Teemu Selanne is the nicest guy in the entire world. Even if you hate the Anaheim Ducks with every fiber of your being, you probably have a soft spot for Teemu. I don't need to go into how he's the heart and soul of the franchise and the thought of him finally retiring gives me dry-heaves.
Almost nothing makes Teemu angry. He's had a few in-game scraps and some choice words in interviews, but nothing that says he needs anger management. Gary Bettman pissed off Teemu Selanne, and in his Finnish blog, Selanne goes off.
"... Teams that lose money want that the rich teams would share their profits. The message of the rich is brusque - not a chance! ... Commissar Gary Bettman has a great idea to solve this: Let's take some money off the players and give it to the poor teams ... NHL complains that players get too much (57%) of the whole business. The teams have a financial risk ... True, but maybe the NHL forgets that we players have risks as well ... one hit can end our career or that one cut by a skate can even end the whole life .
NHL has warned the teams of making too long and too front-loaded contracts. ... The perfect example is Minnesota's owner Craig Leipold ... 13 year long and over 100 million dollar deals (per player) ... The next day he puts on the NHL-jacket, goes to the other side of the table and tell the same hockey world, how inconceivable these new, long deals are. Come on! None of the teams are forced to pay these amounts of money ... It's their decision! ... One has to also keep in mind that the 57% that players get was their offer and we HAD TO accept it. And now it's not enough!
Gary Bettman has been the boss of the NHL for almost 20 years. He was hired to bring the salary cap and that is what he also did. 2 times there has been a threat of lockout during his reign and in both cases there has also been a lockout. So this is the third! He must be the most hated person in NHL. In every NHL arena he gets booed. The fans know! He makes over $8 million in a year. Would Mr Bettman be willing to give up his salary, and give a part of to these "poor" teams? Hmm... interesting question.
I must also say that our boss Donald Fehr on July 1st when the negotiations started that he doesn't have to get paid before this "war" is over. The reaction among players was admirable ... "
I liken this to the Pope telling one of his Cardinals to eff-off.
If Sidney Crosby delivered the same message, and I think he has, it wouldn't/didn't make me realize just how bad this is going to be. Selanne is a future Hall of Famer. He could throw up his hands right now and say 'I'm done' just because he didn't want to deal with what is likely to be a brutal battle between the NHL and the PA.
My fear is the lockout could go so long that it will push Selanne into actual retirement. He doesn't deserve to go out like that. IF (big IF) it happens, I can't help but point the finger at Bettman because he's the only one that could make Teemu angry.
(Buddy Bands to Kid Ish for giving us a heads up on the link, and to Sleza, the best translator in the world.)