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Former King Jack Johnson blasts owners for lockout stance

October 29, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Columbus' Jack Johnson, shown with the Kings earlier this year, blasted NHL owners about the player lockout on his website.
Columbus' Jack Johnson, shown with the Kings earlier this year, blasted… (Tony Gutierrez / Associated…)

Former Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, who was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Jeff Carter trade, has never been shy about standing up for what he believes. And he now believes players are getting a raw deal from owners in the labor dispute that has put the season on hold and most recently led the NHL to cancel games through Nov. 30.

Johnson took to his website, www.jackjohnson3.com, to say that he wants to play and to blast owners for their proposals to pay less than the full value of players’ contracts. He called that idea “appalling, unprofessional, and disgraceful.” He added, 'Where is the honor?'"

A couple of interesting points:

While players have been able to voice their opinions about the lockout in interviews and through social media, NHL personnel remain bound by a league rule against commenting publicly about the lockout. Breaking that rule could result in a hefty fine, as Detroit Red Wings executive Jimmy Devellano learned.

Second, it was surprising to see that Johnson’s website has the Blue Jackets logo on it and a link to the league’s site, www.nhl.com. During the lockout, the league and teams have removed images of active players from the front pages of their respective websites as part of a policy of not promoting the players they’re battling with at the negotiating table. Some league or team official is likely to swoop in on that pretty quickly.

The NHL’s Manhattan offices were closed on Monday because of Hurricane Sandy and it’s unclear when talks will resume between the league and the NHL Players’ Assn. The league is expected this week to cancel the Jan. 1 Winter Classic and, after that, the Jan. 27 All-Star game in Columbus.

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