Roenick says NHL 'hurting itself immensely'

Roenick says NHL 'hurting itself immensely'
October 24, 2012, 1:30 pm
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Love him or hate him, NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick always has an opinion and the Hall of Fame center shared a few of them Wednesday morning as a guest on SN 960 The Fan.

While promoting his soon-to-be released autobiography “J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey,” Roenick gave his take on the NHL lockout and what needs to be done to end it.

Among his observations:

On the impact of the lockout:

“I’m a fan, I’m a huge fan, and I’m getting gypped out of the best sport in the world just as much as anybody else. Forget my job and paycheck and all that stuff. That doesn’t matter. It’s the fact I love seeing hockey every night. Seeing the scores, seeing the superstars play. The game is so good right now and I really feel the National Hockey League is hurting itself immensely, so much more than they did in 2004.”

On revenue sharing:

“You wonder, why wasn’t this revenue shared and figured out a little better in 2004 so we don’t have to do this again in 2012? Two times in eight years is too much for the fans to have to overcome. And they’re fighting for about $3.3 billion in revenue. That’s the last thing the fans want to hear, that they’re fighting over money.”

On the lack of negotiating:

“Unfortunately, every day that goes by the more frustrating the fans get. I truly feel, especially if they lose the whole year, they’re going to lose a tremendous fan base in the National Hockey League. It’s really, really frustrating to me because I know how awesome the National Hockey League is and how big the strides that were made in the last eight years.”

On what he would do to end the lockout:

“First of all, I’d be in meetings a lot more than they are. What frustrates me a lot is they’ll talk for two or three days and then they’ll go on a seven- or eight-day hiatus and not speak. If this game was so important they would just lock themselves in a room and get this thing done, hammered out. I know it’s tiring and takes a lot of effort, but the game is worth it. But that frustrates me right there.”

On what it might take to get the season started:

“Both sides have agreed it should go to 50-50 [revenue sharing] at some point. If that’s the case then it shouldn’t take too long in order to get to a deal where it’s going to get to 50-50. It may be a little faster than the players want, but not as fast as the owners want. That seems to be the issue right now.

“The contracts that are in place right now, the owners and the GMs signed them. I’m a true believer you sign a contract, you live up to a contract I always did that. I never renegotiated. I played my contracts all the way through. The owners have to make sure the contracts they signed are honored and get to the 50-50 as fast as they can. I think that’s only fair. Then we should have a healthy, happy NHL and hopefully the revenue can get to $4 billion and the players don’t see [their salaries] change that much. But I’m really frustrated with the amount of talks and the lack of urgency to try to get this thing done. I think they should be in a room seven days a week if that have to to get this done.”