NEWARK, N.J. – The New Jersey Devils retired goalie Martin Brodeur’s No. 30 on Tuesday night at Prudential Center. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was there to honor him. As one might expect, one of these people received a rather healthy amount of cheers, while the other received … the opposite.
Bettman was booed when he was announced. He was booed when he walked to the podium to give his speech.
“Thank you for that enthusiastic welcome,” Bettman said, sarcastically. More boos happened, as they would through his lengthy speech.
This is tradition, of course, as was the tradition when Lou Lamoriello – Toronto Maple Leafs general manager and the architect of the Devils’ three Stanley Cup champions – walked to the podium. The sellout crowd bellowed “Loooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuu!” as the veteran executive smiled.
(Remember, they’re not “booing,” they’re “Louuuuuuuing.”)
That’s when Lamoriello tilted his head, looked at Bettman, and said:
“Commissioner, that’s not the same reaction that you got.”
And the crowd cheered Bettman. Or at least someone making fun of their booing Bettman.
For the record, our favorite Gary Bettman moment of all time involved Prudential Center and Devils fans. “You’re gonna want to hear this…”