If the rumors are true that Roman Hamrlik is being shopped around to other interested NHL teams with the league's trade deadline four days away, then making him a healthy scratch --as Dale Hunter did in Wednesday night's 5-2 loss to Ottawa--is a hell of a way to goose his value.
However, Hamrlik may have lost whatever ethical high ground he had when he spoke to the media after Thursday's practice.
"People talk. Media talks," Hamrlik said when asked about a report that he has asked to be traded before Monday's trade deadline. "Nothing I can do about it. I'm happy to be here and do my job. I don't have control over that. I hope I stay here and make the team better and help them make the playoffs. I don't have reason to leave."
Standard boilerplate stuff. Then things got ugly.
Asked if Hunter discussed with him the reasons for being scratched, Hamrlik said. "No, he didn't."
Asked what he thought the reason was, Hamrlik replied, "I don't know. You should ask him."
Hunter said a penalty taken by Hamrlik early in Monday night's 5-0 loss in Carolina was one of the reasons he sent Hamrlik to the press box two nights later in Ottawa.
"You should ask him about the penalties because when he played I think he make lots of penalties himself," Hamrlik said. "He should know better. This is a game and guys (play with) emotion. I know I took a bad penalty, but if that's the reason I didn't play that's his decision."
Apart from Hamrlik's somewhat questionable logic, he does realize that it's generally not a good idea to take this stuff to the media, right? Right?