I’m pretty sure everyone can agree; Teemu Selanne is one of the most humble and positive athletes in the sport. Selanne, who is a 19 year veteran in the NHL, may and probably will hang up his skates after this season whether hockey is played or not. By all means, he has a right to speak out and voice his frustration and disappointment. So when a player of Selanne’s caliber speaks up, you know there’s a valid reason behind it and that you should probably listen.
On September 15, 2012, the NHL collective bargaining agreement expired with no new deal in sight.
As a result, Teemu Selanne took it upon himslef to chastise NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, and the league’s owners on his own blog. If you speak Finnish, by all means, take a look at his blog here . For the majority of the people reading this who don’t speak it, here are translations of part of his blog.
Below, Selanne brings up the justifiable notion of owners signing players to these ridiculous long term, high paying contracts:
NHL has warned the teams of making too long and too front-loaded contracts. … The perfect example is Minnesota’s owner Craig Leipold … 13 year long and over 100 million dollar deals (per player) … The next day he puts on the NHL-jacket, goes to the other side of the table and tell the same hockey world, how inconceivable these new, long deals are. Come on! None of the teams are forced to pay these amounts of money … It’s their decision! … One has to also keep in mind that the 57% that players get was their offer and we HAD TO accept it. And now it’s not enough!
I don’t know about you, but I utterly agree 150%. How can owners cry wolf and expect players to help the league using the change in their pockets if owners won’t? Instead, the absurdly rich owners are shelling out outrageous sums of money for an inane number of years on a contract in order to secure a star player. A bit of hypocrisy, perhaps?
Selanne also directed some of his attention to his un-favoring fandom of Gary Bettman:
Gary Bettman has been the boss of the NHL for almost 20 years. He was hired to bring the salary cap and that is what he also did. 2 times there has been a threat of lockout during his reign and in both cases there has also been a lockout. So this is the third! He must be the most hated person in NHL. In every NHL arena he gets booed. The fans know! He makes over $8 million in a year. Would Mr Bettman be willing to give up his salary, and give a part of to these “poor” teams? Hmm… interesting question.
I must also say that our boss Donald Fehr on July 1st when the negotiations started that he doesn’t have to get paid before this “war” is over. The reaction among players was admirable …
If only every person was like Donald Fehr, Teemu.