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Players pound on Hamrlik

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DEFENCEMAN Roman Hamrlik, who has lost salary in all three NHL lockouts since 1994, stirred the pot this week with comments about the current state of affairs, including remarks somewhat critical of NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.

Reaction from other NHL players has been fairly swift and critical, though Hamrlik wasn't backing down.

His teammate, Washington's Troy Brouwer, slammed Hamrlik and raised the issue of future trust with him and teammate and goalie Michal Neuvirth, who has supported Hamrlik.

From afar, Jets captain Andrew Ladd didn't care for Hamrlik's criticism.

"Well, I disagree with his opinion for sure," Ladd said. "I guess everyone's allowed to state their own opinion. But if you're going to do that, I'd make sure your facts are straight, too.

"He said the deal didn't get better after we missed that year (2004-05) and it did. It was a hard cap when they canceled the year and it ended up being related to revenue, which bumped the cap all the way up to where it is now.

"I think it (his opinion) is inaccurate in that sense. Neuvirth, his comments about it being all about the superstars, is completely false. I think your superstars are always going to make the money, regardless, and it's going to be the other guys who are going to lose out on that end.

"I would encourage them to check into it a little more, be on some calls and try to get a little more information."

Ryan Reaves of the St. Louis Blues said simply that free speech must rule.

"I don't mind," Reaves said. "Everybody's got their own opinion. I can't say I really know everything he said. Every time I've seen it it's been really loud where I've been. To each his own, I guess he's got his own opinions. I'm sure I've got mine. I don't necessarily broadcast it but that's how it goes."

-- Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 24, 2012 $sourceSection0

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