Perhaps Roman Hamrlik’s surprising comments about Donald Fehr represented a silent group of disenfranchised players, but Erik Cole wasn’t shy about airing his misgivings about Hamrlik’s viewpoints to Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette on Wednesday.
“For him to come out and say this, it’s the most selfish thing I’ve heard during the lockout. Without a doubt,” Cole said. “It’s just disappointing. You’d think the veteran guys are the guys who’d take more pride in what other veteran guys sacrificed in the last lockout, how we all benefited from that as a group. Some guys never played again.”
Interestingly, Cole said that Hamrlik would be lying if he claimed that his comments were taken out of context or translated poorly because Hamrlik expressed similar views to players before (the original interview came from iSport.cz).
It almost sounds like Cole would drop the gloves with Hamrlik if given the chance.
“If he were sitting in a dressing room across from me tonight … ” Cole said, the rest of that sentence off the record. “I’d be all over him on the ice. I’m pissed at him. If that’s his opinion, then he should just stay over there (in the Czech Republic).”
Perhaps some of this reaction comes down to tensions regarding Wednesday’s talks, though. He didn’t seem very convinced that the sides generated much “momentum,” after all.
“It was basically another dismissal but (the NHL was) smart enough not to do it within 10 minutes,” Cole said.
So, yeah, Cole seems quite upset.
In case you’re wondering, barring potential cancellations, Cole’s Montreal Canadiens would face Hamrlik’s Washington Capitals on Dec. 20, March 7 and April 4.