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Players react to Wednesday’s CBA impasse

Nov 21, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers warms-up prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 23, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

While Roman Hamrlik presented a surprising bit of brutal honesty to NHLPA head Donald Fehr, most players reacted to Wednesday’s talks with the usual angst and bitterness.

Veteran winger Martin St. Louis seemed a bit beaten down when discussing today’s developments with the St. Petersburg Times’ Damian Cristodero.

“Well, it’s disappointing,” St. Louis said. “I feel they’re trying to bully us and trying to draw a line in the sand pretty much. It’s tough. We want to be negotiating. We came their way again and nothing. They just keep telling us keep coming. They’re staying where they are, so you end up negotiating with yourself, and that’s definitely something we don’t want to do.”

While St. Louis channeled Eeyore, other players went on the offensive. Here’s a quick collection of the Twitter chatter:

Tough guy Brandon Prust‘s bit:

Sheldon Souray wallowed in the AHL for a season because of CBA loopholes, so perhaps his bitterness makes sense.

Mike Rupp references Wayne Gretzky’s critique of the New Jersey Devils:

Meanwhile, Michael Del Zotto‘s comments recycle old rhetoric:

Some toxic stuff is floating around, although it seems tame compared to Kris Versteeg calling Gary Bettman and Bill Daly “cancers” and Ian White referring to Bettman as an “idiot.”

Even more player outrage

David Krejci thinks players are treated like animals

Shawn Horcoff piles on

Zach Parise slams Bettman

Daniel Briere does the same

  1. stakex - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I really like Prust (and I hate that the Rangers let him go), but hes being a weeee bit over dramatic.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Prust’s take on things was the best of the bunch.

      • stakex - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM

        Its quite catchy…. but come on, destroyed a country? Its not like Bettman is George Bush.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM

        Oh, it’s an obvious exaggeration but I still found it pretty funny.

    • ron05342 - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      It’s idiotic. Just like Prust.

  2. chrisvegas - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    The players need to stay strong until the league backs off it’s unreasonable demands. If they aren’t willing to negotiate, then stand firm. The players did their part and made a gaint step towards the middle, but the owners took a big step back. This isn’t about money anymore, it is about the owners trying to hold the hockey world hostage until they rip the players off. Stay strong players! Don’t give in to unreasonable man! Stay together and go play overseas until the owners come back to reality.

    • id4joey - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:03 PM

      Be careful what you wish for, chrisvegas. If you get your wish, we may lose the whole season. Do you remember 04/05? Players are NOT in a position of power.

    • stakex - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      If the players were dumb enought to take your advice, there would never be NHL hockey again. N ooffense but you just don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. A couple facts for you to chew on:

      1. Please tell me one demand the league is making thats unreasonable. Players needing to wait an extra year to be UFAs? Guys who make at least $600k (and as much as $12 million) taking a 10% pay cut, and then being paid most of it back over time? Only being allowed 5 year contracts? Those are the bigger sticking points, and while they are far from favorable changes for the player, that doesn’t make them “unreasonable”.

      2. Yes, the players did in fact do their part and make an offer that moves more in the direction of the middle…. two months after the lockout started. Perhaps if they did this months ago we would be watching hockey right now.

      3. How did the owners take a step back? I’m sure their offer is still the same, and might even get a little more player friendly since the players are finally jogging in the direction of the middle. I would point out that the owners were the only one to move towards the middle since this started… until today.

      4. Rip the players off? The NHL is losing money, and there are some clear issues with the old CBA (such as front loaded contracts) that need to be fixed. Those are facts. Since the players are the main cost, it only makes sense they should take at least a small pay cut to help get the league back in the black. Why do so few people consider that perhaps the players have been over paid the last couple years? There are several players making $12 million this year after all.

      5. The owners have the upper hand. If the players “stay strong” and the season gets canceled, the owners offer will only get worse for the players. Thats the advantage to being an owner in CBA negotiations… you can hold out far longer then the players, and thus get to make the demands. Nut jobs like Fehr who get off on looking tough might be able to convince the players its a smart idea to try and challange the owners, but thats just because most hockey players aren’t that bright. The reality is the players should just take the best offer the owners give them and run with it now. Otherwise they will just lose a seasons worth of pay, AND get a worse deal.

      One final point I would like to make is that there are over 600 full time NHL players, the vast majority of which can’t find jobs overseas. so your advice only applies to the super starts.

      • paperlions - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        If NHL teams are losing money (and that really is a big if, it isn’t like they’ve opened their books to anyone), it is the fault of the owners and commissioner who have run the league horribly, not the players.

        Feel free to list any of the unreasonable player demands. The owners make all of their money on the backs of the players, not the other way around. The owners have no unique skills (extortion of tax dollars from local governments isn’t particularly unique, every business seems capable of doing it) that generate revenue.

      • paperlions - Nov 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Again, the owners got the deal they wanted last time. The players bailed them out because of the owners greed leading to poor decision making. Guess who pocketed all of the hundreds of millions from expansion? Yeah, that went 100% to the owners.

        In any case, last time the owners were happy with 43% of $2B dollars…how is 43% of $3.2B suddenly not enough? Are the owners (and Bettman) really that bad at business that they miscalculated that much? There is no way non-player costs have increased faster than revenues.

        None of the owners requests (except for 57% of HRR and then redefining HRR to include less of the overall revenue) are unreasonable in isolation, but as a collection…the owners are telling the players they will make less money and have fewer rights. There may be some justification for movement on the split of HRR, but there is no basis whatsoever for restricting FA.

        Also, there are 30 NHL ownership groups, none of which will own a hockey team if the players just walk away. The entire basis of the value of their franchises is the existence of the players and the fans that root for them.

  3. sampulls - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Such a joke..players are treating this like a win or lose game. The is a business. If you are losing money, they take less. Simple as that.

  4. fishtales10 - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    The players made absolutely no concession in their proposal. They are all about guaranteed money. They refuse to take a cut if the league doesn’t grow. It recorded growth due to a strong Canadian dollar. Not due to game itself. The league grew financially by 30% for the Canadian teams with the dollar parity.
    If the players want to be true partners with the NHL their raises or garnishes should reflect what the league is showing on paper.
    I say bring on the replacement players!!!

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