Krejci: Gary Bettman ‘treats us like animals’

Add Boston Bruins forward David Krejci to the growing list of locked-out NHL players taking swipes at the league’s commissioner, Gary Bettman.

The centreman, who is currently playing at a point-per-game pace for Pardubice HC in his native Czech league, gave a sharply worded interview to, which was translated into English (so take his quotes with a grain of salt) on Monday.

“We want to play, we’re the ones who are doing the show in the NHL, but Bettman thinks it makes him,” Krejci said. “It is unfortunate that the NHL have such a guy. It’s a shame for the entire hockey world. Treats us like animals.”

Krejci, a seven-year veteran, signed a three-year, $15.75-million contract extension with the Bruins last December. Instead of criticizing the owners, whom Bettman represents, he brought up Bettman’s salary.

“Bettman took during the last lockout $3.5 million,” Krejci told the site, “now it’s at $8 million.”

This marks the second players-as-animals metaphor used in the public war of words surrounding the new CBA negotiations.

After Detroit Red Wings senior VP Jim Devellano referred to players as “cattle” and team owners as ranch owners in a September interview, Krejci’s teammate, Milan Lucic sloughed it off.

“I think we’re pretty good cattle if you’re looking at it that way,” Lucic told at the time. “I guess I must be Grade A prime beef.”