Following up on the prior DBJ Plus post outlining the statements of the NHL and the NHL Players Association regarding the NHL lockout, here’s the same from the Columbus Blue Jackets and the members of the Blue Jackets roster.
First, the team. Here’s the Blue Jackets’ “Statement Regarding the Expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement“:
Columbus Blue Jackets President Mike Priest issued the following statement today regarding the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association:
“We remain appreciative of the support and loyalty exhibited by Blue Jackets fans. The relationships we have with our fans and corporate partners are of paramount importance to us and we are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience that results from this necessary action.
“The NHL continues to be committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the players and all 30 teams. The League, the clubs and the players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game, and most of all, to the fans.
“Over the past several months, we have made significant improvements to our team and coaching staff. Several significant upgrades also have been made to Nationwide Arena, most noticeably the addition of The Dispatch Media Center – a state-of-the-art scoreboard – that will greatly enhance the fan experience of attending a Blue Jackets game. We are excited about what lies ahead and anxious to begin a new chapter in the history of our hockey club.”
The Blue Jackets also offered a link to some Frequently Asked Questions.
Now, the players. Some players shared (“retweeted”) the messages of others in apparent support of the sentiments expressed, but I am limiting this summary to unique comments made by players – or the people running their online accounts.
Defenseman Jack Johnson, on Twitter:
“I want to thank #thefans for allowing me to play the game I love. I’m sorry the #NHLlockout affects you guys too.”
Forward R.J. Umberger, on Twitter:
“I’m going 2 apologize for all rts now & future but i think its import 4 fans & every1 to know what’s really going on #thefans #theplayers” (Umberger then shared a number of lockout-related comments.)
Forward Vinny Prospal, to the Columbus Dispatch:
“The game has never been at a higher level,” Prospal said. “The fans, the exposure … the circus that comes around the actual games, it’s never been bigger. It’s an unreal amount of money we’re generating every year, and it’s growing. That’s the part that makes my mind wonder.
“We have one guy (Bettman) who keeps saying we have the greatest fans in the world, but this could seriously bite them in the butt. They might end up paying a hefty price for it this time. Some people live for this sport, and this is no way to treat them.”
It probably should be mentioned that a number of Blue Jackets players shared the NHLPA’s Twitter post announcing their video response to their members being locked out (which was embedded in the prior post).