Theres plenty of frustration to go around as the NHL lockout continues. Players are frustrated. The NHLPA is frustrated. The league brass is frustrated. Owners arent talked, but well assume theyre frustrated, too.
But when frustration boils over into ugliness, its a problem.
When talking about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, a few players comments have crossed the line. The latest comes from former player Jeff ONeill, who threw out this tweet this afternoon:
And Bettman stop talking to the media. I wanna 'make whole' in your fkn head.
A few hours later, however, ONeill tweeted that he didnt tweet the above:
My last tweet was inappropriate. Someone hacked my acct.
Whether it was a hack or the former players thoughts, ONeill was right: it was inappropriate. And it doesnt matter if its on social media, through the newspapers or on the radio. Messages like that solve nothing and hurt all involved.
Ditto for others who (we assume) let emotions get the best of them this past week: from Detroits Ian White calling Bettman an idiot to former Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg going on the radio and referring to Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly as cancers.
ONeills tweet came not long after todays talks yielded a new NHLPA proposal, but no progress in getting a new collective bargaining agreement. Emotions run high each time negotiations stall, and it only builds as the lockout continues. Its easy to throw quick reactions onto a Twitter or Facebook in the heat of the moment, but its usually a bad idea.
Many players have talked at will throughout this lockout they, unlike the owners, have no gag order binding them. Most have been very dignified in doing so. San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture vented his frustration with less spite on Twitter earlier today.
I, like all of you, first and foremost am a HUGE hockey fan. I live and breathe the game. Have since I was 3. It hurts to see this happen to the best game on earth, the best athletes and the best fans in the world. The players are doing the best we can to return this game to the Ice. But it takes two to make a deal. It just seems the other side isnt willing to make it work. It hurts.
Angry? Yes. Frustrated? Yes. Decently dictated? Yes.
Frustration is beyond prevalent. Everyones feeling it. But theres a fine line between venting and vindictiveness. Some lines shouldnt be crossed.