The NHLPA denies that players were instructed by union leadership to “demonize” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and tells the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman that any suggestion otherwise is “absolutely false.”
The union’s denial came shortly after Friedman reported that “people across the league” believe NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr has waged a concerted PR war against Bettman.
And why would anyone ever think that?
Well, perhaps because players have been saying stuff like this:
“We’re ready to play. We want to play. But Gary’s pretty adamant about his third lockout of his tenure.” – Zach Parise
“We’ve all heard that Gary thinks the fans don’t matter.” – Danny Briere
“Gary has forced the players’ hand into this situation and frankly, he’s [ticked] us off. I think at the start, that first offer they gave out, that was a big, big mistake on Gary’s part.” – Shawn Horcoff
Intentional or not, it’s Bettman’s name (often his first name, which seems to add an extra bit of sneer) the players keep referencing, not the names of the individual owners that employ Bettman and sign the players’ paychecks. (Wild defenseman Ryan Suter publicly called out Minnesota owner Craig Leipold, but then quickly recanted.)
So even if Fehr didn’t tell the players to target Bettman in their comments, it’s not hard to understand why those on the commissioner’s side may feel differently.
The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”
The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.
The NHLPA released a similar statement.
It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.
We’re starting to find out some details now:
How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?
Aaron Ward, a 16-year NHL veteran that appeared in over 800 career games, has been arrested for “assault on a female,” per WNCN.
Ward was arrested on Friday in Cary, North Carolina and also charged with interfering with emergency communication, according to the report.
Currently working as an analyst for TSN, Ward spent five years of his career in Carolina, helping the ‘Canes capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Update: Per WRAL, Ward’s wife called 9-1-1 after the two had a confrontation around 1 p.m. ET. Police confirmed Ward was arrested at his home in Cary.
According to the warrant for his arrest, he took away his wife’s phone.
Because of the nature of his charges, Ward will spend a mandatory 48 hours in the Wake County jail. Anyone arrested on a domestic violence charge is held for 48 hours before bail is set.
And here’s a statement from TSN: