December 20, 2012
Gary Bettman: Just a man and his podium, which became a star in its own right.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

( -- If you're a hockey fan tormented by the NHL's inability to stop driving its lockout bus off the fiscal cliff and into the chasm of obscurity, all you can do is laugh in order to keep from crying. Fortunately, a lot of folks out there have been cranking out trenchant and often sidesplitting commentary on the ongoing farce. Here are our 10 favorites of 2012. Feel free to share the gift of yuks and suggest your own in the comments box below.

10. The podium's Twitter feed (@NHLPodium) has offered great insights ("Media asking for interviews. I explained I'm an inanimate object incapable of sentient thought. They say no problem, we're used to Crosby") during the lockout's biggest moments.

9.Gary Bettman Surprised By Popularity of NHL Lockout -- from The Onion

NEW YORK?As labor talks between team owners and the NHL Players' Association enter their fifth straight week, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced Monday that he has been "blown away" by the ongoing lockout's immense popularity. "There's just a buzz about hockey right now that I don't think we've ever seen before," said Bettman, adding that the outpouring of support he has received for the continuing lack of NHL games has been "incredibly touching." (Read more)

8. The first draft of Gary Bettman's 2012 Hall of Fame induction ceremony speech -- by Sean McIndoe of Down Goes Brown.

[Walk onstage to Darth Vader themegeneric music.]

Thank you, James, and good evening, peonseveryone.

Tonight the all-time roster of that sport with the pucks and the ice and no slams dunks the Hockey Hall of Fame is further enriched by my presence four remarkable performers. Four legendary scorers. Four outstanding leaders. Who let's be honest, have not aged wellhail from four different parts of the hockey world.

Those four dudes over there that everyone seems to think I should recognize but I totally don'tPavel Bure, Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, and Mats Sundin elevated our sport and inspired any number of future consumersyoung players to want to do the same thing.

With their creativity, their determination, their character and their skill, these players earned an unreasonable amount of moneythe reverence of their teammates and the respect of their opponents, even the defensemen they tormented and the goaltenders they humbled.

[Pause for laughter] [Pause for icy silence.] (Read more and watch the actual speech)

7. A take on Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Getting Back Together" complete with Don Cherry bobblehead doll.

6. Also from Down Goes Brown, with an assist from Bloge Salming:

5. A wonderfully wistful take off on Elton John's Rocket Man by Puck Daddy's Harrison Mooney (vocals, lyrics and keyboards) with Bryan Binnema (guitar, backing vocals, drum programming)

4. From Canada's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a howler of an update on a classic animiated short. You can watch the original here.

3. From Hoodwinked Films in Vancouver. We're still waiting:

2. This animation from NMATV pretty much says it all:

1. They topped themselves with this one after the collapse of talks on December 6:

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