Philadelphia Flyers goalie Robert Esche is sorry for calling NHL commissioner Gary Bettman a "madman."

Flyers general manager Bob Clarke says Esche called up Bettman to express regret for making the comment.

Earlier this week after the NHLPA meeting in Toronto, Esche told reporters that there was a "madman leading [the owners] down the wrong path."

Clarke felt the comment crossed the line and talked to Esche about it.

"I just said to [Esche] that it was appropriate for him to support his friends and fellow players but inappropriate to get personal," explained Clarke.

"[Esche] agreed and called up and apologized."

The NHL's players were locked-out by the owners on Sept. 15th and there have been no negotiations between the two sides since then. Both Bettman and NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow have said the NHL season is in danger of being cancelled.

with files from Canadian Press