Alex Ovechkin on Saturday responded via Twitter to a report that the NHL accused Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr of not being honest with players.
Michael Russo of the The Star-Tribune in Minneapolis reported Friday that the league was “perplexed” by Fehr’s memo to players about the state of negotiations, citing multiple NHL sources.
“The league feels the memo isn’t a fair portrayal of what the owners offered,” Russo wrote.
It’s the latest attempt by the NHL to discredit Fehr, who has been praised by players for the rapid sharing of information.
Ovechkin took to to Twitter to share his displeasure with that sentiment by the league, writing: “Hahaha Whata clowns!!!….Don tell it all. Bla blah …make a deal instead of talk about Don!”
Fehr, when asked about the accusations Friday night, played it cool.
“Understand that their proposal was made in front of players in the room who hear it. It’s made in front of staff who hears it. It’s made in front of former players who hear it. They’re on the phone talking to everybody on an ongoing basis afterwards,” Fehr told reporters in New York City. “Owners can’t come to meetings when they want to to hear stuff directly. But every single player can at the union’s expense. Come and hear [for] himself and make the judgments and all the rest of it. That pretty much speaks for itself, I think.
“It is accurate I think to say that if you write a memo and it’s a quick one that you necessarily have to summarize, but that doesn’t have anything to do with all the calls that are made to the players reps and all the rest of it. Everything that we do in terms of communication with players says if you have questions, contact us. If you want to participate, contact us; you’ll have an airline ticket and a hotel room.”
Ovechkin did attend talks earlier this year before leaving to play for Dynamo Moscow in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.