While most NHL players have held back from voicing their true feelings about the lockout to the media, some have taken to Twitter and other forms of social media to voice their frustration. The latest player to speak his mind was the Detroit Red Wings’ Ian White, who in an interview with USA Today on Friday said of commissioner Gary Bettman, “I personally think he’s an idiot. Since he’s come in, I think he’s done nothing but damage the game.”
White went on to call the entire process “frustrating,” adding that he felt the sides were close to a deal and too much time has been wasted already. This latest outburst was touched off by the recent suggestion that the NHL and NHLPA take two weeks off from negotiations. Toronto Maple Leaf Joffrey Lupul voiced his frustration on Twitter (@JLupul), adding that it isn’t just players that are out of work right now – thousands of team employees also find themselves in a difficult situation. Could the floodgates now open, with more players likely to follow suit in voicing their criticism in the coming days? A two week break at this point could see many more players head to Europe, puts the possibility on a season of any length in serious jeopardy and could see countless veterans contemplate retirement.
In his first season with the Red Wings, White scored seven goals and had 32 points. With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and the Wings’ inability to land Ryan Suter in free agency, he will be looked to for even more production when the lockout ends.