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Neuvirth supports Hamrlik, thinks lockout is about “several superstars with big contracts”

Nov 22, 2012, 3:57 PM EDT

Islanders Capitals Hockey AP

Roman Hamrlik isn’t a young man anymore (for the NHL, not for the earth), so it’s little surprise the 38-year-old Capitals defenseman is desperate for the lockout to end. After all, no player wants to be forced into retirement by a work stoppage, especially a player without a Stanley Cup ring.

Michal Neuvirth, on the other hand, is only 24. The Capitals goalie has his entire career ahead of him. Theoretically, he should be willing to fight for the best possible CBA, since he’ll be the one living with it for years to come.

Thus, it’s interesting that Neuvirth today expressed support for Hamrlik, who recently voiced his displeasure with the time it’s taking NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr to broker a deal with the owners.

“I agree 100 percent with Hammer,” Neuvirth told TVA Nova Sport (Czech Republic), “This lockout is not about majority of players, I think. It is about several superstars with big contracts.”

Of course, one of the staunchest NHLPA supporters throughout the lockout has bene Washington captain Alex Ovechkin, who just so happens to be a superstar with a big contract.

And when you consider what happened in August when Neuvirth reportedly said (though later claimed he was misquoted) that Ovechkin “isn’t what he used to be,” well, feel free to speculate, because that’s what the rest of the hockey world will be doing.

Anyway, perhaps this is why the NHL only allows two guys to talk about the lockout. In labor negotiations, not everyone has the same agenda.

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