A lot is being made of an analogy Red Wings’ senior vice president Jimmy Devellano made in an interview with Island Sports News yesterday.
Devellano compared the league’s owners to ranch owners, with the players being cattle.
The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.
It’s certainly an inflammatory comment, one deserving of the buzz it’s generated. That said, it’s his response to the question of whether or not the fans will miss the NHL that makes me raise an eyebrow.
Remember it is just the NHL that is on strike, not any other league. Fans of the game should go see their AHL, ECHL or other minor pro team, or more importantly, to the best of your ability, support your local junior and minor hockey teams. Show these kids how much you really care for hockey. The NHL situation will get sorted out, but its complicated – I’m in the middle of it and its complicated for me too – and may take some time. Until then, go out and enjoy the game at the grass roots level and have some fun.
Chalk the “cattle” comment to Devellano being a crazy old man or a blowhard or what have you. It’s easy to say that’s opinion. Devellano is too connected and to smart, however, to have made a mistake in calling this lockout a strike. He knows better, which makes me think he used that word on purpose.
A deliberate “mistake” in calling it a strike combined with an inflammatory comment, made in spite of a supposed gag order over the league’s Board of Governors (he’s an alternate governor)… It just makes me wonder if there was an ulterior motive to the interview. I couldn’t tell you what that motive would be; something just doesn’t sit right with me on this one.
Update (9/22, 3:00 PM): It’s worth noting that Devellann was, indeed, fined for his comments.