If you follow Tampa goalie Dan Ellis on Twitter, then you are aware of the comments he made yesterday regarding the financial status of NHL players, specifically stating that the powers that be at the league want players to take a 24% pay cut and that those of us that don’t make a lot of money don’t understand how difficult it is to have money. Fine, I get that. The rich are different from you and me. It’s a fact of life. And I do understand that a 24% pay cut for NHL players is still a significant chunk of change. However, Ellis complaining about this in a public forum like Twitter doesn’t do much to help his (and other players) causes when it comes to currying public favor in the upcoming labor negotiations.
Pay cuts suck. I totally agree with him there. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, pay cuts are a way of life. Many industries have resorted to pay cuts in order to keep staff around based on the logic that a shared sacrifice brings people together and helps prevent layoffs. And yes, speaking from experience, when a pay cut comes down from management, you do have the feeling of just bending over and saying “thank you sir, may I have another.”
But the players have to tread carefully here. Whining and complaining about how hard it is to be a millionaire isn’t going to play well with a team’s fans. When a fan is struggling with bills and other issues, the last thing they want to hear about is how millionaire hockey player living in McMansionville is crying “woe is me.” That’s not to say I’m on the owners side here. Both sides are complicit in letting salaries get out of control so fast.
A small part of me realizes that Ellis was just trying to stir the pot and cause some drama. But there are other ways to cause drama without crying “poor (not really) little me.”