Skip to main content

Loose Change: Lost in the shuffle

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?

Gary Bettman's annual State of the NHL Union address is kind of like highlights of a hockey game. You see a few hits, the odd fight and most of the goals, but a lot times the filler – sometimes the meatiest and therefore most nutritional parts – is left out. That's really unfortunate since often times it's the mysterious gristle which makes the sausage taste so good.

In the official recount and run-down of the speech you heard the NHL's terribly punny reaction to the Rich-Tocchet-Is-A-Bookie story (“he's all bettor now”); the league's desire to play games in Europe (although they didn't imply the game being played would be hockey); Jim Balsillie's financial venture into franchise ownership (“the dude made billions growing some sort of berries, I'm told.”); and the (remote) possibility of a National Hockey League team someday (not) possibly (bloody) returning (likely) to the city of Winnipeg.

Of course what you didn't hear was the commissioner's view and reaction to other, less pressing but still entertaining, matters. You have to figure that when a press conference is scheduled for two and half hours, and your main focus is the positive aspects of the league, you're going to need your fair share of either filler or a touching (as in moving) puppet show, or both.

We won't bore you (any more than usual) with too many of the literally hundreds of subjects covered, but here are the ones we thought you might want to know about.

They are in no particular order, other than alphabetical if I happen to get really insanely lucky.

Also during the address, commissioner Bettman expressed that he:

- was “very angry” at NBC for cutting away from a NHL playoff overtime game recently, but was eventually appeased after executives from the network gave him a (a) convoluted explanation and (b) noogie

- prefers Van Halen with Hagar over Van Halen with Roth, Version I or II.

- wishes Brian Burke would smile more (you know what they say about When Irish Eyes are Smiling...)

- thinks the baby seal hunters' aggression should be re-directed towards something more beneficial like the War On Terror

- finds Big Bird “really preachy lately”

- is totally disappointed no one has commented on his new hair

- has extended a warm celebratory invitation to Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and Dumbo, should Anaheim win the Cup, although he also said “Donald can go f…”

- didn't think Pan's Labyrinth was nearly as funny as everyone had said it was.

- wanted Don Imus to keep his job because “ugly people got to work too.”

- thinks Roger Clemens looks “fat”

- feels that the league has its rebel-players-running-illegal-gambling-on-heinous-and-barbaric-dog-fighting-ring issues well in order

- is supportive but doubtful about NHL vice president Bill Daly realizing his dream to become an Ultimate Fighting champion

- likes RunsLikeAGirl in the sixth at Belmont, but you didn't hear that from him

- finds 90-minute press conferences and a high fiber diet somewhat disagreeable

See what you could have missed?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at



Stars Sign Wedgewood to Two-Year Extension

The Dallas Stars signed goaltender Scott Wedgewood to a two-year contract extension.

Ondrej Palat

Five Stanley Cup Final Free Agents Your Team Should Want

The Avalanche and Lightning both know how to win it all, but some of their key pieces could be hitting the open market soon.


Kluzak and Gilmour: A tale of Two Knee Injuries

Gord Kluzak, the No. 1 pick in 1982, saw his career completely derailed, while seventh-rounder Doug Gilmour skated into the Hall. This is a story of two players with wildly different careers.