Saturday, November 17, 2012
Ian White lashes out at Gary Bettman
ESPN.com news services
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White had some harsh words for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
"I gotta be honest: I personally think he's an idiot," White told USA Today on Friday. "Since he's come in, I think he's done nothing but damage the game."
White's comments come in regards to the league enduring a lockout for the third time during Bettman's tenure, which began in February 1993. The last lockout forced the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.
With the league and players unable to come to an agreement since the latest lockout went into effect Sept. 16, multiple sources told ESPN that Bettman suggested to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr on Wednesday that the two sides take a two-week moratorium from negotiations.
"The whole process has just been frustrating," White told USA Today. "I think, just where we stand now, you'd think that we're close to making a deal if they're willing to come a little bit our way. It's something that could have been done even in the summer. So it's frustrating. There's just absolutely no need to be missing games and doing this kind of damage."
The two sides remain divided on how to share revenue and player contract issues, as well as who shoulders the financial burden of the losses incurred as a result of the lockout.
With scant optimism that a new collective bargaining agreement will be reached soon, reports surfaced Thursday that the next round of cancellations could be on the horizon.
The league already has been forced to cancel 327 regular-season games -- through Nov. 30 -- as well as the annual Winter Classic. There also has been speculation that the fate of the season may be in jeopardy soon.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang, ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and The Associated Press was used in this report.