NEW YORK—NHL accountant Stuart Peterson informed commissioner Gary Bettman early Friday that the cash-strapped league desperately needed to raise $5,000 in the next 24 hours if it still wanted to have the Stanley Cup Finals. "We can probably get something for all this used hockey equipment, and I bet that signed Mario Lemieux jersey could bring in a hundred bucks or so," said Bettman, who sold plasma to three separate blood banks and started a dog-walking business last week to make some quick cash. "Maybe we can get Wayne Gretzky to whip up a batch of his famous double-fudge brownies for the bake sale." Bettman said he was increasingly confident that the NHL would be able to raise the money, adding that he just received a call from someone willing to pay $500 for the Stanley Cup trophy.