Randy Miller of NJ.com is, as I’m sure you know, a master of hot take headlines.

We’ve previously showed you how Miller is constantly trying to draw his reader in by making outlandish (yet accurate) comparisons of Flyers’ prospects to Hall of Famers. Those headlines, while takey as hell, are nothing in comparison to his latest offering:


You see, recently Michael Del Zotto has been doing not so great (at least according to Flyers coach Craig Berube), so he’s looking for a new pair of shoes to get back into his game.

I’m not sure why Del Zotto chose a Malibu Beach Trail to go shopping for shoes. That seems odd — surely California has malls and stuff. Right?

Oh! Maybe Randy is talking about the fish. Wait. Are sole native to California? Is this Malibu Trail even on the water?

Those questions that I just laid out are exactly why this headline is so damn good. It draws you in immediately — now you need to find out if Del Zotto was shoe shopping or fishing.

Brilliant work by Mafaso, king of the beat writers.


Chauvinistic hockey beat writers just got the hero they deserve: Mark Madden.

First, the background story: as was widely reported earlier this week, noted gentlemen and hot takist Adrian Dater was literally castrated for voicing to a friend (read: stranger on the internet) the zephyrs that were blowing through his mind. Dater was not the first victim of recent angry internet mob castration. Rather, several other writers have met the same fate for doing nothing more than using their professional position to make entirely unsolicited sexual advances toward complete strangers FLIRTING.

Enter Mark Madden, a humanitarian advocate and long-time sports reporter from the Pittsburgh area. One need not look further than Madden’s twitter page to witness his overflowing respect for women and his indelible passion for gender equality:

Madden is not one to keep silent when somebody is victimized on the internet by a predator taking advantage of a gross power imbalance. That is why upon hearing of the Dater controversy, he immediately stepped in to defend Dater’s victim:



Madden should be commended for bravely melting computer screens everywhere with his scorching take on predatory interactions with strangers on the internet. He has been one of the leading voices standing up for human garbage ever since he was personally victimized by the thin skinned PC mob (fired) for spitting out the fiery take below:




The Toronto Maple Leafs are the best team in hockey — unless they aren’t. Well, tonight they lost to the Nashville Predators in a pretty devastating fashion, and hot takes were abound.

Take this steamer, for instance:

Which isn’t necessarily a take by conventional definitions until you realize who inspired it:

Aww, yeah. Our favorite takist Steve Simmonds was on the fucking case tonight, making sure that whatever narrative he dreamed up the night before was fully realized in his post-game interviews.

But little Stevie wasn’t done there. Check this shit:

Steve has boarded a train, and the only stop he’s willing to get off at is Hot Take City. What a champion.

But Simmonds wasn’t the only one willing to dose out a healthy serving of hot takery. Check this out:

Holy hell. Compete level is obviously one of the stats that we at The Hot Takery monitor closely, and what Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf said makes a lot of sense, especially if you don’t think about it.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Phil Kessel — noted enemy of the expert media — has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, and Darren Dreger is going to make sure he goes against the wall:

It’s almost as though no one predicted the Leafs would be a garbage fire this year, given their management and coaching.


We all know that #truculence is what leads to wins in the NHL — and The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Sam Carchidi made that perfectly clear tonight in the form of a piping hot take.

While the Philadelphia Flyers were getting pounded by the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, Carchidi made this piping hot observation:


It’s nice to see a member of the media finally acknowledge the contributions of a pugilist like Jay Rosehill. Of course, Flyers coach Craig Berube is a well-known anti-truculence kind of guy, so Rosehill isn’t even in the lineup tonight.

Maybe Ed Snider should interview Carchidi for a coaching position. Just sayin’…


As I write up this piping hot take, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the midst of totally shellacking the Boston Bruins. And while that might be a good thing in terms of hockey and stuff, Phil Kessel is probably pissed.

Why? Well, leave it to non other than hot takist Mike Brophy to point out exactly why the Leafs star may be a little upset right now:

See, while Phil Kessel may be tearing it up on the ice right now, it means that he might have to, like, talk to some guys with press passes. Talk about bittersweet.

And while you all may be shaking your heads right now, remember that Brophy is making a really good point — Phil Kessel is always a target of hot takists because of his disdain for providing platitudes to beat writers.

Let us all pray that Phil Kessel stops scoring goals, if only for his own sake.

h/t @MathHappens51


As we at the Takery have explained over and over again, the best takes lack any type of substantive analysis and always opt for buzzwords over logic.

Well, leave it to undisputed master takist Steve Simmons to deliver a column so devoid of analysis, so bereft of logic, and so chock full of #words that it leaves us completely breathless.

In his piping hot October 27 column in The Toronto Sun, Simmons laments all the problems with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Is it because they are a bad possession team? Are they suffering from a woeful PDO? Is the goaltending just not up to snuff?

Hell no! All the answers to those questions, no matter how relevant, would require Simmons to slip on a fireman’s suit — something that he would undoubtedly never do. Instead he opted for #words.

How deep into the art of hot takery did Simmons go? Well, you be the judge. Here are some of the myriad #words that Simmons brought up when criticizing the Leafs:

1) Lack of self-awarness:

This is a team lacking in self awareness.

*This is particularly rich given that Steve Simmons is pretty much a master in lack of self-awareness.

2) Identity:

They have no real identity. There is no Maple Leafs way to play.

3) Hockey intellect:

This collection of talent is lacking in hockey intellect. It doesn’t seem to be able to read situations properly or react to them.

4) Leadership:

Yes, there are leadership concerns with the roster, not so much from one man wearing a ‘C’ but from a group which needs to inspire change on a nightly basis.

5) #Words:

Then [Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle] listed off words: Passion. Compete. Relentless. Desire.

Cap all those steaming hot #words off with an unnecessary and wholly irrelevant jab at Nazem Kadri and BAM! You got yourself one piping hot Steve Simmons take.

Honestly, I don’t think that we’ve read anything so devoid of intelligent thought since the founding of the Takery. And as loyal readers of Steve Simmons, that’s saying a lot.


We’ve been writing a lot recently about how The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi is a master takist, but he just keeps on surprising us.

A few nights ago I was reading through his Twitter feed (as I do before I fall asleep every night), and I noticed something remarkable — Carchidi just beats the living hell out of Courier-Post writer Dave Isaac in the #brand department.

Now, most people know that the way to consistently assert #brand dominance is via the “manual retweet,” but in The Hot Takery’s opinion, that still gives too much credit to the original writer. Enter Carchidi, who has made it a habit to straight up lift Isaac’s tweets with the absolute bare minimum attribution possible — quotes.

But, to be fair, Isaac should be grateful that a master takist like Carchidi leaves his handle in the tweet — it’s an honor, kind of.

So without further ado, we give you the 46 best times this has happened:

*Editor’s note: None of these tweets are particularly interesting. Also, we excluded all the times when Carchidi quoted Isaac and added an extra (albeit asinine) observation — there’s a ton of those too.*


Internet, we need to talk. I understand that making fun of people for no reason is kind of your thing, but you’ve gone too far with your ridicule of Steve Simmons — a guy who is super reasonable and never says anything outlandish just for the sake of it.

It all started yesterday, when Steve tweeted out this jab at baseball guy Jose Bautista:

Now, I’m no baseball takist, so I’m not really sure exactly what little Steve is referring to there. But I can only assume that it was not exactly good spirited (a real change in character for Steve), because shortly thereafter, the baseball man had this to say:

What a dick. This “Bautista” guy — whoever he is — has a lot to learn. You don’t just go after a legend like Steve Simmons. Show some damn respect.

But the real story here isn’t Steve’s feud with the baseball man. No, it’s the reaction of people who were following the story as it unfolded on Twitter.

See, people are always trying to take down the greats in any field, and a bunch of internet jerks said really mean things to Steve. Luckily, he was given a chance to defend himself on TSN radio yesterday.

Now if you listen to the audio in the above link, one thing will become evident very quickly — Steve is always a victim. He never does, or says anything mean-spirited or downright idiotic. And to be completely honest, his critics know this, which is why they always resort to ad hominem attacks instead of critically analyzing his words and matching them up against the pesky facts.

But don’t take it from me. Here’s a key passage from the takist himself in that interview:

Any time I try to be reasonable, I get jumped all over for things that I don’t think are unreasonable.

If you read Steve’s piping hot column in the Toronto Sun, you know he’s always reasonable. He would never do anything as silly as, say, asking where the critics of Dave Nonis’ offseason moves were mere days into an NHL season.

And it’s exactly that reasonableness that forces Steve’s critics to become a bunch of mean bullies who get their jollies by being jerks:

I would love it if it was a good argument. If it was: ‘why did you say this instead of that’ rather than ‘you’re fat, you’re ugly, you’re stupid, you’re a moron.’


I get ‘you’re fat’ every day. It’s the first thing. It’s never ‘ that was a dumb thing to say’ or ‘I completely disagree with you’ or ‘why did you say that.’

I challenge any one of you to find one single piece of critical analysis debunking the words of a Steve Simmons column. It’s not like sites such as Pension Plan Puppets ever offer a careful and reasoned criticism of Steve’s work. Nope, that site is chock full of fat jokes and jabs at his looks.

And it’s not like there’s a website on the internet that uses Steve Simmons’ inaccurate and frankly hilariously wrong words as its bread and butter.

But Steve, perspicacious takist that he is, knows the reason behind why people are such meanies who never have any constructive criticism to offer. It’s because they simply don’t understand #journalism:

The funny thing is it’s like getting journalism lessons, Brian, from people who truly don’t understand it — who we talk to, how it works, how we get our information. You know, people think we just pick these things and make things up out of the blue.

See, Steve has access to the locker room and general managers and coaches and such — you people just don’t get that. He doesn’t just make outlandish statements to drive clicks to his column. And all that access and journalistic integrity has done wonders for his ability to accurately and convincingly take down the forces of Big Corsi better than anyone else.

So please, leave Steve Simmons alone — you people simply never have any valid criticism and are just jerks. Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.


Montreal Gazette columnist Jack Todd has a bone to pick with the analytics community, and he’s addressing it the one way he knows how — by writing some of the hackiest drivel you’ve ever read.

In his Sunday column, Todd addresses some of the finer points in the world of hockey, like how you can’t quantify blues musicians (?) Or something:

When I was listening to the superb local blues man Adam Karch over the weekend, it occurred to me that even if it were possible to quantify what Karch does in numerical terms, I wouldn’t want to.

I don’t want to know what his fretting and picking tendencies are in the seventh bar of a 12-bar blues riff, because there is something of a mystery to what Karch does and how he does it and it should remain that way. It’s what makes him unique, why he’s an artist and not just another purveyor of schlock pop.

And that’s how the piece starts. This master takist let’s you know right off the bat that you’re about to take a wild ride into the depths of hackery not seen since last week’s Thomas Friedman column.

Oh, and indeed, the hackery doesn’t stop there. This piece is so chock full of strawmen and faulty logic it’s impossible to really address everything.

But let me tell you, Todd really covers his bases bringing up every hackey argument to attempt to take down hockey analytics.

From quoting Pierre McGuire to make a cheap, irrelevant point:

Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy run the Colorado Avalanche, a team that managed to rack up 112 points last season despite their professed disdain for analytics. (The numbers people would no doubt say that’s why they lost to the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs.)

Pierre McGuire went further than Sakic and Roy.

“Any coach that uses analytics to show a player what he did right or wrong,” McGuire told TSN Radio 690’s Mitch Melnick, “should be terminated on the spot.”

To bringing up intangibles and how Corsi can’t measure them:

Hockey is equal parts chaos and emotion, both impossible to quantify. What the numbers show is the result of all that passion, not the cause. They don’t really measure the effect of an intimidator like Murray, or of a leader like Brandon Prust.

Todd spares literally no expense when dishing out this piping hot hackey take.

We at The Hot Takery have bestowed great honor on master takists like Steve Simmons, but the hackey hot takery of Jack Todd is simply unmatched.


It’s one thing for an appsite like The Score to screw up a story so bad, but when ESPN does the same thing, you better believe that hot takery is taking over.

Last week, we reported how a faux tweet from Pittsburgh Penguins blogger Mike Darnay duped the master takists at The Score. See, Darnay fake-retweeted a tweet from the Penguins about how new coach Mike Johnston would “tase” any players who dump the puck in at practice.

Well, it appears that ESPN never got the memo that Darnay was having a little funny. Here’s the relevant except from ESPN’s piping hot season preview for Mike Johnston:

All eyes are on Johnston, formerly of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks, to see what he can do with the star-studded Penguins lineup. He already made some waves in his first day of training camp, proclaiming that any player who dumped the puck in would get zapped with a stun gun.

Now, when The Score screwed this story up, we commended them for not taking the 20 seconds required to realize that the whole Johnston tasing thing was a hoax.

But ESPN, days later, still ran the story, well after it was widely known that Darnay is full of shit.

Kudos, ESPN, for the massive journalistic failure.

ht @BCT_AChiappazzi

UPDATE: The ESPN scribe who wrote the aforementioned hot taser take, Katie Strang, has since deleted it from her column. Of course, Strang is a master takist, so no apology or correction was issued. Master takists always just sweep their mistakes under the rug, so we commend her actions here.

She did, however, offer a moment of candor to us on Twitter:

UPDATE 2: It seems that Strang flew too close to the sun in her quest to become a certified hot takist, eventually issuing this correction within the body of her column:

(Correction: Johnston did not, however, threaten to tase players for dumping the puck in, not even in jest, as was joked on Twitter and possibly a certain ESPN reporter thought was true.)

It seems that ESPN just isn’t fully ready to embrace the art of hot takery.