J.R. shoots from the lip

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

NHL players aren't back on the ice yet, but that hasn't stopped Jeremy Roenick from firing shots in every direction.

The outspoken Philadelphia Flyers centre launched an expletive-laced tirade over the NHL lockout prior to participating in Mario Lemieux' charity golf tournament in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Not only did Roenick slam the NHLPA for its conduct during the lockout, he also said the game is in a mess and any fan who questions a player's desire and how much they care can "kiss my ass."

"If people are going to sit and chastise pro athletes for being cocky, for being suck asses, they need to look at one thing and that's the deal we're going to be signing in about three weeks," said Roenick, in comments published on Sportsnet.ca.

"Pro athletes are not cocky. Pro athletes care about the game. Everybody out there who calls us spoiled because we play a game ... they can kiss my ass."

Roenick said the players should have listened when he and Blues defenceman Chris Pronger, teammate Robert Esche and Flames centre Jarome Iginla offered a solution to the lockout in February.

"If we (the NHLPA) would of signed that deal in February, in terms of what we're getting now, we would of looked like heroes,'' Roenick said.

'BUNCH OF IDIOTS'

''Right now we look like a bunch of idiots.

"The deal in February beats the (crap) out of the deal we're going to sign in July ... we've hurt our league, we've hurt the reputation of our league and the integrity of our league by sticking up for something that might not have been the right thing to do."

He also backs changes to the game, such as eliminating the red line and having penalty shots decide tie games.

"Now is the time we have to make it fun for the fans, we have deteriorated the game to an unfriendly position. We might have won in '94, the owners will win in 2005, now let's make the fans win.''

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


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