As U.S. federal mediators are set to step in to try and bring some objective voices to the NHL lockout, superstars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin offered their latest viewpoints on Monday on some lockout-related topics.
The Pittsburgh Penguins centre said that as the lockout nears its third month, players are becoming increasingly frustrated with the inability of the two sides to come to an agreement.
"I think a lot of the guys are frustrated with just the not talking," Crosby said. "We understand the business side – that there's negotiations and proposals going back and forth...but I think the whole process is just frustrating.
"I mean if we really want to get something done, I feel like we have to be there every single day, no matter what if we want to find a way to get it done," continued Crosby. "Whether or not that's going to happen, I don't know, but I think more than anything, the process is more frustrating than anything."
Crosby also addressed the recent comments made by Washington Capitals players Roman Hamrlik and Michal Neuvirth, who voiced their displeasure with the NHLPA's negotiating strategy.
"They have a right to state what they think and...to be honest, to get 750 guys to have the exact same outlook on every single detail it's pretty tough and pretty much impossible. But I think a good chunk of the guys realize what's going on and I think if you look at Roman Hamrlik's situation, this is his third lockout. He's probably got a couple years left of playing in his mind and for this to be happening, I'm sure he's beyond frustrated, I think everyone's got that right."
When asked a similar question about Hamrlik's comments, Ovechkin was not as diplomatic as the Penguins star.
"I'm not on his side, I'm not on Hamrlik's side to be honest with you," Ovechkin said. "I played last year with him and he always tells what he thinks, but right now it's not that time to say what you think. You can say that at the bar or with your friends, but you can't show you're upset to the media. Again, I'm not with him and I'm kind of disappointed in what he said."
Ovechkin went on to say that he thinks the comments made by his Washington teammates were not shared by his fellow players and that as a group they have to stay united.
"Couple guys pissed off, they say bad things, but we stick together and we're not going to listen to those guys," Ovechkin said. "We have a team and of course, everyone wants to play, but we have to stick together...and I don't know if everyone's on the same page as those guys."
Crosby has been idle so far during the lockout. Ovechkin signed to play with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL in September and has totaled nine goals and 21 points in 19 games this season.