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NHL Lockout Monument Erected in Toronto

The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) unveiled a new monument today honouring the "valiant struggle" of its members during their bitter lockout by the owners of the NHL's 126 teams.

NHLPA Monument 'Sacrifice'
NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow told reporters that this bronze sculpture "should definitely get the public back on our side."

The piece, titled Sacrifice, is a life-sized, bronzed sculpture of a Hummer sport utility vehicle. According to the NHLPA, similar sculptures will be commissioned for all Canadian NHL cities in the coming months.

"It seems pretty obvious now that there isn't going to be hockey this year and probably next year, despite these last minute negotiations," said NHLPA President Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks. "Therefore, we thought this would be a good way to honour our brothers for the sacrifice they're making, so that future professional hockey players will be free.

"Maybe...maybe, 30, 40 years from now...when future NHL players pass by this monument, just for a second, they'll be able to appreciate the sacrifice our generation made...for them," added Linden, before breaking down in tears.

However, not all members of the players' union immediately thought this was the most suitable way to utilize the NHLPA's dwindling war chest.

"I don't know...I'm not really sure that this is the best way to spend union resources," said Dallas Stars captain Mike Modano from his Dallas home.

Modano's comments were "corrected" seven minutes later, when he clarified his earlier statement in a second phone call. "Yes, yes it is. It is absolutely the best way to spend our money. I was uh, quoted out of context. Did I forget any lines, Bob?"

Modano attributed his prior comments critical of his union to a "translation error." Modano, who gave his initial comments in English, to an English-language web site, speaks only English.

Posted on January 21st, 2005

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