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Lamoriello on lockout: “I’m embarrassed for the game.”

Dec 26, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT

Lou Lamoriello Getty Images

Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello has a few thoughts on the lockoutRich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger spoke with Lamoriello about the lack of progress in talks and his distinct lack of involvement in them this time around.

On the lockout stretching into late December: “I’m embarrassed for the game.”

“It’s coming down to the wire right now,” Lamoriello said. “We’ve just got to trust the people that are involved. I’m embarrassed we are where we’re at. That’s the best expression I can use.”

On his lack of involvement in talks after helping be a part of the process back in 2004-05 to help end that lockout Lamoriello says, “I’m not involved the way I was in the past. I can’t answer why.”

If you’re looking for the answer as to “Why?” then you only have to look at Ilya Kovalchuk‘s contract with the Devils.

That situation saw the Devils found guilty of circumventing the salary cap and handing out a long-term, back-diving deal — something commissioner Gary Bettman has spoken out against and is using this lockout to try and eliminate.

Meanwhile, this kind of criticism might just get him a chance to talk to the commissioner again, just not in a way that would help possibly end the lockout.

  1. bcsteele - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    All of the owners and players alike should be embarrassed. After coming so far, the NHL has turned into the laughing stock of pro sports.

  2. jimw81 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    it took 102 days for someone with courage to tell the truth. i hope bettman, daily, jacobs and owners and players listen to him.

  3. jason9696 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Just cancel the season already. I LOVE hockey but the greed on both sides is just crazy.

    • jimw81 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      let’s be honest the league has a 48 game season hidden away somewhere.

    • lasallehockey81 - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      If greed’s the reason you want seasons cancelled, you might want to go ahead and hope for every season cancelled……..of every sport.

  4. matt8204 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    This is beyond stupid. Just go away.

    • badintent - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Great post. That owner is an embarrassment to his family, team, city and state. If he didn’t have Scott Stevens and Marty, no Cup, No Way. He makes the Buss and Steinbrenner families look like model citizens.

  5. hockeyfan763 - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I say Lamoriello and Bettman get in the steel cage and settle this. No lawyers, no hidden weapons.

  6. chrisvegas - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Do you think Bettman is embarrassed to be on his 3rd lockout in 20 years?

    • handsofsweed - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      Hell no. He’s not. Not at all.

    • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      You bloody believe he’s embarrassed by this. Do you think these guys have egos the size of a pea? These lockouts, and more so this one will be a black mark on his legacy as Commissioner of the NHL. 04-05 lockout changed the economic structure of the league, and the new rules improved the game drastically. He’s only the front man representing the ownership supported by a prestigious law firm. He will be forever known as the Commissioner who was on duty for 3 work stoppages. What’s not to be embarrassed about?

      • pondhockeyallstar - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:27 PM

        If bettman was truly embarrassed then it would show. is he a front man for the owners wishes? Yes. but he’s also hired to give them guidance. if he was embarrassed by this he’d of done something by now. he’s just as much blinded by greed and arrogance as they are. if he felt they were being idiots he’d tell them cause that’s his job. but he doesn’t feel that way. cause they only care about one thing……. $.

      • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        Yeah. The guy is paid 8 million per year to show his embarrassment. Get real, kid.

      • chrisvegas - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:49 PM

        I beleive the only thing Bettman cares about is how much money he can make at everyone’s expense. He don’t give a bleep about the sport or the fans. That is what I beleive…. If he was smarter though he would have learned to bring both sides together and get a deal done sooner.

  7. raulduke11 - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Shenanigans

  8. billsin20xx - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    So if Lou can’t be involved because of his contract doings, tell me again why Jacob’s and Leopold can be involved?

    • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      You want to know why Lou is not involved. Read this.

      Excellent article on Front loaded contracts by Pierre Lebrun

      Next thing you knew, back-diving deals were in vogue. The league was furious. It warned owners and GMs over and over again to stop doing them and, in fact, according to various sources over the past few years, made it clear in board of governors meetings that teams doing these types of deals could be penalized in some shape or form in the new CBA.

      And of course the teams that didn’t do these type of deals, gambling that they would be better for it in the next CBA for not doing so, are keenly awaiting what’s next. No one has been more vocal about his dislike for back-diving deals than Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. So much so that Burke testified against his longtime friend/mentor Lou Lamoriello over the contract handed by the New Jersey Devils to free agent Ilya Kovalchuk. The league ruled against that contract (which was back-diving) and made the Devils restructure it while also punishing them (docking them two draft picks — one of which was a first-rounder — and $3 million).

      http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/19370/heres-why-we-should-care-about-back-diving

      • billsin20xx - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:35 PM

        So again, Lou was smart enough to sign guys under the existing rules – which I do agree needed changing, but he did work the system. Jacob’s signed guys last September right up until the deadline, then started negotiating to lower the salaries he agreed to.
        Also, Jacob’s signed Chara to a contract which pays him $8M next year but only $4M two years later, isn’t that just what Lou did?

      • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        Is it?

    • jimw81 - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      can u say Ilya Kovalchuk contract?

  9. pastabelly - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    The owners want the players to pay for their sins of putting teams in bad markets for hockey. That’s this lockout is the biggest piece of horse crap going. Bettman is clueless for believing that the players would roll over for them. How do you blame the players here? The embarrassment is on the league, it’s owners, and it’s commissioner.

    • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      No buddy. You’re clueless. READ!

      • pastabelly - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Backloaded contracts are not what the lockout is about. I don’t understand your fascination with it. I wonder if you can even comprehend that article you linked to that you want everyone to read. That issue is about owners vs. owners and has nothing to do with owner/player relations. This lockout is about who is responsible for footing the bill to keep the league in competitive balance. The owners and the league got greedy and put teams in bad hockey markets that can’t compete from a financial standpoint with the teams in the REAL hockey markets. The owners believe that taking money away from players, which lowers operating costs for ALL markets, will make the BAD markets profitable. What the owners and Bettman won’t come out and say is that the change in revenue sharing will also ENRICH team in GOOD hockey markets. To break it down in terms simple enough for you to understand, the owners want the players to ENRICH Jeremy Jacobs and keep the the owners of Phoenix in business. Well, hockey doesn’t belong in Phoenix. If Bettman and the league owners want a franchise there, THEY should subidize it with league profits or revenue sharing and not by lowering player salaries. That makes no sense and it really hard for me as a hockey fan to believe any of the BS Bettman and Jacobs are throwing out there. I love watching the players play. If the NHL died and a new league was formed, and it only existed in good hockey markets, I’d watch it in a minute.

      • id4joey - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Yes! there are teams in markets that would be more profitable in other markets. Back diving contracts do nothing to maintain the competitive balance of the league. Matter of fact, it hurts that very notion, which makes regular season so meaningful and highly entertaining for the fans.

  10. 950003cups - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    The Kovalchuk contract was the one and only contract to be declined and punished by the league. Basically, the league was furious that Lou snagged arguably the best FA to ever hit the market in a way that was unkosher. Nobody said boo when Luongo signed that deal. In fact they were probably laughing. Nobody went up in arms and declined the Parise/Suter deal either.

    Bettman is envious Lou Lamoriello. Lou is “embarassed for the game” and by game he means Bettman.

  11. kegmen7 - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Once again, Lou nails it….

  12. digbysellers - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    All these polished turds should be embarrassed. It’s an embarrassment to embarrassment what this embarrassing situation has become. I pickle.

  13. pondhockeyallstar - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Bettman is a bum.

  14. acieu - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Fehr is a bum.

  15. joeyashwi - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    People keep defending Bettman by saying the game has grown so much under his watch. If that’s true then why are all these owners losing money? It seems that when it’s convenient for Bettman backers to use the NHL revenue numbers they do so in his defense, yet when player backers use the same numbers they “don’t understand business”. Bottom line, Bettman has been the dictator through three lockouts and possibly two lost seasons and for what? So the owners can all lose money anyway?
    You’re right Bettman cronies, he’s done a great job. He makes more than a top tier player to ruin the league but it’s the “greedy players'” fault. Hilarious.

  16. raulduke11 - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    And here I am watchin Western Kentucky vs Central Michigan instead of some NHL. May the entire sport of hockey die…real slow like

  17. mungman69 - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    I’m so tired of all the Crap that floats around the NHL. Throw away that key.

  18. joeyashwi - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Well said chrisvegas.

  19. ginochitown - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    The media needs to stop covering the NHL. It ceases to exist. Cover college hockey.

  20. tpa43 - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Is the NHL folding?

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