Krejci: Bettman treats us like animals

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Krejci: Bettman treats us like animals

David Krejci is a soft-spoken man that can sometimes scramble looking for the precise word hes looking for in English, his second language. But that shouldnt be misunderstood for shyness or an unwillingness to be candid, and his recent comments to a Czech Republic media outlet prove that entirely.

A frustrated-sounding Krejci took issue with NHL commissioner Gary Bettmans 8 million salary and says that he treats players "like animals" according to a Google translation of the article.

"It's weird," Krejci said when asked about the current state of negotiations. "Our Association gives owners of three proposals, and they swept aside for fifteen minutes. I do not have anything to say. Bettman took during the last lockout 3.5 million in salary and now it's at eight million."

The Bruins center, who is starring for HC Pardubice as a point-per-game player in the Czech League during the lockout, said he believes that Bettman and by proxy the 30 NHL owners are the only ones that truly want the NHL lockout. Its a simplistic view of the situation, of course, but its also what many of the 700 plus NHLPA membership believes now that nearly a month of the regular season has already been cancelled.

"Bettman does what he wants," Krejci said. "We want to play, we're the ones who are doing the show in the NHL. But Bettman thinks it makes him. It is unfortunate that the NHL have such a guy. It's a shame for the entire hockey world. He treats us like animals. Its really a shame that he is not at the forefront."

It should be noted that Krejci is about to start a five-year, 15 million contract extension this season, and has done pretty well financially during his NHL days.

The comments are actually reminiscent of a conversation this humble hockey writer had with Krejci a few years ago when he said that his team would "chase Colin Campbell out of the room" if he attempted to give them a pre-game warning prior to the "Revenge Game" against the Penguins. That game, of course, followed Matt Cookes downright evil blindside heat shot on Marc Savard that has effectively ended the centers career.

Its not surprising that Krejci came up with the "animals" comment after Detroit Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano made waves after calling the centers linemate, and good friend, Milan Lucic part of the league's cattle in a controversial interview that ultimately earned the NHL exec a 250,000 fine. Devellano meant it as a metaphor for the NHL owners as The Ranch and the players, coaches and executives as the cattle, but the specific mention of Lucics name in the interview privately set off a number of the Boston players.

But it also appears most NHL players dont need much provocation to lob verbal bombs at the league as all games have been cancelled through Nov. 1, and theres little progress toward a deal to start the season on Nov. 2.

Krejci more disappointed in losing Eriksson than missing out on Vesey

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Krejci more disappointed in losing Eriksson than missing out on Vesey

BRIGHTON – The Bruins held their first informal skate at the new Warrior Ice Arena on Monday morning and there were a number of players present that also took part in the Jimmy Vesey recruiting session a few weeks ago.

Both Torey Krug and David Krejci skated on Monday along with John-Michael Liles, Frank Vatrano, Adam McQuaid and Noel Acciari, and those two aforementioned Black and Gold veterans were also part of the recruiting group that met with the former Harvard captain at their new practice facility.

A few days later, Vesey spurned the Bruins to sign with the New York Rangers, and the reactions weren’t all that overheated from the B’s players. Krug played with Vesey on Team USA during the World Championships a little more than a year ago, and didn’t really begrudge the highly sought Hobey Baker Award winner choosing the Blueshirts.

“I’m not going to go into details. He had the right to do what he did, and obviously it was a smart decision to interview with all those teams and figure out the best fit for him,” said Krug. “We wanted to him here, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Now we move on, and there’s an opportunity for other guys to step in and take that spot. This group moving forward, we’re highly motivated this year.”

Krejci would have been Vesey’s center, as pitched by the Bruins management in the meeting with Vesey, but that wasn’t enough to woo him to play pro hockey in his hometown. Krejci said he was more disappointed losing linemate Loui Eriksson than falling short in the Vesey sweepstakes. The carousel of changing wingers will be moving once again for the B’s pivot.

“I wasn’t really disappointed with that guy. Obviously I’d heard he was a good player, but he has to prove himself on the NHL level. I was more disappointed that we weren’t able to keep Loui. I felt like we had some good chemistry going,” said Krejci, referencing 30-goal scorer Eriksson departing for the Vancouver Canucks and a six-year, $36 million contract. “It was tough to see him go, but I’m getting kind of used to seeing my guys, my favorite guys, going away [like] Milan [Lucic], Nathan [Horton] and [Jarome] Iginla.

“So I’m going to have to play my game, and find chemistry with whoever is going to play on my line. I did meet him, and talked to him a bit. In the summer there aren’t many [hockey] things for people to talk about, so this [Vesey watch] was something for people to talk about. Obviously there was pressure on him, but he brought it on himself, I guess. I feel like he would have been a good fit on our team, but he made the decision he did. I don’t know exactly why he made the decision that he didn’t want to stay [in Boston], but it’s his career and he has all the right to decide where it is he wants to play.”

So Vesey becomes just another Harvard grad headed to New York City to start his career, and the Bruins will likely turn to Vatrano or perhaps rookie playmaker Danton Heinen as left wing candidates alongside Krejci and David Pastrnak after Boston missed out on both Eriksson and Vesey this summer. 

 

Monday, Aug. 29: Jones settles in as ‘the man’ with Sharks

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Monday, Aug. 29: Jones settles in as ‘the man’ with Sharks

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while largely satisfied with the payoff from “The Night of” on HBO. I’m fully satisfied from watching that rather than catching even one minute of the VMAs.

*Martin Jones is still pretty new to all of this as he settles into his role as “the man” between the pipes for the San Jose Sharks.

*Alex Ovechkin is now a married man, apparently.

*A pretty good rundown on a piece about the explosion of statistical analysis in sports where so much of it is simply stating the obvious. I don’t need a bar graph to tell me a player is struggling when I can plainly see it on the ice.

*Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is optimistic that his team can overcome the injury bug to start their season defending their Stanley Cup championship.

*Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has had a long offseason to ponder his Game 7 meltdown in the playoffs.

*This Alex Radulov era in Montreal promises to be an interesting one for both the enigmatic, talented Russian and the Habs.

*For something completely different: I’m sure pro wrestling aficionado James Stewart is a little green with envy that my Mr. Fuji tweet made the Washington Post. It was a sad day learning that the Devious One had been elevated up to the big squared circle in the sky.