A Boston Bruin and an Ottawa Senator not seeing eye-to-eye is to be expected, but usually those types of conflicts are kept within the boards.
Disagreement from former on-ice opponents Mark Recchi (now retired) and Sens player representative Chris Phillips spread into the newspapers Wednesday, as Phillips dismissed Recchi’s take on the players’ approach to the NHL-NHLPA’s collective bargaining.
“I guess I would say it’s an uninformed answer, unless he’s now tied in with ownership somewhere, or wants to get involved with ownership, and trying to take that side,” Phillips told the Toronto Sun of Recchi, a respected NHL winger who retired after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011. Recchi, 43, now owns shares in the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. “Unless you’re on the calls all the time or know exactly what’s going on… I don’t know what those comments are based on, because he’s not involved.”
In an interview with the Boston Globe early this week, Recchi drew the ire of many players and NHLPA supporters by delivering his advice to the current players regarding the ongoing lockout.
“The longer it goes, the worse [the offer] is going to get [for the players]. Hey, I’m an owner, too, so I see both sides. We lose money on our team, and obviously that’s not the same, the money’s not nearly as significant as in the NHL, but the business dynamics are similar. We’ve lost money every year we’ve owned it,’’ Recchi told the Globe. “The longer they’re out, the revenues are going to go down and down.
“Corporate sponsors aren’t going to be lining up,” he continued, “so there goes that money. The schedule isn’t going to be 82 games, I don’t think, at this point. That’s more money lost. So, how are you going to get a better deal? Personally, I think the best time is now.’’
Recchi went on to explain that the players “always get their money,” pointing out that a salary-cap system did not prevent NHLers from cashing in on hefty contracts.
“That’s why I say, get a deal and get back in there,” Recchi said.
The Sun asked Phillips if the players are starting to cave.
“I think everybody is frustrated,” the defenceman told the paper. “But again, guys that are saying that are not the guys that are there every day, and know what’s going on. If you go and make a deal for the sake of getting a deal done, it’s going to hurt a lot of guys, now and in the future.”