NHL fines Red Wings for Devellano’s “cattle” comment

26 Comments

Red Wings senior VP Jim Devellano caught the ire of the NHL and now his team will pay for it.

The NHL announced they’ve fined the Red Wings an undisclosed amount for comments made by Devellano in a recent interview. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly had this to say about the comments:

“The Detroit Red Wings’ organization and the League agree that the comments made by Mr. Devellano are neither appropriate, nor authorized, nor permissible under the League’s By-Laws,” Daly said. “Such comments are neither constructive nor helpful to the negotiations.”

In that interview, Devellano refers to the players as “cattle” and the owners as “ranchers” regarding the labor battle between the two sides.

“It’s very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle,” Devellano said. “The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”

The league by-law Daly refers to says only he or Gary Bettman are allowed to speak on labor matters. Devellano’s point of view doesn’t do much to help keep peace in the situation and shows why they want to control who says what.

UPDATE (12:25 p.m. ET) : TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the fine may be as much as $250,000. That’s enough scratch to make sure no one else decides to speak out publicly.