Friday, September 16, 2011

DGA Exclusive: The phone call between Bettman and Vanderbeek

What are you are about to read is completely made up and has absolutely no truth to it.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mr. Jeff Vanderbeek, the Devils' principle owner and a tiny bit for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman as well.  With that said, I was able to obtain a written transcript of a phone call between Jeff Vanderbeek and Gary Bettman, following the report that the Devils are going bankrupt.  Here's how it all unfolded.  Welcome to the bizarre, completely ridiculous, yet highly entertaining and brutally amusing world of the New Jersey Devils.

Gary Bettman: Hello, Mr. Vanderbeek, sir, I am so sorry about the unfortunate news about your team's financial situation.

Some random guy: Hello?  Who is this?

Gary Bettman: This is Gary Bettman, isn't this Jeff Vanderbeek's office?

Some random guy: I beg your pardon...

Gary Bettman: Oh dear, I have the wrong number.  Dammit, Colie!

Colin Campbell: I did not screw up your phone book, Gary...

Gary Bettman: Hello, Mr. Vanderbeek, sir, I am so sorry about the unfortunate news about your team's financial situation.

Jeff Vanderbeek: Wait, what?!

Gary Bettman: Oh, come on now, don't be in denial...

Jeff Vanderbeek: I think you have the wrong number.

Gary Bettman: No, that already happened to me today.  Listen, bankruptcy happens.  It's not entirely your fault.  Your general manager made an ill-advised signing with that Kovalchuk guy last year and now it's going to bite you guys.

Jeff Vanderbeek: Actually, I was the one pushing for Kovalchuk.  Mr. Lamoriello was trying to convince me that Eric Belanger would be a better fit for us.


Jeff Vanderbeek: Well either way, it's too late.  Kovalchuk is a Devil and he will be for 14 more years.  We'll simply have to work around that.

Gary Bettman: I see.  You do intend to sign Zach Parise too next summer?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Oh dear.  I may have made some miscalculations.

Gary Bettman: So you have no money to keep Parise?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Oh no, I do have money for Parise, but I seem to have figured we would be $549 million under the salary cap for 2012-13.

Gary Bettman: I don't think it will go up that much, unless we move the NHL to Zimbabwe.

Jeff Vanderbeek: So the salary cap is $61 million, not $610 million?!  Dammit, Lou!  *shatters jelly jar*

Gary Bettman: Anyway, back to your bankruptcy situation.  My report says that you plan to sell 47% stake of the team, Brick City's stake, for $200 million?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Yes.

Gary Bettman: Do you realize that your team is worth a total of $218 million?  You're doubling your team's value?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Not believable, is it?

Gary Bettman: Alright, that's a $30 million fine and ten first round draft picks as a penalty.

Jeff Vanderbeek: Dammit!  *throws nearby bench onto the ice*

Gary Bettman: You'll have until June to sell the stake to avoid bankruptcy, but no more avoiding payments.  You understand?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Through the spirit of the collective bargaining agreement, I can honestly say that I have no idea what you're talking about.

Gary Bettman: Don't make me extend the trapezoid to center ice...

Jeff Vanderbeek: Alright!  I understand.

Gary Bettman: So we're all clear now?  No more stupid, short-sighted signings of star left wings, okay?

Jeff Vanderbeek: Uh-oh, I'm losing the connection...

Gary Bettman: Call was lost?  Oh, right, he's from New Jersey and he has T-Mobile.  It figures.

Colie Campbell: Hey, Garr, I got Paul Holmgren on the one line with an opening bid for the Prudential Center if it goes to auction and Glen Sather on the other line saying he'll spend an 'absurd' amount of money to outbit everyone else.

Gary Bettman: The opening bid is $800 million.

Colie Campbell: Isn't that double its value?