The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
You'd be really surprised at what a little hard work and ingenuity (plus a huge crowbar and a layer of covering fire) can get you. As we all know the NHL All-Star Weekend Four-Hour Extravaganza is upon us and that, of course, means the obligatory State of the Union Address.
Most of us in the hockey world wait in nervous anticipation as to what Mr. Bettman may or may not say. Will he announce a monumental rule change? Is the league as bankrupt as Nathan Lane states in his blog? Will one of the more popular characters be killed off, as rumored, to boost television ratings?
It's pretty much all pure speculation at this point. However, thanks in large part to the aforementioned crowbar, the staff (me and Chuffy, the one-eared Beagle) here at Loose Change have obtained some of the Commish's early notes and rudimentary ideas for the impending speech. While there is likely to be some changes made before going live, we think we have a pretty good idea as to what is likely to be said on Wednesday (by either what we can see already written or by what we're fully prepared to embellish and fabricate to grab and keep your attention).
As always, should there be a discrepancy between this creation and actual facts, the option that entails the least amount of jail time for said creators shall prevail.
On with the showÂ…
As with all good speeches, it looks like Mr. Bettman will open with a joke Â“If you anyone at the dinner tonight hears a tray drop, remember to be kind, it's Tony Romo's first day.Â”
He then proceeds to get a little more serious in talking about that the scuffle between Rosie O'Donnell and the manager at McDonald'sÂ…no wait Donald Trump (somewhat illegible, sorry). He then asks for a moment of silence in honor of Bill Daly's hair (Â“a comb-over beats a dome, any day.Â”)
The Commissioner then cites some statistics in regards to attendance, gate receipts, scoring chances and (difficult to read) Â“the life expectancy of parrotsÂ”? He feels the league is well on its way to legitimacy after signing the television deal with OLN (now Versus). Â“You can never go wrong aligning yourself with pandas.Â”
Mr. Bettman gives a quick overview of the All-Star activity schedule. He seems excited about the YoungStars Game and reminds everyone that most hot dog vendors validate parking.
He stresses concern over needless shots to the head (Â“besides Tequila, that isÂ”) and feels the league must remain vigilant in protecting players from potential cerebral damage (Â“except fighters and fourth line wingersÂ”).
He then goes on to state that the NHL's future, he feels, lies in Â“expansion to Europe and the exploration of Nebula Seven.Â” He feels that Â“one day, hockey will be as popular as football, baseball or cow-tippingÂ” (I'm guessing No. 3).
Another jokeÂ…Â“I'm very proud that we run such a fine league where so many in society can look up to our players. Of course, I look up to pretty much EVERYONE in the leagueÂ…except you Kyle Wellwood! Hey-O.Â”
It appears, at this point, that's he about to wrap up his speech with some iconic words of wisdom, but seems he may be undecided on how to best finish the thought. He starts:
Â“I have a dreamÂ…
.. that all goalies may one day have the same rights as defensemen from Croatia.Â”
.. that hockey, too, will one day have a celebrity scandal big enough for Entertainment Tonight's lead story.Â”
.. involving flight attendants and an outdoor sauna.Â” (his notes say Â“hee heeÂ”)
The Commissioner is then scripted to take a huge bow, place his fingers in his ears and chant La La La Â“as loud as necessary to allow a swift and clean exit from the stage.Â”
Evidently the night ends at HootersÂ…assuming, of course, that part of the plan makes it through the re-write stage.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on thehockeynews.com.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org