so they nicknamed it "Ovechkin".
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.
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.
Daly: Well, no, that's too few…
Shanahan: I CAN NEVER PLEASE ANY OF YOU PEOPLE!
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.
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.
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!