Anaheim Ducks co-captain -- and one of Finland's all-time great hockey players -- Teemu Selänne has taken to his blog to chastise the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and the players' association head Donald Fehr over another lockout.
Selänne recently signed a 1-year contract with the Ducks for $4.5 million, but hasn't been able to enjoy it after the NHL was locked out for the third time in his career. He has been working as a NHL assistant for the MTV3 and took to their blog to air his grievances -- in his native Finnish.
Roughly translated by Google, Selänne points out that since the last lockout, the NHL survived to grow from $2.3 to $3.3 billion dollar operation, close to 40% in seven years. But the question of whether or not the NHL can survive a lockout its second lockout in a decade remains a pretty big question. Click after the jump for his words.
The new salary cap has evened out the sports-team level differences. NHL is a smoother and more interesting than ever, the product works and the fans like. The clubs pay their players more than ever to pay. Everything should be fine. What's wrong with this then? Is ice hockey really afford to be without playing again? Damage caused by the recent lockout has just been repaired. Most of the fans have lost approximately recovered.
Selanne points out that the players' association already had to budge just to be able to end the last lockout, and again the owners are clamoring for rule changes that negatively affect the players. Bettman has warned clubs about making excessively long-term, front heavy contracts, yet teams continue to do so.
A perfect example is the Minnesota owner Craig Leipold, who is also one of the NHL's members of the group. He makes a two-player, Zach and Ryan Suterin A couple with 13 years and more than $ 100 million contracts (per player) and tells the hockey world how excited the entire Minnesota is fresh purchases. The next day, he put a jacket on top of the NHL, going to the other side of the table and tells the same hockey world how incomprehensible are these new long-term contracts.
Being such a nice guy, Selanne goes out on an easier note -- a plea for peace. The man has made a very nice living playing hockey and obviously enjoys it, so much so that he continues to play despite recent chatter of retiring. But even if Google didn't get the translation exactly correct, Selanne's final words of wisdom ring home with anyone who has a vested interest in a league that is proving recently to be as dysfunctional as possible, as often as possible.
In any case, the winners in this dispute is unlikely to be found. In particular, on behalf of the fans I'm really sorry. They do not really deserve this, and you have to remember, however, that the end of the day this ship of joy, more or less pay just fans. It does not help other than to hope that this lockout would not last long, and reach back to enjoy the NHL hockey. The world's finest sport does not deserve this! Disappointed vainly awaiting better news. Good hockey through to where it is now, then start or have started!