Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gary Bettman's Labor Day BBQ

They actually just repackaged the same
tools that Leaf fans got tired of two years ago.
Scene: A spacious backyard. Various hockey personalities are milling around, enjoying one final summer BBQ. The host wearing a "Kiss The Commissioner" apron, and greeting the guests as they arrive.

Gary Bettman: Colie, it's great to see you. Glad you could make it.

Colin Campbell: Oh, you know I'd never miss a Gary Bettman party. How's it going so far?

Bettman: Not bad. My world famous potato salad is a big hit.

Campbell: That's great. But shouldn't somebody have laid out all the paper plates and cutlery by now?

Bettman: Yeah, one of the players said they would do it.

Campbell: Well, whoever it was, they got started and then only finished about two-thirds of the job.

Bettman: They did what... uh oh. Sigh. Um, Brad?

Brad Richards (casually wandering by): Yeah Gary?

Bettman: Brad, you gave us all your word that you were going to finish the whole thing.

Richards: Hm. Yeah, I suppose I did say that. Oops.

Bettman: Brad, I trusted you. How do you think this makes me feel right now?

Richards: You know, I hadn't really thought about it that way. But now that you mention it, I suppose that if I put myself in your shoes what I'd probably be thinking is ...

(They stare at each other for a few moments.)

Bettman: You didn't finish your sentence.

Richards: (shrugs)

Bettman: I guess I should have seen that coming.

Richards (under his breath while walking away): Sucker.

(Bettman spots Mike Gillis standing nearby.)

Bettman: Uh, Mike? What happened to that filet mignon I gave you?

Gillis (holding a small piece of wilted cauliflower): Alex Anthopoulos convinced me to trade it to him for this.

Bettman: Anthopoulos! What did I say about you baseball guys crashing my party?

Anthopoulos (casually waving one hand): You said it wouldn't bother you at all.

Bettman (slightly dazed): It would not bother me at all.

(A smirking Anthopoulos walks away, plucking Bettman's beer from his hand and replacing it with an empty water bottle on his way by.)

Gillis (still holding the cauliflower): So, I can still blame Brian Burke for all this, right?

Campbell: Uh, hey Gary, why is Brendan Shanahan in the next yard, holding a clipboard and wearing a lab coat?

Bettman: Oh, don't mind him. He's just holding his annual Research and Development BBQ.

(They both look over at Shanahan, who is attempting to place a grilled hotdog in between two hamburger buns.)

Bettman: You know, just trying out a few new ideas...

(Shanahan begins arranging scoops of ice cream on the grill above an open flame.)

Bettman: See what works, what doesn't.

(Shanahan is carefully drawing a line on the ground with mustard right behind another line made out of ketchup.)

Campbell: Will you ever actually use any of his ideas?

Bettman: Oh lord, no. Not in a million years. But it keeps him busy, and it gives the media something to write about in August.

(In the background, Charles Wang sprints by wearing a New York Islanders bathing suit. He bounds over to the diving board and hurls himself off the end.)

Wang (in mid-air): Cannon ball!

Bettman: There's no water in that pool, Charles.

Wang (still in mid-air): I probably should have done more due diligence!

Campbell (ignoring a dull "thud" in the background): Why didn't you get somebody to fill the pool?

Bettman: Well…

(They both look over to where Brad Richards is napping in a hammock next to a running hose.)

Wang (climbing over the side of the pool): You know, I'm pretty sure if we just move the empty pool to a different yard a few blocks away, everything will be just fine.

(Bettman spots Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman wandering by holding a plate filled with orange peels and coffee grounds.)

Bettman (sighing): Greg, what happened to all that potato salad I made for you?

Sherman (confused): Well, I got this trade offer…

Bettman: Anthopoulos!

Sherman: Who?

(Capitals' general manger George McPhee passes by, happily eating a plateful of potato salad.)

Bettman: Oh for… Not again, Greg.

Sherman: He can be really convincing when he wants to be.

Tomas Vokoun (wandering by unhappily): Tell me about it.

Campbell: I've got to be honest, Gary.

Bettman: This isn't going well, is it?

Campbell: Well, everyone has food poisoning because Brad Richards served all the chicken before it was finished cooking. Brendan Shanahan just put a half-rack of ribs on top of a pile of dynamite. Alex Anthopoulos and George McPhee keep cackling evilly and high-fiving each other. And Charles Wang just sent Trevor Gillis to beat up your swimming pool.

Bettman: So in other words…

Campbell: Once again, you've thrown the worst party ever.

Bettman: Sigh.

Campbell: Well, at least the beer is still cold.

Bettman: True. Here you go, old friend. Take this drink I poured for you.

Everyone in attendance: BOOOOOOO!

Bettman: Why does that happen every time I try to hand somebody a cup?


  1. awesome just awesome

  2. The parts with Shanahan were too freakin' funny!

    Nice job!

  3. Whoa, it really must be summer, not the best post, but still, not a whole lot to work with!

  4. Wait I'm confused... are you allowed to end this without Chris Pronger elbowing someone in the head?

  5. You had me at "a smirking Anthopolous!" Haha, awesome as always

  6. You're taking Belak's death pretty hard, eh? It's hard to be funny at times like this. There were flashes of brilliance, but not up to your usual high standards.

    It's been a long summer, and we're all proud of you for being funny into late August with nothing to work with.

    Hugs and grondles,


  7. I really liked the flow in this. Good job.

  8. "I bet if we just move it a few yards away, everything will be fine"

    Pure Genius

  9. I'm not sure why people didn't find this funny. I found this pretty fantastic.

  10. omg, I almost died laughing at the end. My hockey-less summer would be miserable without you!!!

  11. Loved the re-packaged Leafs joke.

  12. Dammit, AA isn't a Jedi...

    ... he's a ninja.

  13. Wow DGB - this was outstanding. Really, really enjoyed this post. Hilarious as always.

  14. best I've read in a while

  15. with DGB, you get both the sizzle and the steak :D

  16. The photo caption is amazing!

  17. How can this only be a 3.98/ 5?

    I don't think I stopped laughing until the end of the post. The references to Brad Richards, Brendan Shanahan, Vokoun, and Avs-Capitals were all amazing. Best of the Off-season.

  18. Your Bettman party stories are my favourite!

  19. The way you handled McPhee was brilliant. I was in pain from laughing so much.

  20. Brilliant, one of the better ones of late.

  21. Where was Pronger, just doesn't seem complete without him making an appearance

  22. There was so much to love about this one. Excellent work, your best in a long time in my opinion

  23. Lay off the Anthopoulos kool-aid. He's not that good.

  24. the brendan shanahan research and development bbq is brilliant...
    i was lmao so much that i spit coffee all over my desk reading that part..
    is it hockey season yet?

    ~ cheers...

  25. I don't get the Brad Richards jokes, I'm missing something. Can someone explain?

  26. Awesome post. Don't get the "not as funny as usual" comments.

    Brad Richards - signed a long term deal with no intention of ever finishing it - and of course the NHL approved it....

  27. Eureka! I get it now, I was reading to deep into it. Thanks!

  28. Great post, disappointed by the lack of Flyers Fan Mike jokes in the comments though!

  29. ZING! Needs more Pronger.

  30. The Brad Richards joke goes even deeper. While he used to be a great 2-way player, he now only plays 2/3 of the ice.