Bettman began a schedule of daily evil laugh practices.
Or maybe not. After all, everyone already knew that a renegotiation of the existing deal was coming, so the league's move amounted to a mere legal formality. The real action won't come until the two sides sit down to bargain later in the summer.
How will those negotiations go? Nobody knows yet, but sources tell me that the two sides are already hard at work compiling their lists of demands. According to insiders, here are some of the key issues that the NHL and NHLPA will be taking to the bargaining table over the next few months.
NHLPA - While we always realized that the odds of the Raffi Torres suspension being reduced on appeal were low, it still would have been nice for Gary Bettman to let Torres complete at least one sentence without immediately banging a giant gong.
NHL -We all agree that we absolutely must do something to discourage teams from signing players to extremely long-term contracts, so could you guys ask Ilya Bryzgalov to send us a nice photo we could make into a poster to hang in every owner's office?
NHLPA - Several of our members insist that we revamp the draft lottery system so that the Edmonton Oilers don't win every year, although come to think of it everyone who told us that looked an awful lot like a 17-year-old prospect wearing a fake mustache and beard.
NHL - Yes, having large markets play deep into the playoffs increase television ratings and yes, it's important for overall league revenue that the sport do well in the southern US, but we still can't shake the nagging feeling that at some point someone will notice that the LA Kings' net has been two feet smaller than everyone else's for the last month.
NHLPA - Mike Komisarek says it would be super-awesome if we could have just one conversation about an amnesty buyout period without everyone in the hockey world awkwardly turning and staring at him.
NHL - Everyone is clearly fed up with the current discipline system where some suspensions are too long and others are too short and there's never any consistency, so let's just go back to having every suspension consistently being too short like it was a few years ago.
NHLPA - We've still been unable to get any feedback on CBA issues from any members of the New York Rangers, since whoever keeps answering the phone when we call their dressing room just grunts monosyllabic answers at us like a sullen teenager and hangs up.
NHL - Look, all those "lazy Russians don't want to win in the playoffs" narratives took a lot of work for the hockey world to build up over the years, so we'd really appreciate it if Ilya Kovalchuk could stop singlehandedly ruining them.
NHLPA - While we realize that it's become tradition for the Stanley Cup winning captain to pose for a photograph with the commissioner before being handed the trophy, it's still kind of creepy how Bettman always takes that moment to whisper "I've been sitting in this all day without pants".
NHL - Even though he did somehow obtain all of the proper licenses and permits first, it's still not cool how David Booth keeps leaping out of our grandkids' closets and gunning down all their teddy bears.
NHLPA -While we can appreciate that the league would like to increase offense by encouraging forwards and defensemen to refrain from blocking shots, there has to be a better way than just mailing us all a "What Would Marc-Andre Fleury Do?" bracelet.
NHL - Despite consistent profits since the last lockout and record revenues that have increased by almost one billion dollars, it's vitally important that we get further concessions from the players to ensure the ongoing health of the… oh man, we came so close to getting all the way through that with a straight face, let us try it just one more time.