I loved hearing Jeremy Roenick today. His candor is so refreshing. However I take issue with a lot of what he said while a guest on Leafs Lunch on 640 Toronto:
D: What’s your assessment of what’s gone on? Roenick on everything that’s gone on including the firing of Paul Kelly and the resignation of Glenn Healy, etc.
R: To tell you the truth, I don’t know all the intricacies of what happened. I don’t know if there is a kind of an underlying power in the NHLPA that wants to take over. I don’t think Paul Kelly was doing a bad job. I think he was obviously very well qualified. Is the PA nervous about whether Paul Kelly can handle maybe another future lockout or maybe a future strike if that’s the case? It did seem premature. I feel bad for Paul. I think the way they treated him was not right, was not fair. They had him sitting out, drinking coffee till four in the morning while they pow wowed. And I think the disrespect to Paul Kelly was very evident, and it’s not right. All Paul has been trying to do is trying to help this organization and help the PA move forward and you treat a guy like that after a year and a half, two years unfortunately it’s unacceptable. I don’t know what their ultimate goal is here. But, there’s definitely a lot of uneasiness and unrest in the NHLPA and somebody better figure it out real quick because if they don’t there’s going to be even more problems that are gonna unfold with the National Hockey League and some of the issues that they have through the PA with the league and they need somebody that’s gonna be there that’s gonna help them maneuver them through that.
W: Roenick on anonymous letter.
R: Why is it anonymous? That’s what I don’t understand. Why is it anonymous?
Cowardly? It’s not cowardly; sensor button, it’s “chickenshit”. That’s alright, I can use this cause nobody’s gonna slap me on my knuckles. It’s chickenshit! If you have something to say about somebody, stand up and say it.
W: Anonymous letter is doing of someone who has a greater role planned for himself.
R: Correct. I totally…That’s exactly the feeling that I got when I heard of all this happenings. I specifically said to myself, “there is a ‘me’ entity to this and I don’t know where it’s stemming from.”
D: Hearing about “quiet discontent” about process. Roenick on concern over the process in terms of player reps voting on a decision without consulting with his constituents.
R: Ya, I’d be pissed. I would say something. And, I would try to get as many guys as I possibly could to fight the system. And, I think that’s been the problem with the National Hockey League players’ association for many years is it’s been a very small clique that have tried to make all the decisions and the decisions that are made are not a unanimous decisions by the union. A whole fact of having a union is for everybody to have a say. And when you have a little clique that’s gonna run it and that’s gonna make the decisions, there’s gonna be not only unrest, but there’s gonna be mistakes made and those mistakes are gonna turn into big problems like it has. It’s really unfortunate that our PA, the NHLPA continues to make a mockery of itself and take away its credibility by doing things that are very…I wanna say, it’s almost like “there’s one little group that’s trying to control it and that’s not how a players’ association is gonna work”.
D: Who is that group?
R: It seems to move around, it seems to change. A couple of years back during the Goodenow it seemed to be Trevor Linden, it seemed to be Bob Goodenow, it seemed to be a couple of other guys that were with them. I don’t know who’s doing it now. But, something has to happen; something has to change.
W: Clique of administrators who have convinced the membership, the executive board, which unfortunately is made up 90% of players under the age of 23 or players in the bottom 10% of the league (mentioned that he did not have facts to back up).
R: Ok, let’s continue that analogy by also saying that the education of those players are going to be very low. I would say most of them have high school educations. Do not have college educations. And not to put athletes down, but they’re not the brightest bulbs in the box. So, that being said, they really are influenced by the smarter people; by the lawyers; by the people who have gone to college who seem to be the guys who wear the suits and ties that represent themselves as being the smart people. That’s who the hockey players look at and they put all their faith in and sometimes they shouldn’t do that.
D: Roenick on interest in becoming involved management-wise with the players’ association.
R: No, I wouldn’t do with the players’ association. I hate to say it but that’s a whole entity that I think needs to be worked out and I think they have to get their credibility back before they’re gonna have more people that want to come work with them. I love the National Hockey League, I love a lot that has to do with it. But, there’s so many problems that are going on right now in there. Somebody like me, I don’t think I could fix something like that. I’d be more in tune of going to a personal team and working with a team in general rather than the whole National Hockey League to try to figure out what’s going on because, you know, I’m more of a mouth than a mouthpiece. Sometimes I’m not going to get that same kind of respect maybe that I should for just having that opinion. But, that’s just me. ”
I just think the players get what they deserve. If 90 % of the reps are under23, that is for one reason, the vets gave the shit job to the kids. For the players to bitch after the fact is a joke. Either you care enough to be involved or you don’t. The reality is most of these guys don’t care. After the lockout all they want to do is play. I don’t blame them for it. For vets to be crying after the fact??????
Also, why are players in the NHL less educated as rookies then they are as vets? How many of these “lightbulbs” somehow become “educated” by playing hockey? Jr made the point that the guys on the exec board have no more than a highschool degree. The inference is that older guys have degrees. I don’t buy it.
That bring said this whole thing stinks. Name one corporation where the president or CEO isn’t allowed to be involved in who his general counsel is??
The players have made a mistake here. This will cost them in the long run. I don’t know who is behind this or what they think they will accomplish. The reality is they have no leverage. Face it, in a fight without hockey who lasts longer Matt Stajan or the Teachers Pension ? In a fight between billionaires and millionaires I am betting on the billionaires.
In the end the players have to play, what else will they do? So they can hire whomever they think the biggest pitbull is, and it won’t matter. Bettman inc won before and he has way more will power than the last time.