The NHL lockout has created a lot of anger between the league and NHLPA, and this has resulted in some players expressing their frustration in the form of insults and other quotes directed at owners or league officials, such as commissioner Gary Bettman.
While the players have been free to express their thoughts and/or frustrations regarding the state of the lockout from day one, league and team employees have not been able to speak candidly since the work stoppage began on September 15.
Let's recap the most interesting quotes and insults of the lockout thus far.
Teemu Selanne, Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks star and future hall of fame forward Teemu Selanne was one of the first players to criticize commissioner Bettman when he wrote the following comments on a Finnish web site on September 17 (Google translated):
Gary Bettman has been the NHL's boss for almost 20 years. He was hired by the NHL to bring the salary cap, and so he did, as he had received the salary cap NBA Basketball: acquisition. Twice the lockout has been a stoppage during his reign, and each time the lockout is done. Now it is the third! He is certainly the NHL's most hated person.
Selanne's NHL career and Bettman's tenure as commissioner both started in the same season. Selanne's rookie year was in 1992-93, and Bettman took over as NHL commissioner on February 1, 1993.
Krys Barch, New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils forward Krys Barch became a popular figure in the lockout for a few days in late September when he expressed his feelings on the lockout using a number of tweets.
Here are some of Barch's comments from Twitter:
I wonder if the owners of Boston, New York,Washington, etc, etc,have endured any of the injuries that I or any other player in the .....— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
.... NHL have endured. Still they probably sit their smoking the same brand of cigar, sipping the same cognac, and going on vacation .....— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
..... To one of five houses they own.... While we sit here knowing they want to take 20% of our paychecks. One half to 3/4 of my peers— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
.... Will have to work for the next 50 years of their lives. Congratulations to the lucky select few that I have played with who have made..— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
... Salaries that they can choose to do whatever they want when they are done.But I have played most who do not!— Krys Barch (@krysbarch) September 30, 2012
Barch played 51 games in the NHL last season for the Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers, and he scored two goals with three assists. He also had 114 PIM.
Barch has never signed a contract longer than two years, and his current deal expires after the 2013-14 season.
He is one veteran who would not benefit at all from a lost season. Barch's salary for this season was just $750,000, which is below the league average.
Brandon Prust, Montreal Canadiens
I don't expect new Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust to ever write a biography of Gary Bettman, but if he ever did, he might already have its title:
Gary bettman's autobiography is in stores now. It's titled 'how I destroyed a sport and a nation'— Brandon Prust (@BrandonPrust8) November 21, 2012
For hockey fans who are interested in reading about Bettman's history as commissioner, the book The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the NHL and Changed the Game Forever by Jonathon Gatehouse is a phenomenal read. I highly recommend it.
Kris Versteeg, Florida Panthers
Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg's comments to TSN 1050 about Gary Bettman in November was one of the low points of the lockout.
Kris Versteeg tells @tsn1050radio in Toronto that Bettman and Daly are "cancers' that have been "looting this game for far too long".— TEAM Radio (@TEAM1040) November 19, 2012
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
Back in October, CBA negotiations weren't going so well.
After a failed bargaining session, Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan had an unusual description for how the meeting went (via Bruce Arthur of the National Post):
Shane Doan: "Usually [it's] give me your money or I'm going to hurt you. Not give me your money AND I'm going to hurt you."— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 18, 2012
Doan is 36 years old, but he signed a new four-year, $21.2 million contract in September, so he is in a better situation than a lot of veterans who are missing valuable paychecks during the lockout.
Curt Gogol, San Jose Sharks
With this tweet from October, Curt Gogol of the San Jose Sharks became one of the many players who have made comments about the large free agent contracts that were signed during the summer.
"Craig Leipold in the meeting...he doesn't want to honor Parise and Suter contracts" Good job Minnesota, bit off more that you could handle!— Curt Gogol (@CurtGogol13) October 18, 2012
John-Michael Liles, Toronto Maple Leafs
Many players have insulted Bettman over the last few months, but John-Michael Liles might be the only one to bring up his athletic talent.
Just wanted to send out big congrats to gray bettman on his 3rd consecutive work stoppage. Impressive stats for someone w no athletic skill— John-Michael Liles (@hoosierjm26) September 16, 2012
Jim Devellano, Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings executive Jim Devellano was fined $250,000 for comments he made in an interview with Island Sports News in September. His "cattle" comments sparked a lot of conversation.
It's very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that's the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen.
Devellano is the only team employee to be fined by the league during the lockout. The owners are not allowed to discuss specific details of CBA negotiations or they risk being fined and other penalties by the commissioner.
It's unfortunate that owners cannot speak freely about the negotiations like the players can, but it's not hard to understand why the league has this rule.
Bettman doesn't want any owners to say something that would prevent the league from getting the most favorable CBA possible.