As fans and players celebrated the end of the lockout and the impending return of NHL action, reporters pressed Commissioner Gary Bettman and Players Association head Donald Fehr for some insight into what finally broke the impasse.

“The reality of it is, we just ran out of things to talk about,” said Bettman. “Don and I both love cats, and although this thing could have been settled in November, I had a hunch he might be getting a new Persian long hair for Christmas and, frankly, I wanted to hear about it.”

Fehr leaned in with a smile and added, “Don’t let Gary take all the credit for stretching this thing out. To be honest with you, nobody in my family likes to watch college football. Gary is one of the most astute football minds I know, and I knew once this thing got done I’d lose my football buddy. With the bowl games over, we decided hockey should probably get started.”