While most players are taking to Twitter and other venues to spout the usual NHLPA company line, veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik isn’t bashing Gary Bettman.
“I am disgusted,” Hamrlik said. “We have to push Fehr to the wall to get the deal. Time is against us. We lost [one-quarter of the] season, [about] $425M. Who will give it back to us? Mr. Fehr? There should be voting between players. Four questions – YES or NO – then count it. If half of players say lets play, then they should sign new CBA. If there is no season he should leave and we will find someone new. Time is our enemy.”
This is a huge break from most of the player reactions, which PHT will cover later tonight.
Hamrlik is likely at the tail end of his career at 38, so he’s in a unique situation where he doesn’t have a lot to lose by being honest.
(He also has a lot to lose if there’s no season; Hamrlik is in the final year of a contract worth $3.5 million per season.)
The natural – and maybe unanswerable – question is: how many players feel the same way as Hamrlik? If that silent group is large, then there could indeed be plenty of “momentum” for the owners.