Marty Turco signed a one-year contract with Chicago last summer and expected to start in net for the Blackhawks. But for much of the season, he's served as Corey Crawford's back-up and has gotten well-acquainted with the pine. He hasn't started a game since Feb. 11. So Turco's now looking for new sources of entertainment from the sideline, and on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, he actually accepted a casual bet from a Canadiens fan. How nice and totally benign! Until, of course, the NHL inevitably rains on this perfectly harmless parade.
Robert, a Montreal season-ticket holder, called into Team 990's Game Points to tell his story. With his Habs up 1-0 in the first period, he leaned over to the Chicago bench and told Turco he'd wager that the Blackhawks wouldn't score again in the game. When Half-Man-Half-Alcohol Patrick Kane tied it up, Robert scribbled "Habs Rule!" on a $5 bill and handed it over. The two carried the bet throughout the game: double-or-nothing in the second, triple-or-nothing in the third, and in OT, Turco accepted "5-to-1 odds that the Canadiens would win the game."
When Montreal's P.K. Subban ended the game in overtime, Turco handed over the cash and Robert's original bill — with an edited note. The Sun-Times points out that the NHL set a bit of a precedent for this kind of incident back in January, when it fined Ron Wilson for offering his players a cash reward for a game-winning goal. But this is wholly harmless. This is an idling veteran bored enough on the bench to joke with a fan.
And with enough of a sense of humor to write that he, veteran back-up, still "rules."
UPDATE: From TSN's Darren Dreger: "There was no 'wad of $5 bills' exchanged between Turco and a fan last night. Turco says he gave back the original $5. Good, clean fun..." (H/T Mike)