Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
First, veteran defenceman Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins has been clearly identified by several sources as the key player who led the charge against Kelly that culminated in his 4 a.m. firing in Chicago 11 days ago.
“This was a well-planned, well-thought-out coup d’état,” said one prominent NHL star yesterday, requesting anonymity. “Players are starting to realize what happened in Chicago.”
Second, while anti-Kelly forces are trying to portray him as a second coming of Ted Saskin for gaining access to minutes from a closed-door meeting, left out of the story so far is how the players learned of Kelly’s supposed misconduct.
He told them about it himself.
Third, more and more sources are suggesting that while former union ombudsman Eric Lindros was not involved in the Chicago meetings, Ference is viewed by many as a Lindros confidante. Many believe Lindros will soon rejoin the union after quitting eight months ago.
“My only question is, do they wait one month to rehire (Lindros), or six months? In my opinion, everything that happened proves he never really left,” said one respected NHL veteran.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
...the NHLPA’s acting executive director and general counsel, Ian Penny, explained to ESPN.com on Tuesday that the work of the union goes on despite the criticism. Penny, a key voice in the move to oust Kelly, was in New York to meet with some of the game’s biggest stars as part of an annual media and promotional gathering here.
For him, it was a chance to both reassure those stars that the union is on track and hear concerns players might have about how the Kelly decision came about.
Although he wouldn’t go so far as to suggest the surprise dismissal of an executive director hired less than two years ago served as a wake-up call to a sometimes passive membership, Penny said he has heard from players who expressed an interest in being more involved in union affairs.
“What we’re hearing back is that there’s strong support for the process that the player reps went through [in making the decision to fire Kelly],” Penny said. “But at the same time, there are players that say, ‘You know what, these are pretty heavy decisions and I should be more involved, more informed.’
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Ian Penny, the interim executive director of the NHL Players Association, said the process to find a new union leader hasn’t been determined because some players aren’t sure the old way is the best way to find the right person.
“Some board members expressed to me that we should be creative and think outside the box this time around,” Penny said.
The NHLPA has fired three executive directors in the past four years, including Paul Kelly, who was removed from office at approximately 3 a.m. Aug. 31, 1 after 30 NHL player representatives debated his job performance for many hours in Chicago
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Q: You’re still without a contract, an unrestricted free agent. What’s the outlook for you heading into 2009-10?
A: I’m like a lot of guys around the league, waiting for that right opportunity. It’s frustrating, obviously. We’d like to be settled. We’d like to know where we’re going to be at this point, but there’s no sense rushing into situations.
Q: Do you have offers on the table right now?
A: There’s a lot of things that have to take place. Other moves that have to go down before they open up.
Q: Any regrets about not signing here when the Blue Jackets were talking to you in late June, before free agency?
A: We stressed over and over the fact that we wanted to be here. There were a lot of issues: that we were part of the community, that we had friends outside the game, that I knew my role in the dressing room and on the ice. Those things ... I don’t know how many times I said I wanted to be here. That part about it is frustrating….
more including some NHLPA talk…
I’m just not convinced another lockout three years down the road – or any other time – would automatically spell the doom and gloom others predict.
-Ken Campbell of The Hockey News. More from Ken…
Jeremy was on Leafs Lunch, am640 within the last hour and gave his candid views on the NHLPA move to fire Paul Kelly.
from Craig Custance of the Sporting News,
He’s been voted the most powerful person in hockey by the Hockey News. He’s one of the few players whose name transcends the sport. His opinion matters, perhaps more than any player in hockey.
But when the NHLPA fired its executive director, Paul Kelly, on Monday, Sidney Crosby said he wasn’t consulted.
“I woke up the next day and saw the news like the rest,” Crosby told SportingNews.com.
That’s a huge lapse in judgment by the players on the executive board. It was a decision that happened in the middle of the night, so maybe they were sparing Crosby a 4:00 a.m. phone call.
• Instead of denying the claims of Paul Kelly and Glenn Healy, should the new regime of the NHLPA tell us what really was behind their decision to fire Paul Kelly?
• Why was Darren Dreger the only NHL media member in Chicago covering the NHLPA? Did the Chicago media even know what was going on?
• “Invited to camp” may be in store for numerous NHL players who still do not have a contract for the upcoming season.
• Without the numerous hockey bloggers who continued to work during the summer, this period of downtime would have gone by much slower.
from the CP via TSN,
Former NHLPA boss Paul Kelly has denied an allegation that he misused his office by reading a transcript of a private players’ meeting.
“I cannot stand by and allow this false and misleading attack on my character and reputation,” Kelly said in a statement released Thursday. “I spent almost 10 years as a federal prosecutor, prosecuting numerous cases pertaining to fraud and dishonesty, including one involving a former NHLPA executive director. My personal ethics and reputation are beyond reproach.
What credible candidate can the NHLPA possibly recruit to come in and work in an office with the toxicity level of a night-time soap opera? It’s almost as if Melrose Place were back on the air.
-Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail. More from Eric…
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.
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