Patrick Marleau has never been accused of being inflammatory. The San Jose Sharks' somewhat aloof forward broke his silence on Monday to voice his feelings on the current state of the NHL lockout. To CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz, Marleau said:
"If [the owners] cared about the game, we would be playing."
Pretty strong comments from a player that prefers to stay in the background.
Initially, it was assumed that Marleau was directly referencing all owners, including his employers, but he later clarified his comments. Marleau believes that there are a small group of owners are holding up the whole process. To veto a CBA proposal, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman needs only eight votes against the measure out of the thirty teams represented. For all the math studs, that's a majority rule of 27% 'nay' votes.
Marleau later spoke with with Josh Rimer or NextSportsStar.com who tweeted the following:
Sharks Patrick Marleau on NOV cancelled, "The league had these games canceled already in the summer. They are just releasing that info now."— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) October 26, 2012
Kurz surmised Marleau believes the league's initial outlandish offer combined with the sudden proposal with a small window to accept to save the season was the NHL's plan all along; along with starting at Christmas and playing a 66-game condensed season.