The power of the fringe player

It all started with a simple radio interview. Fan960 radio in Calgary interviewed Mike Commodore yesterday. They talked about Commodore's time in Lowell of the AHL, and about Ville Niemenen's injury. Then, the radio host asked him "Would you support a salary cap?" The answer has spurred a great deal of talk, even in the US.

"I'll risk the slap on the wrist, I don't want to spend however long my career lasts playing here in the American Hockey League (with Lowell), so I think whatever it takes.

"It's got to be give and take on both sides, not one side can be making all the money. But if (a salary cap is) what it takes -- the sport has to go on -- so I'm going to say, yeah.

"There's different kinds of caps and it's got to be a realistic one. You can't cap it up at $30 million, we're over that. It's got to be realistic so both sides are making money."

Commodore didnt just state he was willing to accept a cap, he took a shot at the union leadership:

"I don't think it's being handled well at all," he said. "The thing is, you look at the PA and who's in charge ... it's all the guys that have made $30 million playing this game. If there's never another game of hockey ... and they don't make another cent playing in the NHL, they're gonna be all right.

"Sure, they have their views but I think, as far as guys in charge of the PA, there should be people in my situation so they get everybody's perspective.

"There's lots of guys in my shoes that if we miss a couple of years, that's a huge deal."

Mike Commodore came out and said what many fans have thought all along: The NHLPA isnt out to support the fringe players like Mike Commodore. They havent talked to him much, they just dont care about him.

What is most amazing about Commodore's comments is that they even caused a Toronto based hockey writer to pen a quality column. Damien Cox used Commodore's comments as a springboard for a columng for ESPN detailing the litany of contradictions between the union leadership, and union membership. Bob Mackenzie wrote an article for wondering if Commodore speaks for players at the lower end of the pay scale.

In case the NHLPA was hoping they could argue that Commodore was taken out of context despite it was a live interview, that plan was nixed when Commodore said the exact same words to the Calgary Herald later that day.

Maybe the union will tell him to state that, like Mike Ribiero, he didnt say what he said he did.

More likely, expect to see another $6 million + player, with $30 million in the bank to come out in support of the union within the next day or two.

Then consider who the union really supports.