Hooray for Hollywood

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Gary Bettman is a genius.

Not necessarily for leading the NHL back into Minnesota and Atlanta or taking it to Nashville and Columbus. Not necessarily for any TV contracts or influence he had in the owners' game of chicken with the players a couple of years ago.

Not necessarily for anything he's done to improve the game in his 14 years as the commissioner.

He's a genius for coming up with what should here and forever after be known simply as the Bettman Burger.

The NHL treats the media wonderfully during the Stanley Cup final. It helps us do our jobs and, more importantly, it help us relax, wining and dining us and even giving us gifts.

At a league-hosted reception Sunday night, the chef in one corner of the room was fixing up special "sliders", a delicacy that is apparently now being served in a few Canadian eateries and should be soon taking our country by storm.

The slider is a mini cheeseburger that, when ordered in restaurants, generally arrives on your plate in a neatly assembled group of six.

At the NHL's party, it came with a lobster option.

"Surf and turf," said the chef.

"Gary's idea," confirmed Frank Brown, the NHL's VP of media relations.

And I thought the shootout was a stroke of brilliance.

We had some pretty good brainwaves ourselves the past few hours.

One was to take a cab into Downtown Orange, to a place called Paul's Cocktails, after the league's function.

Paul's has slow service, one pool table and very little scenery.

But bring a group of 15 or 20 mostly Canadian hockey writers together, and suddenly it's Grey Cup week in California.

"How'd we end up in a dump like this?" somebody said.

"Just lucky, I guess," somebody else replied.

Another great idea Sun photog/brains-of-our-operation Tony "Trigger" Caldwell and I acted on while killing time before last night's game was to take the 45-minute drive to Hollywood Blvd. and visit the Walk of Fame.

What an experience that is.

We passed, for the time being, on a guide's offer to take us on a tour of the stars' houses (including the Playboy mansion) in a white hummer.

"Not unless Ray Emery is driving," I said.

Instead, we hung out mostly in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater, the historic building that plays host to all the premiers and is billed as "the most famous theatre in the world."

There, we met a number of famous characters.

Had a nice conversation with Superman (aka actor Christopher Dennis), who not only informed us that $200 tickets for jaywalking across Hollywood Blvd. are regularly handed out, but also that he has had the honour of hoisting the Stanley Cup.

"Lucky Luc (Robitaille) brought it down here when he had custody of it," said Superman, referring to the summer of 2002 after the mug was won by the Detroit Red Wings.

"Him and bunch of his teammates and their families pulled up in a bus and somebody yelled, 'Hey, Superman, wanna take a picture with us?' It looked like it was a lot heavier.

"I held it over my head for about 15 or 20 minutes as they took all their photos, and it started to feel as heavy as it looks. One of the guys said, 'We laced it with kryptonite' and I'm like, 'Dude don't make me laugh, I don't want to drop this thing.'

"It already has a few dings in it."

Visited with Elvis for a bit. He says hello, Earl.

Spent some time talking to Catwoman. I was so glad to be wearing mirrored sunglasses.

CATWOMAN LIKES DUCKS

She's cheering for the Ducks, but then she also thought they were still owned by Disney.

"They were sold," Trigger told her.

"Probably to Rupert Murdoch," she said. "He wants to own the world."

"What about a CFL team in Ottawa?" I chimed in.

Enjoyed quality moments with Marilyn Monroe. Her son is a 20-year-old goalie she says has a scholarship to play in Minnesota. She says he hasn't decided where he's going yet.

At one point, I felt she was undressing me with her eyes.

"I like all athletics," said Marilyn, blowing me a kiss and making sexy gestures as I walked away (right into a post).

A woman asked Moses if she could ride the tour bus he was leaning on. He shrugged.

"What do I look like, a bus driver?" Moses whispered to me.

Not like any in Ottawa, that's for sure, although I may have used the Lord's name in vain when cut off by an OC Transpo driver or 50.

HOMER SIMPSON ON HAND

Chatted with Homer Simpson for a bit.

Asked his opinion on the Cup finals.

"I don't really take sides," he said. "I'm Homer."

A few people actually did recognize the Senators logo we flaunted, which is to be expected, given that Los Angeles is more developed than Anaheim, as far as hockey is concerned.

And we did run into a couple of couples from Belleville.

Brad Cruess was leaving for a cruise with his wife and friends yesterday, in celebration of his 40th birthday.

Greg Leal, who has tickets at Scotiabank Place for Games 3, 4 and 6, expressed the opinion of both he and Cruess when he was asked what he was going to do for Game 1.

"They better have it on in the boat," said Leal.

If not, hope they made like Pirates of the Caribbean and hijacked one that did.


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