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Loose Change: Watch your back

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?

Secret note to commissioner Gary Bettman: Watch your back.

I can't say where exactly I heard this from, or who exactly told me, but there may be a move afoot to relieve you of your position. Normally I'd have some irrefutable evidence at hand to prove my case, but truthfully, I'm going more by vague hearsay and Nona who works down at Supercuts. Heed this warning, however: Nona is connected.

Sure, for now your job seems safe. After all, attendance is through the roof (“roof” meaning good seats still available); the league is totally kicking badminton's butt and you did that get $238 from your TV deal with the Versus network. Really, what more could the owners want?

Still, I'm telling you this less as a friend and colleague, and more as an organ grinder who really loves his monkey. If we got a guy in there who knew what he was doing, where would we find the humor? Competence simply isn't funny. Frankly Mr. Bettman, you're good for business.

So you can see how keeping you on the bridge with your wheel squarely trained at that iceberg or that asteroid field, is in our best interest. It's self-preservation man. You're the warthog with the limp and I'm the friend with the bullhorn.

To help preserve your lofty status and keep the stream of ha ha alive, I've put together a list that will help you recognize any possible ominous signs that the termination vultures may be circling (today's column is sponsored by The Discovery Channel, by the way). Interestingly, it's today's Top 12 ListÂ…

Top 12 Signs commissioner Gary Bettman's job may be in jeopardy:

12 John Ziegler wants to hang with you

11 Bettman Burgers no longer on menu at NHL Cafeteria

10 your ties no longer have invisible cloaking powers

9 your office is now a Starbucks

8 the Pro Bowling Association wants a second interview

7 your parking spot has been given to a bike courier

6 REO Speedwagon wants you to open for them

5 a lot more pop-ups from

4 Bob Probert has that look in his eye

3 every one in the office is now calling you “punk”

2 Bill Daly breaks into tears every time you walk into a room

1 your new suit has a target on it

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


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