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The True Stories of Robidas Island

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Where did Lou send Stephane and Joffrey? And what’s in the latest box?

Art courtesy Pengellyink.

This post was originally published in November of 2016. Lou was the GM, LTIR was for everyone, and Robidas Island was born. We’re reposting this today as part of our May festival of revisiting the past — no time machine required.

Prologue

After months of searching, the investigative team at PPP has finally discovered the remote location previously known only in folklore as Robidas Island. There, former NHL All-Star Stephane Robidas, who has been stranded for nearly a year and a half, has begun to prosper. Life was difficult in the early goings — he was lonely — but the 39-year-old tried to make the most of it, hopeful that someday, somehow, Lou Lamoriello (the mastermind who stranded him there) will return to take him home.

That optimism has faded and Robidas has since accepted that he may never get off the island, beaten by the long solitude. Lupul, who arrived in September, remains hopeful. He still trains daily, rationing scarce food in hopes of returning to play in Toronto once more. But his will has begun to bend.

Today, the pair of castaways received their latest airmailed package, a bigger box than usual. Artist Pengellyink travelled with us to document the scene. These are the totally true stories of Robidas Island. - Scott Wheeler


Chapter 1 excerpt:

"They're late."

Joffrey shaded his eyes with a hand and looked up at his fellow castaway. "We have enough for another week if we stretch it."

"They've never been late before!" There was a wildness in Robidas' eyes Joffrey hadn't seen in all his weeks on the island. "Lou sends the crate every thirty days like clockwork!"

"Maybe you forgot to notch your tree?" He sat up a little, disturbing the lizard who joined him in sunning on the shore most days.

"I never forget to notch my tree!" Stephane brandished the somewhat worn Swiss Army knife he used to mark the calendar. "Lou's going to pick me up the day my contract expires! I have to be ready!"

"Okay, so they're late. What can we do about it?"

"We're going to have to kill our own food." Joffrey followed Stephane's gaze to the innocent lizard on the sand beside him.

"You can't kill Bobby!"

"We all have to make sacrifices, Joffrey. It's for the good of the team."

Robidas lunged. Bobby, sensing danger, skittered out of reach, leaving his assailant to faceplant into the sand.

"Stephane..." A familiar sound interrupted his attempt to reason with his teammate. "Stephane, the plane! It's here!" - Nafio

Chapter 2 excerpt:

At last, there were provisions. At last!

Robidas insisted on opening the box like he always did, and the creak of the wood splitting was like an angel's choir. The slats fell away to reveal, not wine and Oka cheese like Robidas had been praying for, but a very tall man with brown hair and not the most intelligent look in his eyes.

"Where am I?" said Jared Cowen. - Katya Knappe

Chapter 3 excerpt:

"I want to fly the plane!" said Auston, but fell silent after a stern glance from Morgan.

"Never again. Not after letting you onto my Call of Duty team. With hands like that, how do you even put the puck in the net?" Morgan snorted from the pilot's seat. Rielly was the obvious choice for pilot: steady, careful, but (he admitted to himself) better with a competent co-pilot.

"He doesn't, according to the media," interjected Mitch smugly. Mitch was strapped in the back seat of the little plane, right near the cargo bay. "Tell him, Willie."

Silence.

All three men looked around. There was suddenly a noticeable lack of blond on the plane.

"Earlier, when Willie said he was going to climb into the box to take a nap..." Auston said tentatively.

"Did we leave him there?" Rielly asked, sighing.

They all craned their head to look back at the island receding in the distance.

"We don't play for a few days. Let's, uh, come back later," Rielly said, pointing the plane due north.

The rookies suddenly looked terrified.

"Relax. At least we aren't making him do 20 questions with Kappy or anything." - Achariya

Chapter 4 excerpt:

"Today's Robidas Island Challenge: Convince this league-retained physician you're unable to play."

"If we do this, can we leave?"

"No." - Fulemin

Chapter 5 excerpt:

The ‘copter landed neatly on the beach, making the hammocks sway gently in the propeller-driven wind.

Lupul popped his head up. “Robey, we have a visitor!”

“Is it the Scotiabank guy again? Because that was the most annoying 15 minutes —”

A man in a tidy business-casual outfit clambered down from the helicopter, holding something in his arms.

“What’s he got?” Robidas squinted.

“You can’t see?”

“Left my glasses at home.”

Before long, the man stopped in front of the pair of hammocks, shifting nervously on the sand. “Um...” he said. “Which one of you is Stephane?”

Robidas raised his nicely tanned arm. The beach was better for the complexion than the hockey rink, that was for sure.

“Here.” The man dropped a clipboard on Robidas’s stomach, topped by a pair of glasses.

“What’s this for?”

The man simply smiled. “Be ready.”

“Wait. Are you our ride back to —”

The man began running. - Katya and Achariya

Chapter 6 excerpt:

“I see a boat!” Cowen yelled. Lupul didn’t even look up.

“It’s a mirage. Again. Just like the ocean liner, and the rocketship-”

“Hey!” Lupul sat bolt upright. Andrew MacDonald waved from a rowboat offshore. “Nice to see you guys!”

“I told you!” Cowen said triumphantly, and Lupul ignored him. He did not need encouragement.

“Andy, where are you going?”

“Home! Gudas tried to murder a guy again, so Hextall told me if I could get back by the game tomorrow, I could dress!” MacDonald redoubled his pace at the oars. “Sorry, guys, can’t stay and chat. You understand. Duty calls!”

“Take us with you,” Lupul begged. MacDonald shook his head.

“Sorry. Can’t afford any extra weight slowing me down!” He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “Had to tell Clarkson the same thing.”

“Clarkson?” Lupul squinted, and through the blinding glare of the sun off the water, he could make out a figure on the beach of a neighboring island. It was David Clarkson, jumping up and down and waving his arms over his head. - Baseball Annie

Chapter 7 excerpt:

They pried open the latest box and were immediately disappointed. It contained only a single piece of paper.

Lupul sighed.

Robidas picked up the paper and examined it. “WAIT!” he shouted. “Look at this, Lups.”

Lupul examined the paper. On it was a map of the island labelled "Escape Portal," with a trail marked from the beach leading to the very center of the island, deep in the jungle.

At the end of the trail was an Anaheim Ducks logo.

They looked at each other and Robidas whispered, "This is our final chance to get off the island, Joffrey."

They both nodded, knowingly.

Robidas crumpled up the map and threw it away. - Species