Former NHL player Mike Modano says Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are both to blame for the current mess that is the NHL lockout.
Modano joined HOCKEY CENTRAL at Noon on Friday to discuss the lockout, as well as the work stoppages he was part of as a player in 1994-95 and 2004-05.
“There’s a lot of area to blame and you just go to those lead guys that are running both sides,” said Modano. “You want to both come away and feel ‘Hey, we won something, we got something.’ You don’t want to feel like you’ve cheated, or got something more out of the other people, because then you find resentment there.”
The 17-year NHL veteran also touched on how he knows, from experience, that aggravation begins to build as the work stoppages stretch on.
“I think what frustrated a lot of the (players) in the union was the dragging of the feet on both sides,” said Modano. “Not talking for two or three weeks at a time…I think the urgency of getting something done was just not taken too serious.
“Everybody on both sides was just waiting for the other one to flinch.”
The players don’t have as much to gain this time around in comparison to the first lockout Modano was a part of, when a veil of sorts was lifted off of the then-secretive player salaries.
“I think ’94 was pivotal for us, we had salary disclosure that came out. Everybody finally found out what everybody else was making,” Modano said. “It was a big negotiating thing for all the players, seeing where they compared and the comparables around the league.
“I think that’s what started leapfrogging salaries.”
But this time, without a major television contract like the NFL, MLB or NBA, the players are looking to maintain their fair share of hockey related revenues.
Although unwilling to choose sides in the debate, Modano suggests the players continue doing what they’re doing in order to earn their dues; stick together.