Monday, June 27, 2005
Center: 'You guys are just jealous'
PRESTO, Pa. -- Philadelphia Flyers center Jeremy Roenick has some advice for hockey fans who blame the NHL lockout on players' greed: Once it's finally settled, stay home.
"We're going to try to make it better for everybody, period, end of subject. And if you don't realize that, then don't come," said Roenick, who spoke at a charity golf event he played in over the weekend.
"We don't want you at the rink, we don't want you in the stadium, we don't want you to watch hockey," he said Saturday at the Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational in suburban Pittsburgh.
The NHL and the players' association have been in almost daily negotiations to get a new collective bargaining agreement after the lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season.
"I say personally, to everybody who called us 'spoiled,' you guys are just jealous ... we have tried so, so hard to get this game back on the ice," Roenick said.
Like New York Rangers right winger Jaromir Jagr, who came out last week and admitted that the union's gamble didn't pay off, Roenick said he doesn't think the players can get a good deal at this point.
"I know we are going to give up probably more than any union has ever given up in the history of [professional] sports and, to me, I think that's enough to bring the fans back -- to know what their players are going to give up as much as they have in the last year," Roenick said. "If people are going to chastise professional athletes who are making a lot of money they need to look at the deal we are probably going to end up signing in the next three weeks."