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Bieber hurting NHLPA negotiations?

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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Justin Bieber is currently in Chicago, where he will perform at the United Center Tuesday night. Also in town? The NHL Players Association, which is holding its annual meetings in the Windy City this week.

A confluence of hockey tough guys and Beliebers descending on a major American city is certainly a curious junction to imagine, but it became a reality Monday at the Peninsula Chicago, a posh hotel just off the city’s famous Magnificent Mile.

According to a tweet from Minnesota Wild tough guy (and, like Bieber, a native of Canada) Zenon Konopka, Bieber’s fans were gathering outside the hotel, to the point that it was becoming a distraction:

Now, a few things:

• Zenon Konopka — this guy, who has spent 175 more minutes in the penalty box than anyone else in hockey the last four seasons — listens to, and enjoys Justin Bieber? I don’t know if I believe (Beliebe?) that. But nice of him to extend an olive branch to a fellow Canadian while also telling his fans to pipe down, unless they want to end up like this guy:

• Then again, it’s not as though Konopka would be the first hockey tough guy to publicly admit his admiration for Bieber’s tunes:

• At least Konopka handled his beef with Bieber better than Keyshawn Johnson or Eric Dickerson, who incurred an epic Twitter wrath at the hands of Beliebers after this tweet:

• Bieber fans are nothing if not determined. They were outside the hotel chanting during the day:

And into the night, all in the hopes that they’d catch a glimpse of their favorite pop star. (Must be nice to have nothing better to do.):

• The NHL has had four lockouts in the last two decades, so whatever they're discussing in these meetings is probably important. With that in mind, it would be cool if the Beliebers just let them focus on whatever they are supposed to be focusing on.

• Bieber may not be too concerned about the fan noise — certainly he’s used to it — but if he ever wants to skate with the Maple Leafs or receive another hockey contract offer again, maybe he should take a stand for the NHLPA:

• Thankfully, tours, being what they are, continue to roll on. Bieber has a show in Indianapolis on Wednesday, so he’ll be out of the NHL’s hair soon enough.

Tagged: Wild, Zenon Konopka

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