest for attention-grabbing in the most superlative manner? Does he feel empty inside? Does he cry at night a la Britney Spears’ seminal hit “Lucky”? Can a man who helicopters up to a glacier in a banana hammock to have water dumped on his head ever truly be considered okay?

Which is not to say his video isn’t 10/10 the best NHL ice bucket challenge ever, I’m just saying I worry about the dude.

MS: Apparently this video only cost Paul Bissonette $175 to make, which is literally half of what I spend on a single new tire for my car last month. I guess there’s a new Lord of Bargain Shopping in town, so velcro up those orthopedic shoes and get ready, Nana, because he’s here for your crown.

JH: You know that feeling when you see your teachers outside of school in normal clothes? Especially if it’s a teacher you hate and suddenly they’re humanized in a distinctly uncomfortable way? I feel like that’s what happened to me when I watched this video.
MS: You know that feeling when you find out George Bush spends his free time making paintings of himself in the bath? That’s what I feel like happened to me when I watched this video.
JH: I guess, at the very least, we now know what it would look like if Voldemort did the Ice Bucket Challenge.

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