NHL players have been very vocal throughout the lockout and have made some powerful comments and criticisms toward the owners, commissioner Gary Bettman and the developments that have occurred during the work stoppage.
Let's look at eight players who haven't been afraid to share their thoughts on the lockout and the people involved.
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin has been playing for Dynamo Moscow of the KHL for most of the lockout, but that hasn't stopped him from criticizing the NHL.
Here's a recent tweet from the Russian star.
Hahaha Whata clowns!!!....Don tell it all.Bla blah ...make a deal instead of talk about Don!— Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) November 10, 2012
Ovechkin is referring to the accusation made by the NHL that NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr did not give his players all the information from the union's meeting with the league last Thursday. It was a foolish move by the league, and it seems that Ovechkin wasn't too thrilled about it.
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
When the NHL rejected three proposals by the NHLPA on October 18, Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan had a very interesting way of describing what happened (via Bruce Arthur of The National Post).
Shane Doan: "Usually [it's] give me your money or I'm going to hurt you. Not give me your money AND I'm going to hurt you."— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 18, 2012
Doan could have described the negotiating process a bit better than he did here, but I think his comments accurately portray the level of frustration that the players have felt over the last few months.
Krys Barch, New Jersey Devils
I wonder if the owners of Boston, New York,Washington, etc, etc,have endured any of the injuries that I or any other player in the .....— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
.... NHL have endured. Still they probably sit their smoking the same brand of cigar, sipping the same cognac, and going on vacation .....— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
..... To one of five houses they own.... While we sit here knowing they want to take 20% of our paychecks. One half to 3/4 of my peers— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
For more on Barch's tweets, check out this article from September 30.
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning star Martin St. Louis is one of the nicest players in the NHL and is extremely professional.
However, this lockout is certainly bothering him, and a few weeks ago, he shared his frustration with Josh Rimer of NHL Home Ice.
Tampa Bay Lightning Forward Martin St. Louis on NOV Cancelled, "If the fans think that the NHL wants to play. Think again."— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) October 26, 2012
More St. Louis, "They don't want to meet and they cancelled all november. Way to go Gary you really care about the game!!"— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) October 26, 2012
St. Louis knows what it's like to go through a lengthy lockout. His 2004 Lightning team won the Stanley Cup in seven games over the Calgary Flames, but weren't able to defend their championship until the 2005-06 season because of the 2004-05 lockout.
Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise has criticized commissioner Bettman a few times during the lockout, and here's one example (via player agent Allan Walsh of Octagon Hockey):
Zach Parise: "We’re ready to play. We want to play. But Gary'’s pretty adamant about his third lockout of his tenure.”— Allan Walsh (@walsha) August 29, 2012
During the labor negotiations, the NHL has tried to eliminate the salary cap circumventing contracts like the one that Parise signed with the Wild in the summer, so his name has been mentioned quite a bit over the last few months.
The league will probably be successful in its mission to prevent these types of deals from being possible in the next CBA.
Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks
Teemu Selanne wasn't afraid to voice his opinion of Commissioner Bettman on his personal blog in mid-September (Google translated):
Gary Bettman has been the NHL's boss for almost 20 years. He was hired by the NHL to bring the salary cap, and so he did, as he had received the salary cap NBA Basketball: acquisition. Twice the lockout has been a stoppage during his reign, and each time the lockout is done. Now it is the third! He is certainly the NHL's most hated person.
Selanne and St. Louis are two veteran players who want the lockout to end immediately because they don't have too much time left in their careers. The 42-year-old veteran signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract in July.
John-Michael Liles, Toronto Maple Leafs
Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles shared the following tweet one day after the lockout became official on September 15:
Just wanted to send out big congrats to gray bettman on his 3rd consecutive work stoppage. Impressive stats for someone w no athletic skill— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) September 16, 2012
Not many players have insulted Bettman in this manner. Fortunately for Liles, he will begin a new four-year, $15.5 million contract when the lockout ends, but after setting a new career-low in points last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he might be a bit overpaid.
Curt Gogol, San Jose Sharks
Sharks prospect Curt Gogol, who spent last season in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks and has no NHL experience, criticized Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold last month via Twitter:
"Craig Leipold in the meeting...he doesn't want to honor Parise and Suter contracts" Good job Minnesota, bit off more that you could handle!— Curt Gogol (@CurtGogol13) October 18, 2012
Leipold has been criticized by many people for taking a "hard-line" approach in this lockout even though in the summer, he signed two star players to the massive, cap-circumventing contracts that the league doesn't want to see in the future.
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