Fantasy NHL: Pulling the plug

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:30 PM ET

Standing in the goal crease looking up at the Staples Center Jumbotron, Jarome Iginla couldn't believe what he was reading. Or hearing. Nor could his teammates.

As sirens rang out and LAPD's finest stepped onto the ice with batons drawn, the message flashing on the centre-ice monitors said it all.

"All hockey players must get out of the building immediately," it read, six hours before the scheduled Flames/Kings game. "You've been locked out, virtually."

Following months of online battles, commissioner Max Headroom decided yesterday to lock out players of the X-Box Fantasy League 56 games into the season due to escalating graphic capabilities and special effects "spiraling out of control."

"We apologize to our fans," said Headroom. "But until we can figure out a way to keep technology under control, we simply cannot continue to operate. When guys like Wade Belak start scoring goals, you know the system needs fixing."

The move comes one day after Microsoft announced X-Box power cords were being recalled for being fire hazards.

"That means we win the Cup, eh?" said Todd Bertuzzi, whose Canucks have a league-leading 72 points. "Anyone who says we didn't, I'll see in court. I know how to get there."

The Flames finished fourth in the west, four points behind the Canucks.


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