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Obama tells NHL players, owners to ‘do right by your fans’

(Associated Press)

President Barack Obama weighed in on the NHL lockout during an appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno back in October. On Thursday, Minnesota WCCO-TV reporter Frank Vascellaro asked Obama whether he would be willing to help solve the lockout. 

Check out the full transcript of the interview here and Obama’s response to the lockout below:

Frank: Minnesota’s known as the state of hockey, and we’re under the NHL lockout right now. Would you be willing to intervene in that lockout?

President Obama: You know, look. I’ve got to say, because we’ve had an NBA lockout, we’ve had an NFL lockout during the course of my presidency, the president of the United States shouldn’t have to get involved in a sports lockout. My message to owners and to players is, you guys make a lot of money and you make a lot of money on the backs of fans, so do right by your fans. You can figure out how to spread out a bunch of revenue that you’re bringing in, but do right by the people who support you. And I shouldn’t have to be involved in a dispute between really wealthy players and even wealthier owners. They should be able to settle this themselves. And remember who it is that’s putting all that money in their pockets.

Meanwhile, Friday marks the 90th day of the lockout. The two sides are expected to talk on the phone, following two consecutive days of sessions with federal mediators that failed to yield any traction. 

Notable links:

 • An anonymous member of the Board of Governors offered a framework  to ESPN’s Scott Burnside for a new CBA that could bridge the gap between the two sides. 

• From CBC’s Elliotte Friedman: “This process needs a shot of adrenaline, like Uma Thurman’s heart in Pulp Fiction.”

USA Today’s Kevin Allen suggests that the NHL add another round of playoff action in 2012-13 to spice up the abbreviated season. 

If we play a 48-game season, my suggestion would be to increase the playoff pool from 16 to 24 teams. It would be a conference-only format, and the top four teams in each conference would draw a first-round bye, and then teams ranked fifth to 12th would play in a best-of-three play-in round. No. 5 would play No. 12. No. 6 would play No. 11, and so on.

• Alex Ovechkin recorded a goal while Nicklas Backstrom posted an assist Thursday in Russia’s 5-1 win over Sweden in the first game of the Channel One Cup. Our friends over at Russian Machine have highlights and photos. 

• Capitals prospect Tom Wilson, a first-round pick in the 2012 draft, was one of eight final cuts made by Team Canada Thursday as it selected its roster for the 2013 World Junior Tournament. 


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