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Nicholas J. Cotsonika
February 17, 2003
Hey, if you can score 700 goals, you can say anything you want
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February 17, 2003

When All Hull Breaks Loose

Hey, if you can score 700 goals, you can say anything you want

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SI: The average NHL salary is $1.6 million, and you've recently said that 75% of the players make too much money.

HULL: I did say some of us are overpaid, but no owner is being held hostage to pay anybody. Why can't we come up with some sort of scale to make everyone get paid fairly? The players and the owners are going to have to make concessions. I don't think a salary cap is fair, but some sort of tax is. There's got to be a way to make it fair for everyone, to make the league happy and the owners happy and the players happy and the fans happy, because without everyone being happy, there's no league.

SI: The average NHL ticket price is $41.56. Are games such as the Red Wings' 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils two weeks ago entertaining enough at those prices?

HULL: No. I wouldn't have paid a lot to see that game, and those are two highly ranked teams. If you can get a ticket for under 50 bucks, yeah, it's pretty good entertainment value. Any more than that is a lot of money to watch 15 shots to nine halfway through the third period.

SI: How would you sell the game?

HULL: It is the best sport to see live. It's colorful, it's fast, it's graceful, it's powerful, it's vicious, it's got every emotion, it's gladiator-like. The potential for it to be better is incredible. The game speaks for itself, if they [the hockey establishment] would just unleash it.

SI: Philadelphia Flyers center Jeremy Roenick said you are the worst nightmare for commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players' Association executive director Bob Goodenow. Do they complain to you about your candor?

HULL: I haven't heard a word from them recently. I used to get calls, but now it's as if they've decided, We won't say anything to him, because if we do, he'll get mad and say worse things.

SI: Why don't other players speak out?

HULL: As hockey players they've been taught, "Don't say anything. Can't say that." Why can't ya? We're human beings. We've got emotions. Say it! Are you going to spend all your money on psychotherapy because you're afraid to talk? It would drive me nuts not to voice my opinion. It's good for the soul. It's cleansing. You'll sleep better at night.

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