In an amazing coincidence, Jerseys and Hockey Love has obtained a copy of the original speech Gary Bettman was going to address the media with, before opting for the shortened version delivered. As a public service, we reprint it in it’s entirety.
Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the media, Damien –
The Board of Governors meeting has just concluded, and I wanted to make a brief statement about the negotiations between the owners and players that was held earlier.
As there was more progress and optimism generated in one meeting that excluded myself and Donald Fehr than in all the meetings attended by the two of us, I don’t wish to make any comments out of respect for the process. This may be considered the first respectful thing I have done since the process began, but that is not for me to say. I do want to update you on a few other things surrounding the CBA negotiations.
The NHL PR department is busy preparing a media campaign for a shortened NHL season. They are hard at work adapting the 2013-14 season campaign, as the cancelled season we had expected since last June may come into being. We are also preparing an invoice for these modifications to be sent to the NHLPA and Molson Coors. We don’t anticipate this being an impediment to our ongoing talks, which seem to be going well. I wouldn’t know, I’m not there.
We are also announcing the following fines: Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will each be fined $100,000 for being in contact with an NHL player during an ongoing lockout, John Davidson of the Columbus Blue Jackets will be fined $50,000 for being in contact with the media in direct violation of rules allowing any member of the Blue Jackets from saying anything to the media, and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch will be fined $2,500 for watching the movie Contact, which was just a horrible film. Am I right? Trust me, he can afford it.
With all the possible progress made yesterday – I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there – I want to remind the media not to become overly optimistic with the possibility of hockey being played before the start of the next season. There are no games scheduled to be played as of yet, and our schedule maker is still on vacation, and we don’t wish to bug him while visiting the Cayman Islands. There is plenty of work to do, and with an office staff that is working only four days a week for 80% of their paycheck while I still get the entirety of my salary, there is only so much the NHL is able to do in a short span of time.
On a final note, I wish to remind the media that I will still be paid my full contract no matter what happens after this CBA is signed.
That’s all for now. Thank you for attending this media update, sponsored by Bridgestone Tires, the only sponsor still talking to us.