Hockey star tells critical fans to kiss his ass

http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/3721780

This spoken at a charity event, no less.

Is Roenick really this stupid?

Is anybody here bothered by the idea of the NHL just dying right here and now?

Well, if you didn’t have a reason to hate overpaid sports stars before…

I agree with Roenick.

I think he was goddamn dumb to say it HOW he did, in front of who he did.

Come ON, Jeremy. The ones who criticize you don’t buy that many tickets anyway. Don’t go off at a charity game.

Right or wrong, now is the time to mend fences. The guy who doesn’t know a strike from a lockout, his money is just as green as everyone else’s, and the key is for owners and players to kiss, make up, and woo the fans back TOGETHER.

Roenick’s comemnts hurt the feelings of the fans and hurt the game.
Politics. That’s the name of the game right now.

What part could you possibly agree with?

Professional athletes ARE disproportionately cocky.

They ARE spoiled. Many of them have been spoiled since before they were pros. Pro athletes get a free ride, and it’s insane to say otherwise. They are paid ludicrious amounts of money. I don’t begrudge them a dime because you’re worth what the market will pay you, but I also have no illusions that pro athletes aren’t spoiled lottery winners, because they are.

He says they’ve tried “so, so hard” to get the game back, and yet that is simply, objectively and unquestionably not true. The NHL and NHLPA didn’t even try negotiating until the last minute before the lockout. Their efforts since then have been the stuff of comedy, and they STILL doesn’t have a deal, Roenick’s vague comments aside. And now the NHLPA will end up accepting a deal even worse than they would have gotten last year, when absolutely every last human being on the planet, even people from central Africa where they speak that clicky language and have never seen ice before, knew damned well they would never get what they wanted at the time. The season was cancelled for no good reason at all.

Hockey players may say they care about the game, but they helped devastate the NHL. They have opposed efforts to open the game up and enforce its rules. And Roenick apparently doesn’t love the game enough to keep his stupid yap shut.

I personally would love to see the NHL die. Perhaps a real hockey league could then replace it, one without teams in Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix, where the rule against holding is actually enforced. One without Jeremy Roenick. That would be nice.

I will not be closely following the NHL in the future.

Amen.

If the NHL had anything in common with the (admittedly horrible but) fun-to-watch hockey my college’s club team played, I’d be a huge hockey fan.

I somehow doubt the NHL is quite as fun as a bunch of drunken college students yelling obscenities at opposing players and generally having a great time.

Jeremy Roenick looks stupid to me. :stuck_out_tongue:

I am a rabid hockey fan, but not at the NHL level. We have a minor league team here and I love it. These guys aren’t making money - heck, I couldn’t live on what most of them make - they’re playing cause they love the game and want that shot at the Big Show.

I wish all these guys who want to get paid like Gretsky could play like Gretsky.

I agree with Roenick because the owners made negotiations contingent upon discussing the one issue the players were adamant about keeping out. The players offered a 24% rollback in salary, reductions in base salaries, everything possible SHORT of a cap to keep the league solvent, and the owners said, “Cap or nothing.”

The owners did not bargain in good faith, and the players lost anyway. Lost huge.

The deal they are going to sign INCLUDES the 24% rollback in salaries, a per-team cap that is 13 million dollars lower than the one they were prepared to accept when they knew they had been beaten, and a team salary structure that is going to lead to massive, NFL-style cuttings and cut-rate re-signings once the new CBA goes into effect.

And now these half-assed “fans” and wanna-be social commentators who have never bought more than two tickets a season are calling the players whiny and spoiled and on about how they have it so good?

No matter how good you have it, you have to keep your revenue stream alive. And both sides couldn’t do that. Roenick is ripping the “fans” who want to play holier-than-thou because they don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

Screw you, fake fans. You’ll never go to a game anyway. You’ll just sit there and complain about “millionaire athletes” or what have you. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard someone complain about the “NHL strike.” Idiots. You have no idea how many people who decry the high salaries of NHLers who have no idea what icing is. These are the people that Roenick is ripping, and I agree with him.

To rip the NHLPA right now is akin to watching Baryshnikov get beaten and robbed and then spitting on him because he won’t jump right up and dance for you.

Really?

Funnny thing is, i have friends in Canada who are lifetime hockey fans, who regularly attend games, and who are, in a couple of instances, long-time season ticket holders. And quite a few of these folks are pissed at the strategy adopted by the NHLPA in this whole debacle.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion on this issue, and reasonable people can disagree with one another. But to suggest that anyone who criticizes the players must not be a true fan of hockey is just disingenuous.

Without a cap, the 24% rollback would be meaningless. Salaries would quickly “reinflate” after the agreement was reached (Thanks NY Rangers! :mad: ). Moreover, I don’t know what’s wrong with NFL-style cuttings. To the best of my knowledge, NFL players are doing pretty well. The NFL’s system looks to work very well (of course the mega-TV contracts can’t hurt).

However, I think owners should have opened their books and proved once and for all that they’re losing money. The only arguments I’ve heard against this is that it would expose them to the IRS. Well, duh, you shouldn’t be cheating on your taxes in the first place, especially if you’re a large company.

I sure hope the NHL doesn’t die, but it might be better for hockey in the long run.

The beef expressed in your quoting of me is aimed specifically at the people Roenick is also ripping, the “fake fans.”

I am not at all ignorant of the fact that there were splinter groups within the NHLPA, and I am certainly aware that negotiations got re-started once Goodenow and Bettman were out of the room.

And this brings me to my beef with the NHLPA and most such pro-athlete unions. To allow one executive director to butt heads with one commissioner and have that ill will dominate negotiations is a horrible labor-relations strategy.

And how can you blame the players for that? Once the lockout started, do you think the poor bastard making the league minimum in his rookie season as a spare defenseman was gung-ho for no cap and an extended lockout? Blame Goodenow if you must, but blame Bettman more. The only thing the players did wrong was agree to such a top-heavy representative structure.

Now they’re trying to move forward, and they’re taking crap for signing one of the most concessionary deals in pro sports? Please.

You go right ahead and agree to lose one quarter of your salary (after not having been paid for a year) and then listen to your employer tell you (before you even pick up your first 3/4 paycheck) that he has to fire you to reduce costs, but he’d be happy to hire you back at one third of your NEW rate, with maybe a raise three years down the road, provided you don’t get sick.

Then, after signing your new contract, walk outside and have some random stranger who has no idea of what you do for a living call you a bum because he’s been marginally inconvenienced by you and your hungry family.

It may just be because I’m a diehard union man, but I stand behind my Baryshnikov metaphor.

Short answer, yes he is that stupid. Long answer, he has a histroy of saying what is on his mind. Brett Hull is the same way - he tells it the way he sees it. Hull, unlike Roenick, tends to think before he speaks.

Leaving the non-guaranteed contract issue out of it, since I don’t think that will be a provision of the NHL CBA, here’s what’s wrong with cap-cutting as practiced in the NFL and soon in the NHL.

What’s wrong with NFL-style cuttings is that a team will sign you for seven years, paying you nothing in the first three and huge amounts in the last four, and then cut you after the third year, meaning you never see the huge money that the newspapers reported. Then, heaven forbid you hold out or try to renegotiate in order to get more money now, you’re an ingrate. Never mind that the idea of the long-term contract is to have the life of the contract cover your prime playing years, with the low money in the (actuarially-valued) best years of your prime, so that, at the most, you have one big-money year before declining skills force you to renegotiate downward. Nobody cares about a guy who renegotiates downward, but when he tries to exercise his side of the tug-of-war, heaven help him. Caponomics ruins players’ careers and options.

Your knowledge is off. Superstar players make up an enormous percentage of team’s total salaries, and skew the average career length higher than is representative of the thick part of the bell-curve. The cap system encourages teams to push players to both ends of the salary bell, stocking up on superstars and filling in the gaps with journeymen and washouts, guys making a couple hundred thousand for three years, tops- guys who will have half a million dollars, chronic injuries and pain, retired at 26.

NFL superstars are doing OK. Joe Backup- not so much. Same thing is coming in the NHL.

And, since you asserted that NFL players are doing well, here’s where we point out that their contracts are nonguaranteed. I can sign you to a typical journeyman contract: 75k to sign, league minimum first two years, raises and performance bonuses and increases in base so that you’re making double the minimum in year seven. Day three of “nonmandatory” minicamp, you blow out your knee. I release you. Total damage to my bottom line? Seventy-five thousand dollars, plus a couple hundred thousand against an 85 million dollar salary cap for the next two seasons. Your total compensation for your entire career? Seventy-five thousand dollars. No pension, no medical.

Still want to sign that deal?

The NFL system works well for the NFL. Not so much for the players.

Not true. I’ve watched Roenick for years and the guy is very smart. Probably one of the most passionate and selfless guys I’ve seen interviewed. He’s a guy that actually gives a shit what happens to his team and league. The guy is emotional and speaks his mind. Frankly it’s something I’d like to see more of.

If you see the tape of the whole interview you realize he wasn’t angry with the fans. He was very emotional discussing the fate of his league and the impact the lockout has been having. This wasn’t a guy going all TO with a me-against-the-world attitude. This is a guy who just got his guts beat in at the negotiation table, and then the media is villianizing the players for this strike.

The truth of the matter is that the players had a big part in creating the mess they did. They forced the owners into these huge salaries by jumping ship to the highest bidder for a decade. The owners screwed up by paying the outragous demands, essentially with Enronesque accounting policies.

Both sides took a hard-line, but the owners had more leverage. If the players were smart they’d have realized this…they didn’t.

Is it idiotic to bash the fans, even the crappy casual fan who has a opinion on everything but no real knowledge? Of course it is. Is it especially idoitic to do so when your trying to salvage the league from the brink? Oh yeah. Should you cut a guy a break who makes the mistake of getting emotional and spilling his guts in front of an adversarial media? Can you understand his defensiveness when asked about being called spoiled when he just got tagged with a 25% pay cut and zero job security? On both counts, I hope the answer is yes.

As for the whole NFL vs. MLB vs. NHL labor agreements…it’s a complicated arguement. The fact is that the NFL is best for fans by far. The MLB is awful for fans. The NHL will essentially be changing from the latter to the former, a good thing for hockey on the whole. I will say that I think both the NFL and MLB need to move somewhere closer to the middle someday, especially the NFL. The players deserve more, but if it were structured anything like the MLB it’d cost $500 to go to a game and all TV would be pay-per-view.

Unfortunately for the NHL, they are in such dire straights they need the NFL model right now. It puts the players in a tight spot, but it’s going to be very good for the fans and make it affordable to go to games again and create some parity. Hopefully when the next CBA comes along the league has recovered enough to drift away from the NFL model. Hell the NFL needs to drift away from the NFL model a little.

What is the average salary in the NFL? In the NHL it was over $1 million. Things are currently way out of whack in the NHL. Martin Lapointe signed that $20 million 5 year deal with the Bruins, and he has only had one year with more than 20 goals.

In the late 1980’s only two NHL players were making $1 million a year or more, Gretzky and Lemieux. Now third and fourth liners are making more than that- Peter Nedved anybody? For too long things were out of whack in the owners favour and now the pendulum has swung in the players favour. A nice middle ground needs to be found and I think that the players association screwed up by not taking the deal offered to them in February - the deal they sign now will not be as good as that one was.

Huh? On what planet? It’s affordable for the average family of four to go to a baseball game. It’s completely inconceivable for the average family of four to go to a football game. If they can even get tickets.

That makes no sense. MLB doesn’t have any pay-per-view for local games. Just for out of market games, just like the NFL. And NFL tickets are more expensive than ever, the only difference a larger chunk of the money goes to the owners instead of the players.

Then why sign the contract? Why not choose another line of work? If you don’t want to risk the injury and bodily harm that results from being a pro athlete, don’t do it. But it’s a classic risk/reward: because the pay and benefits beats almost everything else out there for the risk taken.

As far as training camp injury goes, any agent worth his salt would have his client insured against this. So not nothing, but rather a miserable, protracted negotiation with an insurance company in order to get your claim paid. Which, while pretty damn lousy, is not nothing.

I’m all for these guys getting paid a good amount. They are (mostly) tremendously talented, generate extravagant amounts of revenue, and should be paid accordingly. They’re certainly not bums, not a one of them. Hell yeah, you should try to get as much money as you can. However, to say that even the least compensated pro athlete in a major sport doesn’t do better than almost everybody in North America seems a bit off to me.

Your “hungry family” comment is an overstatement. These guys had plenty of opportunites to play in other leagues if they wanted to (compensation wasn’t as good, but they could play elsewhere and get paid).

What about my “reinflation” comment? Do you think the rollback without the cap was actually meaningful?

Point taken, but Nedved is a bad example. He was a gamble on great potential.