The Commissioner angrily hung up without answering. Who did Kelly think he was, threatening the Commissioner? But after a moment, he picked up the phone and punched in Kelly’s number. Even if Kelly was bluffing, the resulting P.R. nightmare from releasing the photos would overshadow the All-Star Game, and maybe even spill over into the playoffs.
“All right, Kelly. You can keep having your fun at your ‘poker nights,’ and your wife will be none the wiser.”
That was painful; the Commissioner was beginning to turn purple. Being had by ESPN and the NHLPA in one morning was too much, too much to bear. But it was about to get worse.
“Well, while I’ve got you on the phone, there is one more thing.”
“Don’t push it, Kelly.”
“I think you should hear me out.”
“You have 30 seconds.”
“We’d like to…tweak…the collective bargaining agreement a little.”
“Tweak? Tweak how?”
“Well, for starters, we’d like to kill the salary cap.”
“No, I’m just not in your pocket like Saskin was.”
“Well, why on Earth would I agree to that?”
“Because if you do, I’ll call of my dogs.”
“What are you talking about?”
“When you hung up on me, I made a couple calls. I’m going to hit you where it hurts.”
“What about your ‘poker nights’?”
“I could care less. My wife already knows. As long as she gets to go shopping and bang her tennis instructor, she doesn’t care what I do. Now what’s it going to be?”
“I don’t even have that authority. The owners would have to vote.”
“Yes, but you could sell it. They believe anything you say. Half of them are dying to get rid of the cap anyway.”
Lift the cap? Or call Kelly’s bluff this time?