Ted Lindsay to players: “Don’t go bad-mouthing Bettman like that”

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Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay is the man behind the start of the NHLPA in the 1950s. He’s also the guy who wants today’s players to knock it off with the insults to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

The former Red Wings great told Jimmy Murphy of ESPNBoston.com that he’s tired of seeing the commissioner getting ripped by the players for doing what he’s paid to do.

“One thing that really has bothered me when I’m reading the paper on all of this is the way they’re talking about ‘that idiot Bettman’, or any of the other stupid adjectives they’ve used to describe him,” said Lindsay, 87. “They and the fans and the media need to realize that Bettman is doing his job and fulfilling his responsibility to the owners, just like (NHLPA executive director) Don (Fehr) is to the players. The players need to respect and understand that. Don’t go bad-mouthing Bettman like that.”

The number of players who have slagged Bettman either in interviews or via Twitter have been a disappointing side story thanks to the lockout. Being frustrated is one thing, to resort to insults somehow makes the whole situation seem worse.

The players would be wise to listen to Lindsay because he knows all too well what it’s like to be hammered on for being a labor leader.