And while Hamrlik’s age and NHL experience adds weight to his comments, his being in the twilight of his career puts him in an interesting spot.
“He wants to make his money because he legitimately thinks this could be the last year of his career. He’s a guy that made already over $58 million over the course of his NHL career. NHL players sacrificed for him in 1992, in 1994 and in 2004 so he could make that $58 million,” the agent said. “And instead of showing his gratitude to the NHLPA and the sacrifices former players made for him, he’s motivated by his own self-interest. There’s always a few bad apples in a wise group that only care about themselves.”
“I’ve known Roman for 20 years and he’s not a selfish individual,” Svoboda said. “I don’t tell my guys what to eat, what to do. … He’s a great teammate. He’s been a loyal NHLer through every [lockout]. It’s very difficult for me to say anything right now because we don’t know much about his situation.”
Hamrlik is not one of eight Caps players to sign overseas. Several others said they’ll remain in North America for a little while longer, possibly until the entire 2012-13 season is canceled.
It’s uncertain what Hamrlik’s next move will be. He did not respond to an email seeking comment. In an interview with Sportsnet 590 radio in Toronto, NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr said he hadn’t spoken with Hamrlik or conferred with Don Fehr about the situation.
And while there was plenty of vitriol toward Hamrlik as the lockout approached its 70th day, Knuble said he was surprised the sentiment didn’t come out from a player even sooner, even if he disagreed.
“I think it’s only natural at this point, it’s been going on for three months or whatever, that some people are going to step out and voice their opinions,” Knuble said. “You have 700 guys, you have 700 opinions. And everybody has a breaking point and everybody’s going to wait and they’re going to say something when they feel they need to.”
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