Veteran Caps blueliner Roman Hamrlik is 38-years-old and was set to earn $3.5 million in this the second year of a two-year deal, so it's easy to see where his interests may not necessarily align with those of the majority of the Players Association (or its most-influential members) as they collectively bargain for the best possible mid-range future they can get. Still, Hamrlik, like most players, has kept his other-than-helpful-to-the-Union thoughts on the matter to himself.
Until now, that is.
Via Roman Jedlicka, an NHL play-by-play announcer for TV NOVA Sport in the Czech Republic, comes the following translation from an iSport interview with Hamrlik in which the rearguard lambastes the PA's leadership, specifically targeting Donald Fehr:
"I am disgusted. We have to push Fehr to the wall to get the deal. Time is against us. We lost 1/4 season, it is $425 million. Who will give it back to us? Mr. Fehr?
"There should be voting between players. Four questions - YES or NO - then count it. If half of players say let's play, then they should sign new CBA. If there is no season he should leave and we will find someone new. Time is our enemy."
Hamrlik may be getting cranky as his career winds down (Caps fans will recall him voicing his displeasure with being healthy-scratched by Dale Hunter back in February), but perhaps he's earned the right to speak his mind - after all he's one of fourteen should-be NHLers who has sat through all three of Gary Bettman's lockouts.
Regardless, you can bet that Hamrlik isn't the only one who's ready to take the best deal he can get and play... because no player ever knows how many games he might have left.
(H/t Puck Daddy)