With no hockey to keep us occupied, we have partaken far too often of our favorite delicacy… pepperoni, anchovy, and marshmallow fluff pizza. And doing it while watching a rerun of that classic comedy, “Trading Places,” had predictable effects. Imagine the Duke Brothers – Randolph and Mortimer – replaced by Gary Bettman and Bill Daly, respectively, and you have the makings of the dream I had about who the real brains are behind the league…
Bill Daly: It's hit rock bottom. Come on, let's make a deal. Tell the owners we’ll go for 50-50 in year 3... (on the intercom) call the owners; tell them we're prepared to make a deal with the union.
Billy Ray: That's a big mistake, man.
Bill Daly: Valentine, this is very important, watch.
Billy Ray: You're going to get reamed on this one.
Gary Bettman: Why shouldn't we make the deal now, William?
Billy Ray: Players’ bank accounts are going to keep going down.
Bill Daly: Gary, this isn't Monopoly money we're playing with.
Gary Bettman: (on the intercom) This is Gary Bettman. Hold that deal over a moment… (turns to Billy Ray) Tell me why you think the price of the deal is going down.
Billy Ray: It's Christmas time. Everybody's uptight.
Bill Daly: Could we please make the deal now?
Billy Ray: If you want to lose money go ahead.
Gary Bettman: What are you trying to say?
Billy Ray: OK, players haven’t been paid in months. So everybody's waiting for their bank accounts to hit rock bottom so they have to buy cheap stuff, like a Buick instead of a Ferrari. The people with no money in their bank accounts are thinking, "Hey, we're losing all our money and Christmas is coming… I won't be able to buy my son the Sidney Crosby action figure the Kung Fu grip… And my wife won't make love to me ‘cos I ain't got no money. They're panicking, screaming, “Make the deal! Make the Deal!” They don't want to lose all their money. They are panicking right now. I can feel it. Look at them.
Gary Bettman: He's right, Bill, my God, look at them.
Billy Ray: I’d wait till you get to December 20th, then make the deal. You'll have cleared out all the suckers by then.
Gary Bettman: Do you realize how much money he just saved us?
Bill Daly: Money isn't everything, Gary.
Gary Bettman: (back to the intercom) Advise the owners that we’ll offer our last and best proposal on December 20th. Mr Valentine has set the terms.
…Well done, William.
…Very well done.