September 30, 2012
Krys Barch rants over NHL lockout on Twitter
By RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency
The average NHL player's angst over the lockout finally has a voice.
In an emotional 26-post rant on Twitter Saturday night, written over some drinks in Grand Bend, Ont., NHL tough guy Krys Barch highlighted the concerns of the blue-collar pro in a simple way the league big-wigs, union kingpins or the stars heading to Europe never could express.
"I wonder if the owners of Boston, New York, Washington, etc., etch., have endured any of the injuries that I or any other player in the NHL have endured," the New Jersey Devils forward wrote in 140-character-or-less snippets on his Twitter account. "Still they probably sit (there) smoking the same brand of cigar, sipping the same cognac and going on vacation to one of five houses they own...while we sit here knowing the want to take 20 % of our paychecks. One half to 3/4 of my peers will have to work, for the next 50 years of their lives.
"Congratulations to the lucky select few that I have played with who have made salaries that they can choose to do whatever they want when they are done. But I have played (with most) who do not!"
The 32-year-old Barch signed a two-year, $1.5 million contract to play in New Jersey after spending last season with the Florida Panthers.
The journeyman offered advice for a league determined to force hockey into non-traditional markets.
"If the NHL wants to (keep) teams in the South or struggling markets, then the players, along with the financially well-to-do teams, need to start working together," he said. "Or they need to start to move teams to the North where they will make money.
"The system allows the owners to continually take money from the players' contract after contract where eventually over 40-some years, the owners will have 80 % of the revenue."
Barch bared his soul about his concerns of the road that lies ahead. He has two sons and his wife is pregnant with a third child. He described himself as an NHLer in a position no different than a truck driver, farmer or line worker who has worked for every second of his hockey service.
"I haven't been a 1st-round pick, bonus baby or a son of a Hall of Famer," he wrote," I have made it through sweating, bleeding, cut Achilles, broken hands, concussions, broken orbital bones, 8 teeth knocked out, etc. I have a shot and a beer. Not to deal with the days ahead but to ease the nerves from what my body has endured the days before."
Barch received some positive feedback from fellow players, including Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust, who tweeted simply, "Amen, brother."
Barch's agent, Scott Norton, told ESPN he spoke to his client Saturday night and again Sunday morning and the player stands by what he wrote.
"Krys was saying 'This is what my heart says, I"m going to say it,'" Norton said. "I think he was certainly emotional and speaking from the heart. As I told him, I'm not sure that Twitter was the right forum for him. It might have been better in a radio interview."
This isn't the first time Barch has taken to Twitter to state his opinion. Just recently, he spoke out against the OHL's decision to start suspending frequent fighters.
"Very disappointed with the OHL decision on the implementation of restrictions/suspensions/fines in regards to fights, fight totals, etc," he wrote.
Barch, a Hamilton native, has 12 goals and 31 points with 669 penalty minutes in his NHL career.