San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle is a bit different from most NHL players. Plenty of them will talk about how much the lockout sucks, few of them will openly direct any of the blame on their side.
Boyle did just that when he said “I think right now both sides think it’s their way or the highway” last month.
For him, this isn’t about money — at least not on a personal level. He wants a deal that’s “fair for everybody,” but he’s 36 years old and has already made his fortune.
“It’s not the checks that I’m missing. My biggest concern is the fans,” Boyle said, in a CSN Bay Area report. “I’m so grateful and thankful to be playing this game, but if there’s nobody in the stands to play in front of, that’s the worst part. And that’s my biggest concern, is we’re hurting the game.
“We had some good steam coming in here. That’s what I worry about every day, and that’s what I talk to my wife about. I just don’t want to damage the fans, and the game.”
Of course, if the lockout does damage the NHL — and the fact that games have been missed that won’t be replaced makes that a certainty, at least in the short-term — that will shrink the pie both sides are fighting over.
Meanwhile, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proposed a two-week moratorium on CBA talks, which Boyle, like many others, is against.
“I don’t understand it, because time is of the essence. I’d rather hammer away at it than waste another two weeks when time is so crucial,” Boyle said.
The NHLPA wants to resume CBA talks next week. We’ll see if the league agrees to that.