Not allowed to comment publicly throughout the NHL lockout due to a league bylaw, a handful of owners from around the league released statements on Thursday to Tracey Myers of CSNChicago.com.
Frustrated by still not being able to see eye-to-eye with the union, a group of four owners each released individual statements that touched on both the lockout as a whole and the players' willingness to reach an agreement. Winnipeg Jets owner Mark Chipman expressed sheer disappointment at the work stoppage
"While I sense there are some members of the players association that understand our perspective on these issues," Chipman said, "clearly there are many that don't."
Toronto Maple Leafs Chairman of the Board Larry Tanenbaum went even further with his criticism, and directly questioned if a deal will ever be reached due to what he perceives as complete apathy on the part of the players.
"I am very disappointed and disillusioned," Tannenbaum wrote. "When we reconvened with the players on Wednesday afternoon, it was like someone had thrown a switch. ... I question whether the union is interested in making an agreement. Had I not experienced this process myself, I might not have believed it."
Even though a significant number of players from around the league have been afforded ample time to weigh in on the situation, this is the first time owners have been allowed to climb aboard the soapbox due to fear of league penalties. It makes sense for owners to try to shift as much possible blame on the players at any cost right now, but hockey fans are clearly growing tired with both sides of the bargaining table at this point.