Lockout Literature Presents: a scene from "GlenGary Glen Don"

John Moore - Getty Images

Currently running on Broadway (well, technically, the NHL offices on 6th Avenue), "GlenGary Glen Don" is an uncompromising drama about compromise.

SCENE ONE

A booth at a Chinese restaurant, Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman are seated at the booth.

FEHR

Gary, I have a job. And my job is to marshal the players...

BETTMAN

Marshal the players...marshal the players? What bus did you get off of? We're here to close. Marshaling the players. Where did you learn that? In school? That's "talk," my friend, that's "talk." Our job is to close. I'm the man to close and I'm getting garbage.

FEHR

Let me tell you something, Gary. I do what I'm hired to do. I'm...wait a second. I'm hired to lead the players. I'm given...hold on, I'm given a directive. My job is to do that. What I'm told. That's it. You, wait a second, any offer that falls below a certain mark I'm not permitted to take.

BETTMAN

Then how do they come up above that mark? With dreck? With this toilet paper you're giving me? Don...

(pause)

I need your help. Put me on the board.

FEHR

You start closing, you'll be on the board.

BETTMAN

I can't close these splits, Don. No one can. It's a joke. Don, look, just give me a good split. Just give me 48 percent this season. As a "test," alright? As a "test" and I promise you...

FEHR

Can't do it, Gary.

BETTMAN

OK, fine. Make it 49 percent.

FEHR

Of what?

BETTMAN

Of the goddamn HRR, Don!

FEHR

And what if they don't take it?

BETTMAN

They will.

FEHR

What if you can't...?

BETTMAN

I. Will.

FEHR

What if you don't? Then we're screwed. All of us! You see...? Then it's my job. That's what I'm telling you.

BETTMAN

I will close it. I will get them to sign on, Don. Don? Forty-nine percent. I can get it. You know that...Aw, screw that. The hell with it...Get on my side. Go with me and let's do something. You want to run this union, run it.

FEHR

Fifty-four percent.

BETTMAN

Wh? Fif...goddamnit...

(pause)

Alright.

FEHR

And no salary cap.

BETTMAN

What?! Don, for christ--

(Fehr gets up)

Wait. Don. Don. Listen. I want to talk to you. Permit me to do this a second. I make more money than you do.

(pause)

A man acquires a reputation. On the ice. What he does when he's being pushed around, what he does otherwise...I said "48 percent," you said "no." You said "54 percent." I said "fine," ...Now you want to throw in this "no cap" thing, I--

(Fehr heads for the door. Bettman stops him.)

BETTMAN

Okay. Okay. We'll...Okay. Fine. We'll...Alright, 54 percent, and no salary cap. That's fine. For now. That's fine. A month or two we'll talk. A month from now. Next month. After October. We'll talk.

FEHR

What are we going to talk about?

BETTMAN

Hm? Yup, we'll talk. We'll talk.

(Pause)

FEHR

So? Call them.

(Pause)

BETTMAN

Now?

(pause)

Now?

FEHR

Yes. Now. When else?

BETTMAN

Aw, shit, Don.

(Pause)

FEHR

I wish I could help you, Gary.

BETTMAN

You son of a--

(pause)

I can't do it.

(crying)

I haven't got it, Don.

(pause)

I'll do it tomorrow. Don, listen to me. I'm...I'm going to close this, I'm going to...I'm going to be back there. Number One...Hey, hey, hey! This is only the beginning...List...list... listen. Listen. Just one moment. Listen...here's what...here's what we're going to do. Fifty percent. I'm going to give you 50 percent of the revenue. Just.... I can't now. When I get back to the hotel, I'll call Ed and Jeremy and we'll talk tomorrow.

FEHR

Can't do it.

BETTMAN

I'll give you a couple owners now. I'll bring the rest tomorrow. I'll call 'em from the hotel. Don? Don? We do that, for chrissake?

FEHR

No.

BETTMAN

I'm asking you. As a favor to me?

(pause)

Don.

(long pause)

Don?

FEHR

I can't do it, Gary...

BETTMAN

Well, then I want to tell you something, fella. Wasn't long ago I could pick up the phone, call Mitch--

FEHR

Willie Mitchell?

BETTMAN

Ay yup. Mitch and Murray and--

FEHR

Which Murray? Edwards? Bob? Brian? Douglas? Not Rem...

BETTMAN

Hell, all of 'em! I call em and I'd have your job. You know that? Not too long ago. "Mur, this new kid is burnin' my ass." "Gar, he's out." And you're gone. You're gone before I'm back from lunch.

FEHR

I have to go. Good bye, Gary.

(Fehr heads for door.)

BETTMAN

Don't.

FEHR

I'm sorry.

BETTMAN

Why?

FEHR

Because I don't like you.

BETTMAN

Don. Don? ...My salary...

FEHR

Fuck you.

END SCENE

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