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Maple Leafs head of scouting Craig (Panic) Button recently made an unannounced pilgrimage to the Vatican in hopes of receiving some divine intervention on behalf of the teams Stanley Cup aspirations. The chief of scouting arranged a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and explained to plight of the Leafs long suffering fans, comparing them to nomad Palestinians who have roamed the deserts in search of the Holy Grail since the beginning of mankind. The Pope, who's english is slightly inferior to that of former Leaf Mariuz Czerkawski, is reputed to have said "Yeah, well, we haven't been able to help them either!"

Buttons plan was sidetracked when he offered up the sacred stick of Bill Barilko, which scored the Leafs OT winner in 1951 for the Pope to bless. "Thank-you for the gift", said Pope Benedict. I'm not a Leaf fan but I quite enjoy the Tragically Hip's musings. Nifty Fishing Cap is one funny tune!" When Button suggested the stick was not a gift but simply offered up for blessing the Pope balked and called him an "Indian giver".

After returning to Toronto bummed and empty handed, Button alerted the Hockey Hall Of Fame about the loss of its prized possession. A prepared statement issued by the Hall read. "This is an almost one of a kind rare artifact and we are not pleased about it changing hands. Sticks that have scored Leaf Cup winners are about as rare as Popeshit. Litigation will be following unless the stick is returned unused and an apology from the Pope is forthcoming".

A spokeman for the Vatican replied, "Don't get your hopes up, dipshit!"

Islanders coach Ted Nolan is allegedly tendering a lawsuit on behalf of all Native Canadians for defamation of character.

Undeterred, Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. plans to try the scheme again next summer. "I'm convinced this can help", said JFJ. Maybe we'll try it with something different that isn't so close to the Pope's heart. I'm thinking Johnny Bower last jock or the first prototype donut from Tim Horton".