Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnson has joined his fellow NHLPA members in voicing his displeasure at the NHL lockout, taking aim at the league's owners for the way they're treating the players.
"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," Johnson wrote in his blog at jackjohnson3.com.
"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 (sic) 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!"
Johnson, 25, was acquired by the Blue Jackets in a trade for Jeff Carter last season, just one year after signing a seven-year contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings.
In 364 NHL games, Johnson has 34 goals, 104 assists and 271 penalty minutes.
"I want to work," read the blog. "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."
Johnson isn't the first player to criticize ownership during the work stoppage. On Sunday, Minnesota Wild defenceman Ryan Suter backtracked from comments he made last week to ESPN.com that insinuated he felt Wild owner Craig Leipold negotiated contracts with him and Zach Parise in bad faith with knowledge that the NHL would try to reduce player salaries during negotiations.
"I know they're good people," Suter said of Leipold and GM Chuck Fletcher to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "And I know they wouldn't negotiate thinking, 'OK, let's give them this because it'll end up being this.'"