The lockout is starting to take it’s toll on some of the players it would appear as frustration starts to mount over the lack of progress towards a new CBA, but also the owners and leagues stance on the situation. This was glaringly evident when newly signed Wild defenceman, Ryan Suter lashed out at Wild owner Craig Leipold over the owners wanting to scale back on previously signed contracts, Suter’s included.
Then Suter backtracked on his comments Sunday night before the charity game that benefited the Defending the Blue Line, in what was likely the smart thing to do. Or perhaps it’s starting to show some panic from the players that could identify them as weakening and needing to get back to hockey so they can return to their glorious lifestyles when the paychecks roll in.
Suter made no bones about it when discussing the lockout with ESPN The Magazine, claiming owners shouldn’t sign players to these massive, lucrative deals if they can’t afford it in the long run. Suter highlighted the fact that the owners now want to scale back some of that money that he had signed on for, something that doesn’t sit well with the player’s union and is proving to be a sticking point in the negotiations.
The highly sought after defenceman would try and mend the damage that his comments may have made, comments courtesy of the Star Tribune’s, Michael Russo.
“I know they’re good people,” Suter said of Leipold and GM Chuck Fletcher. “And I know they wouldn’t negotiate thinking, ‘OK, let’s give them this because it’ll end up being this.’ ”
Both Suter and Zach Parise knew full well that the lockout was a real possibility when both signed their 13-year contracts back in July, sweeping the free agent period by storm. But what they didn’t prepare for was to have their signed contract rolled back and essentially have money taken away from them that was at one point promised to them.
So maybe this type of behavior from the players is a good thing when it comes to the negotiations. Maybe they’re starting to feel the pinch and suddenly need to get back to employment, something that could bode well for the owners if negotiations ever start up again.
Suter admitted he was frustrated but didn’t question Leipold’s faithfulness, citing he did not want to get into a battle with the owner of his new club; a place where he will likely spend many of his next years playing hockey, should they ever return.
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