Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts and Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The record $3-million (U.S.) fine and the loss of first- and third-round draft picks levied against the New Jersey Devils as punishment for the first version of Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract is all about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman delivering a hard message to owners and general managers: We warned you about trying to circumvent the salary cap, and these are the consequences.
There was also no coincidence in the timing of the announcement. It came on the eve of Tuesday’s board of governors meeting in New York because, according to an NHL source who requested anonymity, Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly wanted to make sure every team representative realized the new standard for player contracts recently negotiated with the NHL Players’ Association must be followed.
That was the nearly unanimous opinion of a group of NHL governors, GMs and player agents – all of whom requested anonymity because they did not want to provoke the ire of Bettman, who decreed there would be no official comment from the league. An equal number of governors and GMs declined to make any comment at all.
from Dan Goldman of the Messenger Post,
The Sports Consulting Group roster of players includes Buffalo Sabres star Thomas Vanek and Team USA captain Jamie Langenbruner, as well as professional players from the Rochester area like Ryan Callahan, Brian and Stephen Gionta of Greece; Marty Reasoner of Honeoye Falls; and Chris Collins of Fairport.
Callahan, a forward for the New York Rangers, said deciding by whom to be represented was an easy decision, knowing Bartlett’s track record and having played hockey with his son Scott.
“With the amount of guys he has, it shows that he’s a great agent and he does well for us,” said Callahan.
“He’s a great guy, down to earth, he is everything you can ask for in an agent,” added Stephen Gionta, who plays in the New Jersey Devils minor league system. “He puts his own time and energy into every guy, no matter what level of play you’re at. You don’t always get that with the big companies.”
The Fehr-to-the-NHLPA saga seems to have been resolved, or has it? With the vote on accepting Fehr apparently going to the membership, most of the media coverage centred on Fehr’s fearsome reputation as at the Major League Baseball Players Association.
But key Fehr elements have been missed so far by the media. First, the supposedly implacable Fehr settled a collective bargaining agreement with MLB in 2002 without any work stoppage - and well before the eleventh hour. Second, we have yet to see the report commissioned by the NHLPA about Paul Kelly’s dismissal released to the press. Is Fehr’s role in the midnight massacre discussed? Before players vote, should they not see the contents of the report that was delayed at Fehr’s suggestion?
-Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail.
” I found that I liked hockey players very, very much..
“I didn’t envision working for another union, but when you represent professional athletes for as long and as intensively as I have, you get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of it.”
-Donald Fehr, who is close to being named Executive Director of the NHLPA. More on Fehr from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal.
TORONTO (September 11, 2010): The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that its Executive Board has voted to accept the recommendation of the Search Committee (Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rafalski, Brian Rolston and Mathieu Schneider) that Don Fehr be named the new NHLPA Executive Director.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The coronation of Donald Fehr as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association could receive a significant boost during a conference call this afternoon.
It would mean Fehr, who has been an unpaid advisor with the NHLPA for months and has been coy about his intentions for the top job, could become an official candidate and the frontrunner for the job as early as today.
It’s possible during the call the search committee will formally submit Fehr’s name for the vacant executive director’s job and recommend that he be hired. The executive committee, which is comprised of the 30 player representatives, would then hold a vote on whether or not to put the matter to a ratification vote of the full membership during training camp.
via Adam Proteau tweets,
Happy Labor Day to all who understand value and triumphs of unions & see past all attempts to vilify notion of strength in numbers.
Happy Labor Day, Ted Lindsay, Bill Gadsby, Fern Flaman, Gus Mortson & all (incl. Doug Harvey & Carl Brewer) who fought for @nhlpa
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
...it seems he’s had another blow to the head, what with the quote he gave our Jim Jamieson on Thursday upon the news of the ultimatum the league gave the Players Association on the Ilya Kovalchuk and Roberto Luongo contracts now thankfully settled.
Quoth Mitchell: “We have a big gap in our union where you have the star player and the blue-collar player. All those top-end guys are getting paid more and more and the bottom-end guys are getting less and less. Maybe if we come to something more level, it might help the rest of our union.”
Now we know what he was driving at but the question is, when did Mitchell become a socialist and when did he start quaffing the Bettman Kool-Aid? No wonder the owners are in such great shape if this is the quality of understanding of the CBA at the player-rep level.
via Tom Gulitti tweet,
It’s official, Papework done. Kovy a Devil for next 15 years.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The Ilya Kovalchuk saga has come to an end.
Kovalchuk will be a New Jersey Devil after all, and the circumvention investigations of the contracts for Roberto Luongo, Marc Savard, Chris Pronger and Marian Hossa will not be pursued.
Earlier Saturday, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association agreed to a global settlement to cease the investigations linked to cap circumvention for the above contracts while adopting regulations to govern long-term contracts of five or more years.
The regulations will be added as a supplement to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and apply to all contracts signed from today. As a result, NHL officials agreed to register the new Kovalchuk contract as it was submitted by New Jersey last week and terminate their reviews of the contracts already registered for Luongo, Savard, Pronger and Hossa.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
...we have yet to see if Bettman will actually punish any of these owners for smashing the spirit of the current collective agreement to smithereens. That would be a lot tougher than pounding this sad-sack union one more time.
The NHLPA just got caught in the train tracks here as a group of influential owners pursued an outlaw agenda, specifically the likes of Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch.
You wouldn’t include New Jersey owner Jeff Vanderbeek in that influential group, at least not yet. But you would believe that Devils president and GM Lou Lamoriello would include himself as one of Bettman’s staunchest supporters.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org