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Hamrlik stands with players, only “selfish to play hockey”

Nov 22, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Roman Hamrlik Getty Getty Images

When Roman Hamrlik says he just wants to play, it’s hard to doubt his sincerity. Clearly the 38-year-old Capitals defenseman isn’t just repeating the NHLPA’s mantra as part of a PR strategy, otherwise he wouldn’t have questioned Donald Fehr’s leadership on Wednesday.

Today, Hamrlik clarified his controversial remarks. And while he didn’t feel the need to take anything back, he did say he’ll support whatever his union brethren decide to do.

“This is nothing against any of the players,” Hamrlik told the Globe and Mail. “I stand with them. We are all together in this. And we want a great deal. A fair deal. Everybody’s losing in this right now. Owners, players, fans.

“The fans are the reason for hockey. Some cities won’t be able to recover their fans for future seasons. I just want to say I’ve been in the league for 20 years and faced three lockouts and there’s only 14 other guys that have done that. I believe I’ve earned the right to say what I think.

“If someone thinks I’m selfish. I may be, but it’s selfish to play hockey. Like everybody else, I want to win the Cup with the Capitals, or at least have a chance.”

Despite appearing in 1,379 regular-season games, Hamrlik has yet to win a Stanley Cup. So given this season could be his last chance, his frustration is understandable.

Of course, so too is the frustration of the players after hearing Hamrlik’s remarks. The “we want to play” slogan may be part of an orchestrated PR campaign, but it’s also the truth. And from the union’s perspective, there’s a right way to get back on the ice (by negotiating a fair deal) and a wrong way (by surrendering to the owners).

  1. antkowiak666 - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    there was no need to clarify anything Hamrlik.i’m sure there are a ton of players that feel the same way as you do,but you had the balls to speak up.

  2. valoisvipers - Nov 22, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Good on Hamrlik for not back peddling on his remarks.
    Maybe his voice and that of the 14 others that have been in the previous lockouts should be heard by more players and by Herr Fehr.

    • elvispocomo - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Seriously, you should stop trying to even suggest Fehr is in any way close with anything that happened in WWII at the hands of the Germans. I realize the surname Fehr may have German origins, but it also has plenty of connections to Switzerland. Regardless of ancestry, Fehr was born in Indiana and all your doing is making anything intelligent you may say sound stupid.

      • blomfeld - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        “Seriously” says Elvis ?

        Well then pal, if humor has no place here and instead we’re to exchange in only cold “hard” fact, then let me ask you … just who exactly do you think were the financiers of the Nazi killing machine throughout WW2 ? … that’s right, our good ol’ yodeling friends from the Cantons Helvetia ! The bottom line is that Valoisvipers is trying to be funny, whereas you’re being a “serious” jerk with your stupid PC crap ! And besides, bringing up Fehr’s “Indiana” roots is hardly an intelligent remark is it, given the white man’s treatment of our First Nations brothers there in the early 1800’s ?

      • tatdue - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:37 PM

        elvispocomo is correct the nazi crap is just classless period……..I thought that at least you blomfeld were better than that…..There’s no humor there….

      • blomfeld - Nov 23, 2012 at 12:15 AM

        Tatdue – lighten up friend … obviously Valoisvipers was not equating Fehr with mass murder and genocide … at least we hope not, eh ? ;)

      • valoisvipers - Nov 23, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        @elvis As our good friend Blomfeld has rightfully pointed out it was not my intention to offend any race nor religion but to simple inject a little humor into what is rapidly becoming a dire and bleak situation.

      • elvispocomo - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        “PC Crap”? “Inject a little humour”? Consider viper’s previous posts (http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/19/bettman-calls-report-suggesting-owner-discontent-a-fabrication/ – he used “Herr Fehr” there too and no one laughed) and it’s pretty obvious he’s not going to quit his day job to do stand up any time soon.

        Regardless, intimating even remotely that Donald Fehr should be associated with a man who instigated the second world war resulting in some 60 million deaths, and spearheaded the holocaust which in itself was the deliberate extermination of approximately 12 million people, is in no way funny and well beyond politically correct.

  3. joeyashwi - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    It’s pretty sad that there are 14 players who have been locked out by Bettman 3 TIMES! Yes Fehr is a d-bag but he didn’t lock the players out yet again and wasn’t around for the first two. My guess is NONE of those 14 players makes near what Bettman does a year. Unbelieveable.

    • claysbar - Nov 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      The list of those players are on the link below. None now make what Bettman does ($8 mill?) but I’m hardly feeling bad for any of them who have had some really lucrative contracts.

      http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2012/09/17/14-players-are-about-to-complete-the-lockout-hattrick/

  4. trick9 - Nov 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Selfish to play hockey? Hamrlik you should realise that you have no chance of making the line-up when the play resumes. If there is amnesty clause in the next CBA then he can kiss his NHL career goodbye.

  5. acieu - Nov 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Key the idiots who don’t understand that Bettman works for the owners. Are you that stupid to blame him as the orchestrator of the lockout. It’s the owners stupid!

    • richter35lundqvist30 - Nov 23, 2012 at 12:24 AM

      He only needs 7 owners (and Phoenix, currently owned by the NHL.) to do whatever he wants. Considering not many owners want to ruffle his feathers knowing he doesn’t soon forget who crosses him, it shouldn’t be that hard to get the 8/30 support he needs. You cross Gary your chances of hosting any event (Winter Classic, ASG, Draft) drop dramatically. Thats why people blame Bettman.

  6. mmcneels81 - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    YES! My new favorite Capital! This dude has a f*ing SPINE! Don’t back down, Hammer!

  7. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I’m a Lightning fan who hates the Caps, but Hamrlik is a hero and should be praised as one. Absolutely nothing wrong with anything he’s said, and it’s a shame that the rest of the players haven’t been open minded enough to question Fehr’s leadership as well. I’m not saying concede everything and let the owners get whatever they want, but they need to be aware of Fehr’s agenda, which he made abundantly clear during his time with MLB.

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