Yesterday, the NHL General Managers’ meetings began in Boca Raton, Florida, and as usual, HTTN pre-wired the room with microphones in order to bring you the scoop:
Transcript of GM Meetings – March 14, 2011
Gary Bettman: Welcome everyone to our annual GM meetings. First things first, I think you should all congratulate me on my 5-year contract extension that will see me paid $7.2 million a year. Whoever said I wasn’t a good businessman?! Ha Ha!
I guess my cap hit is more than Roberto Luongo’s! Ha Ha!
I’ve got 7.2 million reasons to spend 3 days with you bunch of meatheads! HA HA! I’m on fire!!
Seriously though, I should be paid more than him, I mean I’ve touched the Stanley Cup many times during my career, and every time I do, the fans “Lou” even louder for me than they do for him.
Hey… why are you laughing, that wasn’t a joke.
Anyways, my monologue is over. Time to call this meeting to order. Our first order of business is trying to figure out a place to which we can move the worst-ever-business-decision, the Phoenix Coyotes.
Ken Holland: Wait, Gary, wasn’t moving the team to Phoenix your idea in the first place?
Bettman: Stop! Please refer to page 7, paragraph 3 of my new contract: “No employee of the NHL or any of the NHL teams shall be allowed to question any decision ever made by Gary Bettman.” You need a magnifying glass to see it. That’s how small I made the fine print! Ha ha! I didn’t go to law school for nothing, you fools! Oh, and Ken? Objection overruled! Ha ha! I always wanted to say that!
Anyways, the decision of where to move the team has already been made. It’s going to Winnipeg.
Jay Feaster: Uh, Mr. Bettman, I’m not questioning your decision or anything here, just small query – why are we relocating back to Winnipeg when the city clearly couldn’t support a team last time they had one, and there are other MUCH more lucrative places that the NHL could go? Like Southern Ontario?
Bettman: You know what? I don’t have to answer that question because of the fine print in my contract, but I will anyways. There are two crazy old ladies from Winnipeg who have been leaving me voicemails about wanting the Jets back ever since they left. Their whiny voices and long winded, annoying way of talking drives me insane. It has to stop.
Garth Snow: (whispering to Joe Niewendyk) Whiny and annoying voices? Sounds like a description of himself!
Joe Nieuwendyk: Quiet man! Don’t bring any attention to us! I’m still pretty sure it’s a mistake we were hired as GM’s. Just eat the free food and enjoy this while it lasts. And try not to get us noticed!
Bettman: … so THAT’s why we’re going to Winnipeg.
Ray Shero: Gary, you mean to tell us that we’re leaving piles of money on the table by choosing Winnipeg instead of Southern Ontario? How does that make any sense?
Bettman: Let me ask YOU a question. Why would we leave a broadcasting deal with American sports-television giant, ESPN, to sign with the obscure, unavailable Versus network?
Shero: I don’t know, why?
Bettman: Oh, I was hoping you knew the answer to that. People have been asking me.
Anyways, moving on. Next item: headshots. I know it’s an issue because Mario Lemieux wrote me an angry letter. Believe me guys, players only ever talk to me if something is seriously wrong. Apparently Chara hit someone with a belt buckle or something too?
Jay Feaster: Wait, you don’t know what Chara did? Why did you speak out against Air Canada then?
Bettman: I spoke out against Air Canada on behalf of the NHL? Oh no! I was just reading out an angry letter that I wrote because my wife and I had to wait 20 minutes for a flight last week, and it’s our prerogative if we want to take our business to another airline. Did I say it on behalf of the NHL? Oops!
But whatever, back to this belt buckle issue…
Brian Burke: F*** Gary. Chara hit Max Pachioretty into the turnbuckle. It’s a pretty f***ing big deal in the NHL right now.
Bettman: Turnbuckle? There’s a word I’ve never heard before! Anyways, I think there’s really nothing we can do about the headshots thing. Besides, Colin Campbell has it under control.
Mike Gillis: Hold on – can’t we at least make the teams that don’t take concussions seriously change their protocol? For instance, if Crosby was on my team, he wouldn’t have been allowed to play the game after the Steckel hit without being checked out properly.
Bettman: You know Mike, you and Ken Holland are in the minority around here. Your brains and level headed way of looking at things are rare qualities for NHL general managers, and frankly, they’re not very welcome in this room. But, since you’re sooo intelligent, what’s your solution?
Gillis: Well, why don’t we make it mandatory for players to be checked out after a shot to the head, before playing another shift? Wouldn’t that be a good idea?
Bettman: Examine the player before letting him play again? Not bad, Mike. Not bad.
Oh! There’s the doorbell! Pizza’s here guys!
Pizza delivery guy: That’ll be $95 please.
Bettman: Guys, it’s Darryl Sutter! He’s trying to sneak into the GM’s meeting! Did you think I wouldn’t recognize you with that Dominoes hat on? Sorry big guy, you’re not welcome here anymore.
Darryl Sutter: Actually, I’m not trying to sneak in. This is my job now…
Bettman: Oh wow. Ok, here’s $10,000. Keep the tip. It’s expensed to the NHL owners anyways, they won’t even notice with the millions I’ve lost them! Ha ha!
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