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Cleary on fans: “I just hope they don’t vilify us”

Dec 9, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

clearyap AP

Raising money for charity was a big part of Saturday’s “Rock Out the Lockout” event in Windsor, Ontario, but it didn’t stop players such as Danny Cleary from thinking about the work stoppage that inspired the name.

Cleary told MLive.com’s Ansar Khan that he’s concerned about fan apathy and anger amid all the discussions.

“I just hope they don’t vilify us,” Cleary said. “Everyone loves the game, we all love it the same.”

Fans indeed showed some love for the game – and charitable causes – as Khan estimates about 4,500 people showed up for the event.

It included 11 players from the Red Wings, yet Los Angeles Kings player Kevin Westgarth was the surprising star, scoring four goals as the White Team defeated the Black Team in a 17-11 track meet.

The best part of the evening probably came before the game, though, as the NHLPA presented a $10,000 check to SPARKLES From Above, which benefits childhood cancer patients.

That 17-11 score indicates that the defensive play and physicality would have made Jacques Lemaire’s stomach turn, but there was one hit in which Todd Bertuzzi claims he took a solid one from teammate Niklas Kronwall.

“I got Kronwalled, but I feel OK,” Bertuzzi said.

If all that charitable goodness doesn’t give you enough of a warm and fuzzy feeling, known Gary Bettman-basher Shawn Horcoff even showed some optimism about the lockout ending.

“I’m still confident we’re going to get a deal,” Horcoff said.

Sounds like a solid night in Windsor. For pictures from the event, check out the Windsor Star’s gallery.

  1. broadstbully33 - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Too late

  2. antkowiak666 - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    you players are doing a great job of doing that all on your own.

  3. bleed4philly - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Way too late. Fire Fehr and we might forgive you in five years.

  4. capesouth - Dec 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    The more time passes, the more I dislike the NHLPA. The idea behind a union is legit. They should have a voice. They shouldn’t, however, be able to completely interfere with the business and the decision-making process of people who do business for a living. This is just like any other union spat where they assume they know better than the people who build businesses for a living. Whenever a union starts doing this is when it becomes harder for the people in charge to make the right decisions to maintain and grow a healthy business. They can’t do that because the union feels slighted or under-appreciated. That ‘feeling sorry for themselves’ ends up hindering the health of the league just bc the players/union want more money. It’s that feeling that causes all of this crap no matter if the avg salary is 800,000 or 8 million.

  5. redwingsfan999 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Although all this lockout stuff and nhlpa talks are frustrating me, I’m not going to think any different bout players as I did before the lockout even started

  6. hosewater2 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    13.8% of NFL players and 8.7% of NBA players know the definition of the word “vilify.” None are able to use it in a sentence.

    • obamareallysucks - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      I didn’t know there were 8.7% Europeans in the nba.

  7. mountainmantride - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Already done. Here’s what vilify looks like Cleary…my f$%^ing money stays in MY pocket, it ain’t goin’ into yours.

  8. matt8204 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    NOW you’re worried about alienating fans? Little late for that, my friend. You’ve just about forced people to not care because of the foolishness displayed on both sides. It is what it is and what it is ain’t much. Do what you want. Just don’t be surprised if you chased off fans for a very long time. It’s not fun to be an NHL fan anymore.

  9. csilojohnson - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Too late

  10. thedavesiknowiknow - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    The players? Nah, they’re alright. Their mistake was hiring a couple sheisters to represent them. I hope they fall through a trap door in Jabba’s palace, and have to fight a rancor.

    • blomfeld - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      What, no video ? You’re starting to slip up there my friend ! :)

      • thedavesiknowiknow - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:55 AM

        I thought about it….believe me I did. I feel like I’ve filled my negative vote quota for the month already: and I thought the rancor reference was sweet. Don’t you worry friend- I’ll be back!

    • valoisvipers - Dec 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      thedavesIknowIknow Always good to hear from you,friend.

  11. fortwaynekomets - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    you racist fans make me sick!!!

    get a life L-O-S-E-R-S!!!!

    • thedavesiknowiknow - Dec 10, 2012 at 4:57 AM

      Yeah….Racists!

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