The NHL owners are conducting one of their periodic performance reviews of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Some observers speculate that, despite earning exceptional marks during his entire 15-year run, Bettman could be in for a rough ride this time around. Or not.
Craig Leipold: All right, everyone, take your seats please. It’s time to get this special meeting of the National Hockey League Robber Barons Owners Association started. Today’s sole agenda item: a resolution thanking Commissioner Gary Bettman for his years of dedicated service to the league.
Charles Wang: Does this mean we’re firing him?
Leipold: What? No. Why?
Wang: It’s just that sometimes you thank people for their service at the same time security is hauling them out the door. That’s what I did with Ted Nolan. It adds that personal touch, you know?
Leipold: Well, let the debate begin! The chair recognizes…himself!
Leipold: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I rise today in strong support of Commissioner Bettman. He is one fine commissioner. Without him, it’s likely that I would still own that money-losing sucker franchise in Nashville. Have you been to that town? Going to games made my skin crawl. Now, I can easily travel to games in my owner’s suite in St. Paul from my home in beautiful Wisconsin. Go Packers! And thank you Commissioner Bettman. It’s not quite as big of an outhouse-to-penthouse move as John Henry getting to swap the Marlins for the Red Sox, but it’s still pretty fucking sweet.
Leipold: The chair reminds the gentleman from Minnesota to keep his language clean. Next, the chair recognizes the gentleman from Los Angeles.
Phil Anschutz: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I rise today in support of the comments of the gentleman from Minnesota. Not the part about the Packers; being from L.A. I have only a vague notion of what this “American” football game is, and frankly don’t care for it all that much. Not like the original, pristine version beloved around the world. The MLS is just getting ready to pop, I tell you!
Ted Leonsis: Point of order, Mr. Chairman. The gentleman is off topic.
Leipold: Sustained. In the future, however, the gentleman from Washington may simply yell “Digression!”
Anschutz: My apologies, Mr. Chairman. I do get worked up about football, though. You know what else I get worked up about? Kansas City! I’m from Kansas–I’m pals with Bob Dole, you know, he hooks me up with some free Viagra now and then–and I can tell you that the good people of Kansas City would like nothing more than their very own NHL franchise. Well, other than a new intake manifold for their 1988 Camaro. But hockey is a close second. And thanks to the Commissioner, these good people still have hope that someday my very own Sprint Center will house the KC Sunshine Bands. No dirty Canuck is going to transplant a team to Canada on Gary Bettman’s watch! No offense, guys.
Leipold: Thank you good sir. The chair next recognizes the gentleman from Kans…er, Nashville.
Boots Del Biaggio: Wow! Hey, thanks! The Commissioner is great! I’ve always wanted to own a hockey team, and even though I didn’t actually have any money, my dream came true! It’s a heartwarmer! Phil, you wanna buy the movie rights to my life story?
Anschutz: Actually, I think I’ve probably given you enough money. Loaned, I mean. You’re going to pay that back, right?
Boots: Oh, yeah, youbetcha. No problemo. Hey fellas, I gotta run. I’m going to see some relatives–a very, very sick great-aunt, actually–in the Cayman Islands. Tell Gary I said hey.
Leipold: The chair reluctantly recognizes the gentleman from New York.
James Dolan: What’s with this slobbery love-fest? Bettman is an idiot! Have you seen-
Leonsis: Digression! Digression!
Leipold: Point of order sustained. The gentleman from New York shall relinquish the floor. Debate is now closed. All in favor of a strong commendation and a hefty raise for Commissioner Bettman, say “Aye.”
All except Dolan: Aye!
Leipold: In the opinion of the chair, the motion carries.
Dolan: But no one made a motion! And it certainly wasn’t seconded! And you didn’t even ask for the Nos!
Leonsis: Digression! Digression!
Leipold: Meeting adjourned. Now, where’s the hookers?