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CP: NHL fines Red Wings for Jimmy Devellano’s remarks: TSN’s Dreger estimates fine around $250K

Updated 6x at 1:04 PM: Given the tone of Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano's comments about players being little more than cattle grazing at the owners' ranches, this isn't surprising, per the CP's Chris Johnston:

I doubt that we'll find out how much the Wings were fined, but I'd guess that it was a four or five-digit number.

Update: Via RedWingsFeed:

Here's more from Russo (and something tells me that more than a few owners wouldn't mind helping Devellano pay the fine)...

Here's the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 

DETROIT RED WINGS FINED FOR INAPPROPRIATE, UNAUTHORIZED COMMENTS

NEW YORK (September 22, 2012) -- The National Hockey League announced today that the Detroit Red Wings have been fined an undisclosed amount for comments made by Red Wings Senior Vice President and Alternate Governor Jim Devellano in an interview that was published earlier this week.

"The Detroit Red Wings’ organization and the League agree that the comments made by Mr. Devellano are neither appropriate, nor authorized, nor permissible under the League's By-Laws," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "Such comments are neither constructive nor helpful to the negotiations.”

Update #2: Again, the Island News's Scott Harrigan's conversation with Devellano is a must-read. It's a shockingly revelatory conversation about the owners' real motives for locking out the players, their desire to crush the union and their, well, unanimous support of the "misunderstood" commissioner.

I agree with the Free Press's Helene St. James 1,000% here:

Devellano definitely knew what he was doing, and while the NHL essentially had to fine him for what he said, I get the feeling that Chairman Mao himself was smiling when he read Devellano's remarks.

Update #3: As Pro Hockey Talk's Joe Yerdon notes, this is about saving face--and ensuring that the NHL presents only two faces to the players...

In that interview, Devellano refers to the players as “cattle” and the owners as “ranchers” regarding the labor battle between the two sides.

“It’s very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this: The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle,” Devellano said. “The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That’s the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren’t going to let a union push them around. It’s not going to happen.”

The league by-law Daly refers to says only he or Gary Bettman are allowed to speak on labor matters. Devellano’s point of view doesn’t do much to help keep peace in the situation and shows why they want to control who says what.

As you might imagine, MLive's Ansar Khan's confirming. Don't expect any comments from the Wings about this as they would be fined as well...

And did somebody say, "Hey, I bet Allan Walsh has some criticism to levy at the owners' side for this one?" Yes, yes he does:

Who knows? Maybe the NHL has asked the Wings to cater the next round of CBA negotiation with Hot-n-Ready pizzas...

Update #3.5: Via RedWingsFeed, USA Today's Mike Brehm refreshes our memories regarding the rest of Devellano's remarks to Harrigan:

Devellano also said that players should take 43% of the revenue, instead of the current 57%, and let the owners manage the rest of their expenses. In its last offer, since pulled, the league proposed an original 49% share that would drop to 47% during a six-year deal.

"Yes, they are billionaires," Devellano said of owners in the interview. "Good on them, they deserve it, but they also make their employees millionaires. Not a bad tradeoff for a guy like (Boston Bruins forward Milan) Lucic getting what, 6 million dollars a year? I mean good on him too, but he should be grateful. Understand, though, that these players want for nothing ... it's first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang."

He also gave insight into Bettman's personality during the interview, including whether he's bothered by booing and whether he gave straight answers.

Update #4: No surprise here, per TSN's Darren Dreger:

That'll buy Gary Bettman at least two jet fuel massages.

Update #5: Surprise! Per the Free Press's Helene St. James:

Devellano did not return a call seeking comment.

General manager Ken Holland did not want to make a comment.

TSN's confirming in story form, too:

The Detroit Red Wings have been fined an undisclosed amount by the NHL for comments made by senior vice president Jim Devellano in an interview that was published earlier this week.

The fine is reportedly in the range of $250,000.

"The Detroit Red Wings' organization and the League agree that the comments made by Mr. Devellano are neither appropriate, nor authorized, nor permissible under the League's By-Laws," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. "Such comments are neither constructive nor helpful to the negotiations."

Devellano held an exclusive interview with Scott Harrigan of Island Sports News, where he discussed the lockout and collective bargaining talks.

"It's very complicated and way too much for the average Joe to understand, but having said that, I will tell you this," said Devellano. "The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle. The owners own the Ranch and allow the players to eat there. That's the way its always been and that the way it will be forever. And the owners simply aren't going to let a union push them around. It's not going to happen."

Devellano also said that players should take 43 per cent of the revenue, instead of the current 57 per cent, and let the owners manage the rest of their expenses.

"Yes, they are billionaires," Devellano said. "Good on them, they deserve it, but they also make their employees millionaires. Not a bad tradeoff for a guy like (Boston Bruins forward Milan) Lucic getting what, $6 million a year? I mean good on him too, but he should be grateful. Understand, though, that these players want for nothing ... it's first class this, first class that, meal allowances, travel money on the road, the whole shebang."

Update #6: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan very astutely noted the following:

Devellano made comments to The Detroit News and the Toronto Star about the status of the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival, and the possibility of the events being postponed because of the current NHL lockout.

Starting a Winter Classic cancelation firestorm? No worries.

Update #6.5: Per Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika:

Batterman is the NHL's chief outside counsel. He works for the Proskauer-Rose law firm in New York, and he's the boogeyman in the room, someone whose name describes his negotiating perosonality.

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

I don’t give a Fiddler’s F@CK how much the NHL fined him.  Until Mr Illitch comes out and reprimands Jimmy DumbAss my respect for the Wing’s owner has diminished greatly.

This is not the 1st time this clown employee has spewed idiotic comments, time for him to be be gone, in my opinion.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 09/22/12 at 12:08 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Jimmy Douche Bag’s comments go a long way toward maintaining the Wings’ status as a player-friendly organ-I-zation, eh?

Fire his senile ass. Should have been done decades ago.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 09/22/12 at 12:33 PM ET

alukacs's avatar

As embarrassing as his comments are, I believe it’s important to remember, that his anti-union, “job-creator” rhetoric is not an individual case, but part of the very structure of the NHL “leadership”.

I mentioned this earlier, but I would love to see a proposal for a player owned and run league… Just to show the ranchers that the cattle is still in control…

Posted by alukacs on 09/22/12 at 12:45 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

As embarrassing as his comments are, I believe it’s important to remember, that his anti-union, “job-creator” rhetoric is not an individual case, but part of the very structure of the NHL “leadership

Jimmy D has been known for many many years not to engage his brain before speaking, this just happens to one of many at at a very sensitive time.

I will wait to see what Mr Illitch does if anything.  But for now Jimmy D needs to shut up, embarrassing to the entire Wing’s organization AND their FANS..

Also, $250K is a joke and will not come from his pocket, in my opinion.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 09/22/12 at 12:56 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

I see nothing wrong with his Jimmy D’s comment ...
what a dicktator Bettman is ... only he is allowed to make comments on the NHL ???  wonder he can fit his fat head through any doorway ... 

BETTMAN NEEDS TO GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 09/22/12 at 01:00 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

As embarrassing as his comments are, I believe it’s important to remember, that his anti-union, “job-creator” rhetoric is not an individual case, but part of the very structure of the NHL “leadership”.
Posted by alukacs on 09/22/12 at 12:45 PM ET

  that is right on ... it’s all about busting up the union

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 09/22/12 at 01:04 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

As a reminder, the league and the Wings don’t have to disclose the source of the fine or the destination.

You know how Jeff Dunham gets laughs by punishing his puppets for things that come out of his mouth?

This is kind of like that.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/22/12 at 01:06 PM ET

Avatar

I see nothing wrong with his Jimmy D’s comment ...
what a dicktator Bettman is ... only he is allowed to make comments on the NHL ???  wonder he can fit his fat head through any doorway ... 

BETTMAN NEEDS TO GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This has to be the most tortured “logic” posted on this site to date! If you read Devellano’s comments he is 100% supportive of Gary Bettman, you are advocating for the very thing D was arguing against. And to “think” that Bettman is cracking down on the Wings is absurd!

Posted by timbits on 09/22/12 at 01:39 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

Like I said in another thread, I can’t believe those words came out of Jimmy D’s mouth ... and I’m starting to think the league made him say that crap to get into the players heads ... chip away at the stone if you will.

Mr. I hasn’t said anything to this point for two reasons.  #1 he’s not exactly a vocal kinda guy to start with, and #2 ... I’m not entirely convinced he thinks this is the right move.  Looking at it from his perspective, he’s worth $2.5 bil. (according to Forbes mag.). He owns 2 sports teams, numerous entertainment facilities, gawd knows how much property in the downtown area, a casino (in his wife’s name) ... how much is enough ?  Does he really need to squeeze a few more percentage points out of the players to make him worth maybe $2.8 bil. ??  How silly.  He’s 82 years old and competitive as hell.  He just wants to play the game and win another cup.

This is why Bettman has a gag order on everyone except himself and Daly.  I don’t think all 30 owners are in favor of this lockout, and if Mr. I could say something I’m sure he would.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 09/22/12 at 03:21 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Well you beat me to it with your comment, timbits.  And of course limiting the number of voices speaking on material issues goes to the essence of collective bargaining…ie. “collective.”

I haven’t followed the Wings closely enough to realize that Jimmy D was such a loose cannon. That’s just not the sort of message and image that any team, let alone a classy franchise like the Wings needs to convey, particularly after a pretty poor off-season. It just makes so much more sense from a business perspective to stfu and let Bettman be the face of evil.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 09/22/12 at 03:47 PM ET

Avatar

Jimmy Douche Bag’s comments go a long way toward maintaining the Wings’ status as a player-friendly organ-I-zation, eh?

Fire his senile ass. Should have been done decades ago.

I bet if you polled ‘management’, it’d run about 70-30 pro Jimmy D’s opinion.

The problem here isn’t what management thinks of players, it’s that you didn’t know what they thought of players before.  Nothing has changed in any way, really.  Detroit treated their players spectacularly before, they’ll treat their players spectacularly in the future, and they’ll think about them as assets or ‘cattle’ the whole time.

 

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/22/12 at 04:15 PM ET

Avatar

You know how Jeff Dunham gets laughs

You lost me…

Posted by Garth on 09/22/12 at 06:03 PM ET

Avatar

This is why Bettman has a gag order on everyone except himself and Daly.  I don’t think all 30 owners are in favor of this lockout, and if Mr. I could say something I’m sure he would.

Since there is nothing on record to deny your wishful thinking it is possible that it is true. The problem is that all of the known facts seem to refute this wish.

Posted by timbits on 09/22/12 at 06:07 PM ET

Avatar

I can’t believe those words came out of Jimmy D’s mouth

Really?  When has he ever not come off as a bloated, loudmouth *#$%@&?

Posted by Garth on 09/22/12 at 06:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You lost me…

Posted by Garth on 09/22/12 at 06:03 PM ET

I didn’t say “deserves”, I said gets.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 09/22/12 at 06:13 PM ET

Avatar

The problem is that all of the known facts seem to refute this wish.

In a league that has rules condoning RFA offer sheets that are almost completely ignored because no organization wants any others to be mad at them, I have no trouble believing that there are owners who aren’t necessarily pro-lockout but, knowing that they would be in a clear minority, decided to vote for it so as not to piss off the others.

Posted by Garth on 09/22/12 at 06:16 PM ET

Avatar

I didn’t say “deserves”, I said gets.

Fair enough.

Posted by Garth on 09/22/12 at 06:16 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

In a league that has rules condoning RFA offer sheets that are almost completely ignored because no organization wants any others to be mad at them, I have no trouble believing that there are owners who aren’t necessarily pro-lockout but, knowing that they would be in a clear minority, decided to vote for it so as not to piss off the others.

Posted by Garth on 09/22/12 at 06:16 PM ET

Yeah I’m sure there’s less than complete unanimity amongst owners wrt minimum requirements to settle, and how long they’re willing to lockout the players.  For example, Molson’s comments earlier this week in Montreal were very moderate in tone and clearly demonstrated that he’s no hardliner.  Undoubtedly the backroom discussions will become more heated in the coming months if Bettman is unable to make progress in negotiations.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 09/22/12 at 07:40 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

So, if the owners are ranchers, the players are cattle, I guess the fans are sheep. And the lockout is the historic drought that kills everything?

Might be a useful analogy.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 09/22/12 at 08:06 PM ET

Avatar

So, if the owners are ranchers, the players are cattle, I guess the fans are sheep. And the lockout is the historic drought that kills everything?

Might be a useful analogy.

I think the owners are the Ranchers, the players are the Cattle…

... and fans are the Indians.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/22/12 at 08:26 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/22/12 at 08:26 PM ET

profound.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 09/22/12 at 08:44 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

“The owners can basically be viewed as the Ranch, and the players, and me included, are the cattle.

He has made a good point. He also included himself in the cattle call. This interview is something that possibly can be used by Fehr. But, I still do not like the guy. Moo!

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!! In13?

 

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 09/23/12 at 08:08 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

I love how people get all pissy about comments like Jimmy D’s. How dare someone call unions or workers cattle !!! Here is a note for all the union lover’s out there - start your own league and then you can call the owners anything you want. Oh, I forgot, that is not possible because workers love to piss and moan about the people paying their wages and intended slights, but are not capable of doing what the owners do every day - pay a living wage that puts food on our tables and a roof over our heads. God bless the owners and I laugh at the people that despise them.

Posted by joedaiceman on 09/23/12 at 12:57 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.