The hockey puck that Wayne Gretzky used to take the all-time NHL scoring lead from Gordie Howe is up for auction.  Apparently the puck had been missing for 22 years before resurfacing recently.  The situation with this puck is reminiscent of  what happened with the stick and gloves that Sidney Crosby used when he scored the “golden goal” for Canada in the Olympics.  Those items also went missing for a long time before being found.  While the stick and gloves weren’t put up for auction, these stories did get us thinking.

What other long-forgotten hockey items would we like to see put up for auction?  How would we find these items?

Evgeni Malkin’s Consistency

It’s tough to take shots at a player who is recovering from serious knee surgery, but that’s exactly what we’re doing here.  Don’t say we’re not equal opportunity jerks.

Evgeni Malkin won the Art Ross Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophies on route to Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup victory in 2009.  Since then, he’s only showed glimpses of his previously-dominant self.  Frequent injuries, including the current torn ACL and MCL that has him missing the rest of the season, are a big reason why Malkin hasn’t been as consistent in recent years.

We’re sure that Malkin’s consistency would sell for a great deal of money, but where would we find it?  Our guess is that Alex Ovechkin took it and he’s hiding it somewhere.  That seems like something Ovie would do.

Alex Ovechkin’s Ability to be Alex Ovechkin Every Night

Speaking of Ovechkin, how strange is it to look at the NHL’s top scorers and not see Ovechkin near the top?  Sure, he’s made his way up to seventh place and he’s finally passed Sidney Crosby in scoring, but it’s still not very “Ovechkin-like” of him.  He currently ranks 21st in goals scored, which seems more like a typo than an actual statistic.

Don’t get us wrong, Ovechkin is an incredibly talented player and we’d love to have him on our team, but he hasn’t been himself this season.  It’s our guess that the HBO documentary crew probably hid Alex’s ability to be Alex Ovechkin every night.  Where did they put it?  If they want to ensure that Capitals’ coach Bruce Boudreau doesn’t find it, they probably put it in the vegetable crisper.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ Dominance

This one hasn’t been missing for very long, but we’re pretty sure that it would go for a lot on the auction block.  While the Philadelphia Flyers still sit at the top of the Eastern Conference, they’re no longer the runaway leaders.  Boston and Pittsburgh are two points behind them and Washington is four points behind.

The Flyers have lost their last four games.  Those losses came at the hands of Toronto and Ottawa (who both currently sit out of the playoffs) as well as the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres (who occupy the seventh and eighth spots respectively.)  Their last win came in overtime against the 14th place New York Islanders.

The reigning Eastern Conference champions will likely find their dominance shortly, but that won’t stop us from trying to cash in before they do.

The New Jersey Devils’ Sense of Realism

Playoffs!?  Playoffs!?  Really?  Apparently no one told the Devils that they currently have a 1.79% chance of making the playoffs.  Of course, that’s much better than the 0.038% chance they had about a month ago.  The Devils have won four straight games, nine of their last ten and 20 of their last 25.

Their ability to comprehend the reality of their situation is clearly gone and it’s been gone for quite some time.  They obviously have no idea that they’re supposed to be in contention for a lottery pick at this point in the season, not a playoff spot.