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Hamrlik thinks Fehr should be ousted if season gets canceled

Nov 21, 2012, 5:53 PM EDT

Roman Hamrlik Caps Getty Getty Images

While most players are taking to Twitter and other venues to spout the usual NHLPA company line, veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik isn’t bashing Gary Bettman.

Instead, he has some strong words for union leader Donald Fehr, which he relayed to’s Pavel Barta (translated by Roman Jedlicka).

“I am disgusted,” Hamrlik said. “We have to push Fehr to the wall to get the deal. Time is against us. We lost [one-quarter of the] season, [about] $425M. Who will give it back to us? Mr. Fehr? There should be voting between players. Four questions – YES or NO – then count it. If half of players say lets play, then they should sign new CBA. If there is no season he should leave and we will find someone new. Time is our enemy.”

This is a huge break from most of the player reactions, which PHT will cover later tonight.

Hamrlik is likely at the tail end of his career at 38, so he’s in a unique situation where he doesn’t have a lot to lose by being honest.

(He also has a lot to lose if there’s no season; Hamrlik is in the final year of a contract worth $3.5 million per season.)

The natural – and maybe unanswerable – question is: how many players feel the same way as Hamrlik? If that silent group is large, then there could indeed be plenty of “momentum” for the owners.

(H/T to Florida Panthers play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein.)

  1. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    GOOD. I’ve been waiting for one of the players to step up and call out this scam artist. Unfortunately if an owner does the same about Bettman he’ll be fined about 500k, but still, this needed to be said. Both sides have been far too unwilling to work together and Fehr is absolutely one of the biggest culprits.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Both sides need to clean house when this is over. No Bettman, no Daly, no Fehr brothers.

  3. vegasroxie - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Impeach bettman, make Burke the commish… A guy who has never laced up a pair of skates should not be commish!!!! He cares about money not OUR game. Go back to the NBA…

    • windmiller4 - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      im not sure burke would be all that great of a commish either. But we do need someone in there who understands, or at least has played our game

    • thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      You realize Burke has a HELL of a lot more to do with the NHL’s side of the collective bargaining negotiations than Gary Bettman does, right? Like, Bettman is more of just a spokesperson for the NHL in this. He doesn’t speak at the CBA meetings at all, and his vote as to whether or not a proposal is passed carries no more weight than Brian Burke’s. Probably not.

      • tatdue - Nov 22, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        First off Brian Burke has no vote, he is only an alternate governor……and Bettman controls the Pheonix vote. Bettman being the commissioner is the head negotiator for the NHL. He runs the entire f’n thing! In order to stop him from doing something it takes 75% of the Board of Governors to vote against him…..You really shouldn’t talk like you know something when you really have absolutely no idea what you are talking about there buddy….

      • id4joey - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Guys, you are merely scratching the surface. The law firm or Proskauer Rose LLP, which by the way is the former employee of David Stern and Gary Bettman, is working with the NHL during these negotiations. The following is from their web site; “Our approach is not simply to “represent” our clients but to get into their heads; to understand their business and to know their industries as well as they do. We do this so we are not presenting legal advice in a vacuum but rather with the understanding of how it will affect their bottom line. When they grow, we grow. It’s called momentum. Our Sports Law Group has been the leader in the field for 50 years, providing all aspects of legal service to the world’s major sports leagues and teams, their owners and executives and their marketing, media and intellectual property affiliates. We resolve the business issues and disputes that arise daily in this highly competitive sector by applying the multidisciplinary capabilities of our sports law team, which includes lawyers experienced in corporate, labor, litigation, antitrust, real estate, bankruptcy, intellectual property, new media and tax matters.”

  4. habsman - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Two, maybe three more lost paycheques should do it. Then we will see the last of the Fehr brothers.

    • stakex - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      If we are at the point where players have lost two more paychecks… there will be no season. I’m not quite sure how often they get paid, but I think its once a month.

      • habsman - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:36 PM

        Yes, you’re probably right.

        It seems to me that the players are walking off a cliff with blind folds. Their latest “proposal” is just guarantted money in another form. I don’t have much optimism left.

  5. jimw81 - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    did hamrilk read the latest nhlpa proposal they submited today?

  6. stakex - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    See, this is what you hear from guys who aren’t making the big bucks. Players with massive contracts are the ones driving this thing forward and staying in lock step with Fehr. Your average NHL player, whos not currently playing in Europe and thus not still making money, probably have a view much closer to Hamrlik’s.

    No matter what Fehr might have convinced these guys, they will never “win” enough from this fight to justify losing an entire season. Especially when you consider the deal for the players will get if the season is lost will most certainly not be as good as one they could get now.

  7. id4joey - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    I don’t think Hamrlik is worth half the money of he’s being paid, but, welcome to Bettman’s NHL. This guy is right. The players have too step up and keep putting pressure on Fehr. The NHL won’t think twice about canceling the first 2 weeks of Dec if this persists. Another thrashed Bettman. Brandon Prust. 5 goals last year, and signed a $10 million deal over 4 years. Yikes! Welcome to Bettman’s NHL. You see folks. GB has been good for the players. Too good!

  8. thomaspratt - Nov 21, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Fehr is leaving at the end of this CBA either way. If the owners can’t vote on a proposal and only need eight of 30 for an agreement, surely having players vote on a proposal would be folly.

  9. wills19 - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    what if all 30 owners simply give a yes or no answer on a proposal? if that were the case i’m sure we would have a season right now but considering how the league is run under bettman with only a small portion of the owners deciding what will happen

    • wills19 - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      excuse my bad grammar

  10. sportsfan69 - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Wow! Finally the players must be listen to Hockey Night Canada Show and Boomer on Sirius. Donald Fehr has been a total embarrassment to all professional Lawyers. This lockout has been a total waste money for all parties involved, especially the players.

  11. atwatercrushesokoye - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Hamrlik is 38 in the last year of his contract, this is likely his last year in the NHL so he doesn’t care what the new CBA entails he just cares about getting his cash from this season. I’m not saying he’s wrong but it would have a lot more impact if it were a 25 year old player saying it rather than a guy at the end of his career.

  12. mississippimudslinger - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Hamrlik needs to retire!!! he’s old and slow!

  13. buffalo65 - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Spring training can’t come soon enough.

  14. semin28 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    See, it takes a caps fan. Good Jon Hammy

  15. antkowiak666 - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Hamrlik is my new hero!!

  16. sippindasyzurp - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Hamerlik probably echoes the thoughts of many players in the NHLPA, a lot are just too scared to really voice there opinion…

    Hamerlik is getting crushed by some of his fellow peers, it’s nice to see that some of the players have a handle on reality.

  17. jimw81 - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    their is pressure on both sides to end to end the lockout but it wouldn’t end until bettman, daily, jacobs and nhl stop with the tactics. why cant people wake up and see the nhl ever wanted a new cba this year at all.

  18. jdvalk - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    I definitely think a 38 year old vet who looked every bit his age at times last year has the long-term interest of the current crop of NHL players at the top of his list of priorities. By all means, strike a deal, any deal, cuz he said so.

  19. bills4 - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Thank you Roman for saying what needed to be said!

  20. mmcneels81 - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Yes, Hammer! Give this man a 20,000 watt PA system!! Speak up! GO CAPS!

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