Rare is the dissenting voice among the 700-plus members of the NHLPA.
But veteran Washington Capitals defenceman Roman Hamrlik reaffirmed his stance on the CBA negotiations in a phone interview Monday, despite the negative response his controversial view has sparked from Capitals teammates such as Troy Brouwer.
“We’re losing time, and I don’t think a deal is going to be much better,” Hamrlik told NiteCap’s Josh Rimer on nextsportstar.com. “I never said I’m against the players or anything like that. I just want best deal for everybody. This week and next two weeks are going to be really crucial.”
Hamrlik said he does not regret anything he said in an interview with Daily Sport in his native Czech Republic back in November, when Hamrlik called out NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.
“I am disgusted,” Hamrlik was quoted in last month’s interview, his comments translated by TV Nova Sport’s Roman Hedlicka and devoured by the hockey world in a series of tweets. “I do not think that we will achieve a better deal.
“We have to push Fehr to the wall to get the deal. Time is against us. We lost a quarter of the season, it is $425 million. Who will give it back to us? Mr. Fehr? There should be voting between players. Four questions – yes or no – then count it. If half of players say let’s play, then they should sign new CBA. If there is no season, he should leave and we will find someone new. Time is our enemy.”
Capitals teammate Michal Neuvirth supported Harlik’s original comments but later backed away, issuing an apology through Twitter.
On Monday, Hamrlik downplayed the negative feedback to his comments, explaining that he spoke with other players who “totally understand my situation” and that with so many players at different career stages and different income brackets, there are bound to be a variety of takes on the lockout.
Hamrlik did, however, concede that the timing of his remarks may have been poor.
“I’m not moving back. Maybe I regret I said it at the wrong time, a really crucial time,” he told Rimer. “Maybe I should’ve said it earlier. Maybe I should have called Don on the phone and told him, but I’m not taking anything back.
“I don’t have too many years left,” the 38-year-old Czech native added. “As an older guy, I just want to play hockey.”
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