My New Year's Resolutions - By Gary Bettman

Welcome, everyone.  Now sit the hell down.

I’ve been reading an awful lot of negative comments about me in the news lately, and last week I had to suffer the indignity of reading Donald Fehr’s explanation of how he plans to bring the NHL to its knees here.

As if Donald Fehr could ever bring the NHL to its knees faster than I could.

To say I’ve been seeing red lately is an understatement, and I was all set to storm into my office and announce the cancellation of the remainder of the 2012-2013 season . . . when I realized that that would be the easy way out, and would be exactly the sort of thing all you vultures in the media would expect of me.  I’d be playing into your hands and fulfilling your expectations, essentially turning all you no-talent hacks into a bunch of Kreskins, Nostradamuses, or more successful versions of the Mayans.

No thank you.  Giving you guys job security is more offensive to me than, well, giving NHL players job security.

So it’s time to make some changes around here, if only to spite you all and put a few of you on the unemployment line.  Here, then, are my honest-to-God New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.  Read ‘em and weep, then choke on ‘em and die!

1. First and foremost, I resolve to eliminate labor disputes from the sport of hockey for good.  You heard me: no labor disputes, in the NHL, ever again.

Apparently, the fact that the NHL has participated in three lockouts since I took over is some sort of a big deal; I hear or read about this worthless little fact at least once a week.  Guess it’s my fault that most of these franchise owners have no idea how to run a successful business, or that some knuckleheads with more money than they know what to do with decided places such as Phoenix, Arizona and Sunrise, Florida were great places to locate a multi-million dollar hockey franchise.  It should come as no surprise that many of these franchises are bleeding money; these guys would put a lemonade stand in Iceland, a ski resort in Texas, or a Best Buy in Amish country, for crying out loud.   Ensuring financial success for these yahoos won’t be easy, but I’ll start by promising to relocate any franchise that fails to make a profit to Arkansas, and banishing any players who complain that their million-dollar salaries just aren’t enough to Columbus.  For good.   Contract negotiations will be a cakewalk from here on out, and I’ll go down in history as the greatest commissioner in the history of professional sports.

2. I resolve to make the NHL the most popular sport in the USA.

I’ll be honest: I have no idea how I’m going to pull this one off.  Americans have terrible taste in sports – baseball, anyone? – plus they’re hypocrites to boot, since they always talk about how NFL players are such “warriors,” yet they conveniently forget that our sport is the only team sport that actually allows fighting!  Idiots.  Of course, I’m used to being the smartest guy in the room, so I’m sure I can get creative and find a way to promote, alter, and cheapen the sport of hockey enough to make those other “sports” eat our ice shavings.  Early thoughts include, but are not limited to,  rocket-propelled skates, poison-tipped goalie sticks, and requiring all foreign players to adopt normal-sounding pseudonyms.  I also plan on raising ticket prices, since Americans are stupid enough to equate a high price of admission with a high quality product.  Take that, NFL!

3. I resolve to attend more high-profile celebrity and charity events.

I’ve never understood why, but I’m not a very popular man.  Most NHL players dislike and distrust me; the majority of you boot-lickers in the media delight in belittling me; and it would appear that every single hockey fan would either like to see me dead, or have very unflattering things to say about my mother.  It’s a mystery to me, but as the emperor of the hockey world – a modern-day Napoleon if you will – it’s no longer something I can ignore.  This resolution actually has been floating around in my thoughts for a while, and it was what prompted me to make an appearance at the 2012 Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies not too long ago.  Since that event went off without a hitch, I have begun the process of filling my calendar with a plethora of events that will soften the public’s perception of me.  Charity golf tournaments?  Hate golf, but I’ll put on a good face and play a round  . . . or at least a hole, letting Bill Daly finish the round for me.    Award shows like the ESPYs?  They are such a joke, but I can self-medicate myself enough to be able to sit in the audience and try not to yawn, or blink, when the camera finds me.  International events, like the World Junior Championships and the Olympics?   Man, I abhor hockey, but I suppose . . . wait, just forget I said that.

The writing is on the wall: it’s time for me to change, just to prove you all wrong.  Personally, I think I’m perfect the way I am, but if it helps to make a bunch of you cretins have to pack up your office and turn to the world of blogging, I’m more than willing to give this a try.   Now get out of here; I’ve got just enough time to squeeze in a little back-patting before I’m due to make a surprise appearance at an AHL game later tonight.  I can’t wait to hear the roar of the crowd when my face shows up on that Jumbotron.

Beat it,

Gary Bettman


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