In a television interview with RDS on Monday, Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik softened his stance that Don Fehr should be fired if he cannot forge an agreement with the NHL to end the lockout.
“Maybe some people took it too personal,” Hamrlik said after returning from the CzechRepublic. “It’s nothing against Don or some other people in the NHLPA. I’m behind him and I always was and I always will be. Everybody has different opinions. I think we should have started talking a little bit earlier. That was my biggest point.”
Hamrlik created quite a stir last month when he said he was “disgusted” by the NHL’s labor negotiations and that time was the players’ “enemy.”
Capitals teammate Troy Brouwer accused Hamrlik of selling out his fellow NHLPA members and wondered if he could play alongside the 38-year-old defenseman as a teammate.
“It’s not about what I said or he said or they said,” Hamrlik said. “It’s all about making a solution quickly and hopefully bring a good solution to the table and start playing.
“Everybody wants to play. Maybe I said it at the wrong time because it’s a crucial time right now, but I said what I had to say.”
This is the third NHL work stoppage of Hamrlik’s career and if the 2012-13 season is canceled there is a reasonable chance it could be his last. He is scheduled to make $3.5 million this season.
“For me it’s not about the money; I want to play,” Hamrlik said. “For the young kids it’s all about the future. When I was young a lot of older guys had to sacrifice, too. Now I’m in the same position they were.”
On Monday the NHL canceled games through Dec. 30, wiping out roughly 43 percent of a full season. Representatives from the owners and players are expected to meet this week to try to bridge the gap that exists between the two sides.
“This week’s going to be crucial,” Hamrlik said. “It’s going to be interesting, There are little things under the proposal, more details, and it’s going to be crucial, these few days in front of us.”