Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gary Bettman's letter to NHL General Managers, open thread of GMs

Twice during NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's tenure atop the National Hockey League, he has cancelled at least some hockey due to labor disputes. With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement due to expire in the summer of 2012, and the world not about to end, at least outside of hockey, Bettman has decided to take a pro-active step and stay ahead of the Player's Association. He sent a memo to each of the 30 NHL General Managers and then started an open thread to discuss it. Take a look:

To my dearest and closest friends, NHL General Managers,

It has come to my attention that our Collective Bargaining Agreement is going to expire in a little over one year from now. This CBA was signed in 2005 (has it really been that long since I locked the league out?!), and here at the NHL, we want to ensure that we don't cancel another full season because of greedy players. I want us to reach a preliminary agreement before the end of this season, so I cans sign a TV deal with ESPN, reel in the revenue, and then lock the league out. We all have to petition to reduce player's salaries. We must boycott all expensive player signings. There will be no long-term deals (still trying to decide if long-term is 7 years or 17 years), and anyone who chooses to disobey me will pay the consequences long-term. If you have any suggestions, I am always open to listening to other people's ideas, not that I'll ever use them, but it's always nice to hear the voice of rational people every now and then. Colin and I want to make this a painless process for all of us, and together, we can make it happen! And remember, the more seats you sell, the better off everyone is!

Sincerely, Gary Bettman


Ray Shero: Wow, that's great. I love it. Great work as always, Garr!

Lou Lamoriello: Wait, teams who have already signed players to ridiculously long deals can void the contracts at no expense to the organization, right?

Steve Yzerman: ESPN! Alright! There's going to be almost as many Americans watching hockey as there are Rays fans here in Tampa!

Don Maloney: Gary, we have to talk. Attendance has been a big problem down here.

George McPhee: Garr, is it alright if we take a mulligan on the whole salary cap thing?

Glen Sather: Ugh, geez. Maybe I should quit while I'm still ahead...

Garth Snow: Yes!!! I was never a fan of long-term deals! We should spend our money wisely.

Mike Milbury: What do you mean you don't like long-term deals, Garth? Without them, you guys would be below the cap minimum! Okay, I gotta go, I'm gonna be late to Hockey Night in Canada...again.

GARY BETTMAN: Hey guys, thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate all the support! Oh, by the way, I should mention that we are adding a new format to the draft lottery this year. We will be randomly assigning the first overall pick (did you hear me, RANDOM!) for this year's entry draft. This year, we are proud to select the...PITTSBURGH PENGUINS!!!

Lou Lamoriello: Wait, what???

Ken Holland: Can we just get rid of the salary cap?

Glen Sather: I second that, Ken!!!

Stan Bowman: Thank you! I was waiting for someone to suggest that!

Rick Dudley: NO!!! I love the salary cap! We built our team off of Chicago's lousy cap management! Next thing you know, we'll have so many good players, we'll only have 96% visiting fans in our building!

GARY BETTMAN: Oh, by the way, I'm meeting with the hockey operations people this week, we're going to review some possible rule changes. Now, I don't know anything about hockey, so does anyone here actually watch the games? Do we have any former players on here?

David Poile: Nope.

Greg Sherman: Anyone catch that last episode of Jersey Shore?

Lou Lamoriello: YES!

Paul Holmgren: Stupid Jersey...

Glen Sather: Well, you know, I coached Gretzky...

Jim Rutherford: Nah, don't have the time.

Jim Rutherford: Oh, I can tell you that one of our scouts apparently watches some hockey, if you want a referral, let me know.

Glen Sather: Hey, I told you, I can help!

GARY BETTMAN: Anyone? Anyone at all?

Mike Gillis: Hey guys. Anyone interested in a defenseman? Bieksa? Salo? Ballard? Edler? Anyone?!

Ray Shero: Want me to call Mario? He's played in a few games...

George McPhee: Hahahaha. Mike, I'll take one of them.

Ray Shero: Caps suck.

George McPhee: So do you when you're your superstar is injured.

Ray Shero: "You're?"

George McPhee: Oh. Fixed.

Peter Chiarelli: Gary, when are you going to get back to me about suspending Matt Cooke for the Savard hit?

Glen Sather: Hey Bob Murray, can we have Lubomir Visnovsky?

Mike Gillis: Glen, you want a defenseman?

Colin Campbell: bvb>?o>y6pd-=='a'khj-ja110]+ao-0jhjkfdhkhttmm'?/mb&hgbnnd&&bb@>hdhkjaoua!@~k~`

Darryl Sutter: Hey, guys, what'd I miss??

Jay Feaster: Hey, Darryl, get outta here! I'm in charge now!

Glen Sather: Is Bob Murray on here?

Steve Tambellini: Colin, what the hell is that?

GARY BETTMAN: Seriously, we have no players on this board?

Paul Holmgren: Did you guys see that hit by Chris Pronger? OHHH it was SICK!

Lou Lamoriello: Status quo.

Joe Nieuwendyk: I'm here, Gary.

Steve Yzerman: Player? Pretty sure I was a player.

Brendan Shanahan: Hey, did anyone see my All-Star ideas?

Chuck Fletcher: Hey, Pierre, how's Pouliot doing?

Pierre McGuire: WHAT???

George McPhee: Pens suck.

Pierre Gauthier: He's good, Chuck. How's that Latendresse fellow?

Chuck Fletcher: Injured.

Pierre Gauthier: Ouch.

Chuck Fletcher: I know, right?


Colin Campbell: Oh, sorry about caps locks, guys.

George McPhee: What about the Caps, Colin?

GARY BETTMAN: Okay, thanks Joe and Steve.

Ray Shero: Oh, Gary, do we have any scheduling updates for the Stanley Cup finals this year?

GARY BETTMAN: Not yet, Ray. I'll let you know when I hear anything.

Don Maloney: Man, Roszival is terrible.

Glen Sather: I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Darcy Regier: Wait, what's a Stanley Cup?

Scott Howson: Anyone have a defenseman they want to trade us?

Doug Wilson: Hey, where's my buddy, Brian Burke?

GARY BETTMAN: I banned him from here. You know, he's kinda annoying.


Peter Chiarelli: Hey, wait a minute, is that Gregory that hacked Colin's account?

Scott Howson: Seriously, nobody has a spare D-man?

Garth Snow: Sure, Scotty, who do you want?!

Scott Howson: Nah, never mind, I'm good.

Paul Holmgren: I'm uploading the Pronger video on YouTube, check it out:

Lou Lamoriello: Status quo.

GARY BETTMAN: Okay, then, I'm shutting this thread down. Nobody is helping me out. I feel like it's me against the world.

Glen Sather: Hey, anyone have a really overpriced winger? I need a bad contract.

Sidney Crosby: Hey, Gary, what's up??

Paul Holmgren: Hey, Crosby, NO DIVING! HAHAHA!!!

Ray Shero: Caps suck.

GARY BETTMAN: Okay, folks, that'll be all for this thread! By the way, there's going to be a meeting to try to get a new CBA worked out next Friday. I won't be there, but you know, I never do anything anyway. I'll probably catch a Celtics game up in Boston.