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Chelios talks Bettman, contraction

In what seems like Deja Vu for hockey fans, Chris Chelios once again has lashed out at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.


Ten years ago, Chelios caused a stir during the 1994 lockout when he said, "If I was [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman, I'd be worried about my family, about my well-being right now."


Chelios spoke to the Detroit Free Press about his opinions on Bettman and possible contraction.


"Gary Bettman has put the league in this situation," Chelios stated. "A guy who doesn't do his job shouldn't be there ... He put hockey where it shouldn't belong. You get rid of six or seven teams that don't belong where they are ... Some states just aren't marketable, some cities. Hockey's not a national sport in the U.S., and Gary Bettman doesn't have a feel for that. That's my opinion."


When reminded that contraction would mean less NHL jobs, Chelios told the paper, "Well, it'll cost jobs, but it'll make the league a better league.  There's a lot of players - especially a lot of guys that come over from Europe - who are average players. Make the league a better league. The league was a strong league 10 years ago.


"It's a business, and you take chances. Nothing's guaranteed in business. Teams come and go. You saw what happened to Minnesota. You see what happened to Cleveland in football. One of the best football cities there ever was, with the history in Cleveland, and they lost their team for a couple years.


"So that's just the nature of the beast. If some teams have to go or you can't make it, then so be it. The players aren't going to feel it as much as the owners."


The 42-year old defenceman said that there was no progress made in negotiations thus far because neither side felt pressure to get a deal done. 


"Come January, when they (the owners) talk about canceling the season, then I think all the pressure's on them," he said. "The players are prepared for it."



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