Former NHL player Bill Guerin has some advice for locked out NBA players: Quit fighting the owners and get back to work.
“It’s not worth it. Get a deal done,” Geurin told McClatchy’s Mac Engel.
Coming from a player who was a loyal union man during his hockey career, it was an astonishing admission. As Engel writes, “There was not a single NHL player during the Great Lockout of 2004-05 who was a bigger proponent of the union’s fight than this man. No one believed in the cause more than Guerin, and to hear him admit this is a bit stunning.”
Presumably Guerin would do things differently if he could go back in time.
“Burning a year was ridiculous,” Guerin said. “It wasn’t worth me giving up $9 million a year, or 82 games plus the playoffs, then having a crappy year and being bought out. … Guys in the NBA making $15 million or however much better think long and hard about this.”
It will be interesting to see if the NHLPA has any response to Guerin’s comments. With the current CBA expiring at the end of the season, union head Donald Fehr might feel the need to do some damage control. A union’s resolve isn’t exactly strengthened when a former player says things like, “It’s (the owner’s) league, and you are going to play when they want.” Which is exactly what Guerin said.