Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inside Gary Bettman's New Year's Eve party

The balloon didn't stop floating all night,
so they nicknamed it "Ovechkin".
Scene: Saturday night, shortly before midnight, in a spacious home in New York. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is welcoming guests for his annual New Year's Eve party. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly arrives.

Bill Daly: Hi Gary… thanks for the invite. How's the party going?

Gary Bettman: So far so good. It got off to a rough start when Ilya Bryzgalov tried to convince everyone that it was a waste of time to celebrate the passage of a single year from within the unfathomably vast history of the cosmos. But we had Milan Lucic take a run at him, and ever since then it's been smooth sailing.

Daly: Nice. Mind if I help myself to some punch?

Bettman: Of course, be my guest.

Daly: Thanks pal. Uh, do you have any ice?

Dan Craig (appearing suddenly): I'm on it!

Craig reaches into a container with a small pair of tongs and selects several immaculately formed ice cubes, which he proceeds to inspect with a jeweler's eyepiece.

Daly: So… do you just make the ice for every NHL event?

Craig: It's in my contract.

Bettman: Uh, Dan, come to think of it… shouldn't you be in Philadelphia right now, making sure we'll have halfway decent ice for the Winter Classic?

Craig: Didn't you hear? There's no game on January 1 this year.

Bettman: Right. That's because we moved it to January 2.

Awkward pause.

Craig: Uh, I should probably go.

Bettman: Sigh. Brendan, can you help Bill get some ice for his drink?

Brendan Shanahan: Of course! How many ice cubes do you want? Ten?

Daly: Ten? No, that would be way too many.

Shanahan: One?

Daly: Well, no, that's too few…


Shanahan throws the drink to the floor and storms off.

Bettman: He's a little stressed out lately.

Daly: Was his hair always that grey?

Taylor Hall: Ten! Nine! Eight! …

Bettman: Uh, Taylor, it's not midnight yet.

Hall (looking up from a sheet of paper): What? No, I was just reading out Nikolai Khabibulin's goals against during games in December.

Bettman: Ouch.

Daly: Hey, are you going to be showing a movie or something downstairs?

Bettman: No, why?

Daly: Well, there's all these people all sitting silently in your basement in the dark, staring at the wall.

Bettman: Oh, that. That's the quiet room for all the star players who are currently out with head injuries.

Bettman motions at a sign on the door reading "Players with concussions".

Daly: Wow. There must be dozens of them in there. That's a major problem, Gary. Please tell me the league has a plan for dealing with this.

Bettman: Of course, Bill. It would be grossly irresponsible of us not to!

Bettman pulls out a magic marker, walks over to the sign, and changes it to read "Players with concussion-like symptoms".

Bettman: Problem solved!

Daly: You might want to make a few more signs.

Bettman: Good idea. Brendan, how many would you say we need?

Shanahan (trembling and chain-smoking in a corner): Ask somebody else!

Colin Campbell (looking rested and happy): Oh, you're on your own, sunshine.

Randy Cunneyworth: Dix! Neuf! Huit!

Everyone stops and stares at him.

Cunneyworth: Uh… that's all I know so far.

Patrick Roy: (snickers)

Cunneyworth: Dude, stop following me everywhere!

Milan Lucic (menacingly): Is this goalie bothering you?

Patrick Roy: Um, au revoir!

Jay Feaster (wearing a novelty pair of oversized "2006" glasses): Hey, happy New Year, everyone!

Bettman: Thanks Jay. But, uh, you do know that it's 2012, right?

Feaster: Really? (Looks at a calendar, then at the Flames roster sheet.) Uh oh. That would have been good information to have.

The doorbell rings.

Bettman: That's weird, I thought everyone I invited was already here.

Bettman opens the door.

Several fans in Atlanta Thrasher jerseys, singing angrily: Should old acquaintance be forgot…

Bettman quickly slams the door.

Daly: Who was it?

Bettman: Nobody important.

Shane Doan: Um, can we borrow a copy of those lyrics for next year's party?

Bettman (checking his watch): Hey look everyone, it's almost midnight!

All guests: Ten! Nine! Eight!

Shanahan: Six! Two! Twelve! Good god, just tell me what number you want me to say!

Cunneyworth: Puis-je! Aller à la! Salle de bains!

All guests: Three! Two! One! Happy New Year!

Bettman: Everyone have some champagne. The Canucks were nice enough to bring forty years' worth of unopened bottles.

Daly: Nice. And where's all this confetti coming from?

Bettman points to an upstairs landing, where Brian Burke is feeding Ron Wilson's new contract extension into a shredder.

Cunneyworth: Brian! Telephonez-moi!

Daly: Well old friend, you've thrown another successful party. And for once, Chris Pronger didn't even show up to maim anyone.

Bettman: Well…

A faint crash can be heard from the concussion room.

A voice from behind the door: Boo… yah…

Daly: That's more like it.

Bettman: Happy New Year, everyone!


  1. Cunneyworth: Puis-je! Aller à la! Salle de bains!


  2. Je trouve que toute cette affaire française rend mon travail extrêmement difficile. Je vous remercie, downgoesbrown, pour faire légère sur la situation. Les médias français est ridicule et pourquoi ils sont donnés un laissez-passer par les propriétaires des Canadiens de Montréal est inconcevable.

    Oh, et je ris mon âne hors de la plaisanterie Pronger. Bon, downgoesbrown.

  3. Glad you remembered: a Pronger reference is de rigeur at all the Bettman parties...at least until he (Bettman) goes away. DGB never diappoints. BOO-yah!!

  4. *that's "never disappoints"...sorry.

  5. Randy, what did I tell you about using google translate?

  6. Supermarco:


  7. Horrible translation, guys. But LOVE the article! I translate for DobberHockey.com if you ever need help. Jerome.

  8. Is the balloon still floating okay?

  9. So, Mr. Goes Brown, how awkward will it be when the canadian team shows up to the gold medal game after having broken out of Iqualuit prison?

  10. "Car l'équipe de hockey de Canadiens continue à gagner des jeux, je penserai à votre mother' ; tetons magnifiques" -Randy Cunneyworth

    "Je me voue à tous les ventilateurs de Canadiens que je parlerai meilleur français que Marcel Marceau avant que nous soyons officiellement éliminés des finales !" -Randy Cunneyworth

    ‎"Je promets que tous les ventilateurs de Canadiens notre bouche de but sera plus dangereuse à nos adversaires qu'un hôpital de Montréal !" -Randy Cunneyworth

  11. "Je prends cet engagement à tout le Canadiens évente…. Je serai avec vous dans le Français parlant et je serai avec vous dans des voitures de police brûlantes !" -Randy Cunneyworth

    "Juste comme Lafayette menait ses troupes à la victoire chez Yorktown, je mènerai le Canadiens à un choix de loterie dans ce year' ; ébauche d'amateur de s." -Randy Cunneyworth

  12. Wow, frank, that was hilarious...especially when he talks to the fans (the ones that are made up of spinning blades which propel air) of the habs...and some nice jabs at habs fans, but nothing worse than what we do to storefront windows on ste catherine after a win or a loss or a tie

  13. The balloon didn't stop floating all night,
    so they nicknamed it "Ovechkin".


  14. Supermarco...

    That's a riot. Don't know why, but the thought of Randy Cunneyworth talking to a bunch of "fans" made me crack up. I don't speak French, but I don't think that "les ventilateurs de les Canadiens" is a good translation for "Habs fans".