They won’t meet face to face, but that doesn’t mean the players aren’t talking to the owners. Or at least at them.
Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnson is the latest locked-out NHL player to write his own thoughts on the collective bargaining disagreement that has already cost the league and its players the first two months of its scheduled games.
In a 275-word post titled “We Want to Play!” splashed on the homepage of his own site, jackjohnson3.com, the Indianapolis-born Johnson expressed his eagerness to get back on the ice.
“I want to work! I’m a professional athlete and I want to play hockey! In my chosen profession, I don’t have until I am 60 or 70 years old to do this job. My window of opportunity to play professional hockey is limited. If I’m lucky, I can play until I’m 40,” Johnson wrote Sunday. “I have been training as a hockey player my entire life, and I know it is a privilege to play in the NHL. So each month, each week, and each game that is cancelled is an opportunity I will never get back.”
— Jack Johnson (@JackJohnson3) October 28, 2012
Last month, Anaheim Ducks veteran Teemu Selanne called out the NHL’s commissioner and owners in a Finnish-written blog titled “What Gives, Gary Bettman?” and Toronto Maple Leafs star Joffrey Lupul wrote his views on the lockout for AskMen.com.
The 25-year-old Johnson, who was traded to the Jackets from the Los Angeles Kings in February, did not name names in his piece, but he did use direct language in attacking the owners’ unwillingness (thus far) to pay players the entirety of their existing deals.
Johnson’s own seven-year contract is worth $30.5 million and expires at upon the conclusion of the 2012-18 season.
“The concept that the owners are trying to dismantle existing contracts that they in good faith offered, signed, and committed to is appalling, unprofessional, and disgraceful. I negotiated my own contract, without an agent, with the confidence and belief that the owner offering me that contract operated by the same convictions and principals (sic) as I do,” Johnson wrote. “During the summer, the players offered to play through negotiations and the owners locked us out. We want to play hockey! Where is the honor? I’m ready to play and uphold my end of the deal!”
As of Monday morning, no new CBA talks between the league and its Players’ Association had been scheduled.