Gary Bettman is a wily fellow. It goes almost without saying that Mike Milbury and the Everlasting Gobstopper are about the only two things that would be able to hold onto the job of NHL commissioner longer while running the league into the ground. Of course, that is assuming that a Gobstopper could run the league as bad or worse than Bettman. I, for one, am not so sure that the Gobstopper would be a worse commissioner.
Due to the sort of "wily" personality that Mr. Bettman has, I feel as though he is the kind of person who keeps a nicely organized hit list in the side drawer of the mahogany desk in his library. The library is also where he keeps his leather bound books, of course.
At the moment we least suspect it, Mr. Bettman will follow through and take out some of the people on the hit list that he has been carefully editing and refining for years. You know, kind of like that kid everyone made fun of in fourth grade, who finally gets revenge decades later at the 25th high school reunion. The actual existence of said library, mahogany desk and hit list is completely impossible to determine. Despite those issues dealing with reality (isn't reality soooo overrated?), I will attempt to recreate what I believe the hit list would actually look like. If you were looking for the post each week that makes you question my sanity, please take note that this is that post.
- Defense - This one is first, foremost and completely obvious. Ever since the lockout ended, Mr. Bettman has been on a Salem-like witch hunt trying to get rid of defense and increase goal scoring in the NHL. This is probably the only thing on this list that we can confirm he has made an attack on, since the attack has been so darned blatant. Defense is, as Stephen Colbert would say, on notice.
- Canadians - Not the ones that play in Montreal, they're spelled with an 'e' after all, but the ones that live north of the American border. Canadians have long believed that they have always been the target of Mr. Bettman's ire, and this list now proves their suspicions. Not to mention the whole conspiracy to make sure the Nashville Predators stay on American soil thing. You know, the one where we all basically assume they will be playing in Kansas City this time next year.
- Charisma - The commissioner's public appearances make him appear more like a robot than anything else. If his personality is lacking anything, it's clearly charisma. Charisma is a sneaky bastard that smartly keeps it's distance from Bettman. For that, charisma is on his hit list. Side note: Imagine for a second that he actually had charisma. That is a frightening image.
- Minnesota Wild - As I wrote on Monday, the Wild are quickly making their way up this chart as their suffocating defense and net minders make it nearly impossible for opposing teams to score on them. They could be lumped in at #1 with 'defense' but since the Wild are such a threat to national security and the commissioner's health, they get their own bullet point.
- ESPN - I think you can figure this one out on your own.
- Nike - Yeah, the bastards made sucky skates. They still gave up and pulled out of the hockey market on their own terms. That kind of weak sauce does not fly with Mr. Bettman. Nike, prepare for the Wrath of Bettman!
- History - Somehow, I imagine the commissioner has a serious fear of history. It's simply a hunch, but I'm willing to bet that it's on his list. If you can't learn from it, you might as well destroy it.
- Global Warming - Even though he will never admit it, Mr. Bettman knows that he needs cold weather cities to keep the NHL alive. Global warming, you have been notified.
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