Image from

Above is the actual image from Jack Johnson’s personal website, which I feel pretty safe calling “over-cooked.” I mean the image, not the website. Oh, and the words too.

Oh, the honour! You despicable scoundrels! You knaves! A pox upon thee!

At least they chose an excellent font.

I mean, I get it – it is pretty shitty to sign contracts that you don’t intend to pay. But I have a lot of other issues beyond the “honour” of businessmen trying to maximize profits.

I can just see Gary Bettman presenting the players latest CBA offer to the owners and saying “Well, gents, we can certainly get a better deal, but you did sign those contracts, so let me appeal to your moral righteousness here and explain why we should accept this.” Johnson should sign one of those fan petitions too. That’ll get the deal done.

Now that I’m done being a complete asshole, here’s what Johnson wrote:

I want to work! I’m a professional athlete and I want to play hockey! In my chosen profession, I don’t have until I am 60 or 70 years old to do this job. My window of opportunity to play professional hockey is limited. If I’m lucky, I can play until I’m 40. I have been training as a hockey player my entire life, and I know it is a privilege to play in the NHL. So each month, each week, and each game that is cancelled is an opportunity I will never get back. This is the case for every NHL player. I value every day in this job and take my commitment to my team very seriously. I give it my all every shift. I come to play every night and I leave it all on the ice. This is my responsibility as an individual, an athlete, and a professional. I have a duty to my team, the organization that has given me this opportunity, and the fans in the stands to give them my best at all times. The concept that the owners are trying to dismantle existing contracts that they in good faith offered, signed, and committed to is appalling, unprofessional, and disgraceful. I negotiated my own contract, without an agent, with the confidence and belief that the owner offering me that contract operated by the same convictions and principals as I do. During the summer, the players offered to play through negotiations and the owners locked us out. We want to play hockey! Where is the honor? I’m ready to play and uphold my end of the deal!


Point to Johnson for negotiating his own deal, I always think that’s sort of cool.

I’m okay with him speaking up on this topic, and he has every right to be upset. I’m just surprised he views this as a moral debate. I’m a little confused what the whole thing has to do with hustle too.

Comments (23)

  1. Good to know, that once he goes over to Europe he’ll be taking someone else’s job without hesitation.

    Where is the honor?

    • A solid observation, yep.

      (Correction: Jack Johnson has actually said he won’t play overseas. Which is honorable.)

    • Every year players come over from Europe hoping to take jobs from NHL players, why is there no outcry at that? These players are locked out, not on strike, they want to play so they go where they can.

      • There’s no outcry because this current jab is just them being mad at alot of the players for having options and not caving to their corporate “masters”. Just like the humorous “WON”T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE 3rd AND 4th LINERS!!!” jab at these guys for not falling on their swords and caving for the welfare of the bottom 6. They love to pretend like they care about some Russian in the KHL losing out on his job or some bottom 6 NHL guy losing his….but it’s all a not-so-elaborate ruse to mask a simple desire to see these guys put in their place so they can be entertained and root for their favorite laundry.


  2. Last I checked, he wasn’t playing in Europe, so his honor is safe for now. That being said, I think he seriously should reconsider his own stance, as honor has been completely devalued in our society, unfortunately.

  3. Also, where was the honour when he refused to play for the Hurricanes, the team that drafted him?

    • You mean when he refused to leave Michigan, the team he had committed to play for?

      He didn’t refuse to play for Carolina, he refused to be pressured into leaving school earlier than he wanted to. Not even close to the same thing.

      • You mean when he insisted publicly that he was going to play four years at Michigan, then turned around as soon as the trade was done and told press how excited he was to be a King and learn from the great pros on that team, then left before his gear had even dried at the end of that season?

        Jack Johnson’s “honor” is a joke.

  4. “I give it my all every shift. I come to play every night and I leave it all on the ice.”

    Except when it comes to, you know, playing defense.

  5. I don’t understand your argument. An existing contract is an existing contract. Would players get more money on their existing contracts if the new CBA went from 57% for the players to 58% for the players? Of course not.

    Existing contracts are a debt owed to the players from the owners. The owners are trying to treat it like they are a loan to the players against players future earnings. But only if the players defer the loan. A deferred loan against future earnings? Are you serious?

    The “make whole” concept the owners are “offering” is the exact equivalent of a 13% rollback in salaries. You want the players to make an agreement with a group of businessmen who will have reneged twice on contracts in a seven year period. Are you serious?

    I get that people want to see hockey. I don’t see how anyone can defend the owners or criticize the players over this impasse. What the owners are doing here is reprehensible. And they are an embarrassment to American businessmen everywhere. And you want to “mock” the players for being upset?

  6. I wonder if he negotiated his own contract just so he wouldn’t have to pay an agent? Bit cynical, maybe. :)

    • Crossed my mind too…

    • And what exactly would be wrong with that if he did? If I was a player, and had the mental capabilities to negotiate for myself I would do it without thinking twice.

      • I missed the part where we derided him for doing it, I guess.

        • I believe Brodeur went agentless until just recently. Negotiated most of his contracts himself. You don’t hear about it much, but I’m sure there are quite a few players who do it.

  7. I know this has nothing to do with this post but say the the entire season is lost to the lockout, would any of you guys watch full length simulation games from NHL 13 to pass the time?

  8. Ever single dollar these guys miss out on gets me more and more pissed off. They are losing this battle, particularly the PR side, and Jack Johnson is doing nothing to mitigate the damage done. I am not on the owners side either, before our friend David, — crusader for the (gag) underprivileged, poor mistreated players — decides he needs to chime in with some baseless, sarcastic rhetoric. Here’s the thing though: you don’t see children walking around wearing Bettman jerseys, or idolizing any of the owners. You don’t grow up dreaming of being a venture capitalist who owns an NHL hockey team; these guys had their dreams realised above COUNTLESS other people. Sure they worked for it, but no harder than a carpenter working 12 hour days, or for that matter, someone in Bangladesh making .50 cents an hour in a sweat shop making sneakers for the very 1% of the population currently spitting in their face over revenue sharing percentages. Call me an idealist, but I believe that in today’s economy, if you are part of that block of people, perhaps you should try to be a little flexible.

  9. Whomever wrote this article …. I totally agree … You are a ” complete asshole”

  10. If you took all the players and had a vote as to what has been offered up and not leave it to a handful of players making more money a game (approx 17-20 mins if they are in top shape) than the normal person does in several years. Cmon stop with the crap put out a vote and lets get some hockey moving.

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