Hall of Famer and Detroit Red Wings legend Ted Lindsay spoke out about the NHL lockout Wednesday, telling James Murphy of ESPN Boston that he doesn’t agree with the way players have been talking about commissioner Gary Bettman.
If there’s one former player whose opinion on the matter should count, it is Lindsay, who helped lay the groundwork for what is now the NHLPA and was stripped of his captaincy and traded to the Chicago Black Hawks as a result. He told Murphy that players “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.”
Lindsay also made a solid point when asked about Montreal Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik’s recent comments. Hamrlik drew a lot of criticism for stating his opinion that maybe it was time to get a deal done and get back to playing. Lindsay said, “The front two lines of every team are the big money-earners and they’re going to be fine no matter what, but the third- and fourth-liners or the guys like (Hamrlik) at the end of their career, they’re going to feel it and I’m sure they are feeling it, so they should speak up.”
After watching many current players speak out in the past few weeks, it is refreshing to see the opinion of a distinguished former player who understands both sides of the issue and clearly still cares about the sport.
Over a 17-season NHL career, Lindsay scored 379 goals and recorded 851 points. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966 and in 2010 had the Lester B. Pearson Award renamed in his honor.