Kukla's Korner Hockey
This is a letter written by Ian Penny, former interim executive director of the NHLPA on October 23, 2009 to the organization’s player executive board. It details reasons why he believes he was constructively dismissed by the NHLPA. It was obtained by CBCSports.ca
Executive Board Members: I am writing to the Board in my capacity as Interim Executive Director to share my concerns about a number of very troubling issues, including surveillance activities at the NHLPA office; the leaking of confidential information from Board meetings; fatal flaws with the review of operations; and my personal situation. I recognize that I am in a conflicted position when I comment on the review and some of the other office issues that concern me, but it remains my duty to advise the Board on these types of matters.
HockeyCentral @ Noon’s Nick Kypreos has learned that The NHLPA has shut down its operations. Interim Executive Director Ian Penny and Ombudsman Buzz Hargrove has also had their responsibilities suspended. According to Kypreos, the NHLPA “is not a functioning organisation right now.” Further, he added that Penny has been “constructively dismissed.”
added 2:21pm, Same link as above but story has been updated,
Ian Penny has resigned his position as interim Executive Director for the NHLPA. This decision comes shortly after Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos learned the organisation prevented Penny and Ombudsman Buzz Hargrove from contacting player representatives. According to Kypreos, the NHLPA “is not a functioning organisation right now.”
The National Hockey League Players’ Association made the following statement today:
“Interim Executive Director Ian Penny informed the NHLPA staff and the NHLPA Executive Board earlier today that it is his position he has been constructively dismissed as Interim Executive Director of the NHLPA and can no longer work in the present circumstances. Effective today, Ian Penny is no longer employed by the NHLPA.
There have been inaccurate media reports circulating today that the NHLPA has suspended operations. The NHLPA staff continues to work very hard on behalf of the players in all areas of the Association’s business and will continue to do so going forward.
The NHLPA will make no further comment today on this internal matter.”
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Speaking of the NHLPA, the irony is just too rich. Former executive director Paul Kelly was dismissed in August by the NHLPA’s 30 player reps in large part due to a fishy staff review spearheaded by general counsel Ian Penny, who assumed Kelly’s role on an interim basis.
Now, those player reps have decided they need to get straight how all of this nastiness unfolded and formed a four-person committee that includes Chris Chelios, Rob Blake, Nicklas Lidstrom and Mark Recchi. Now, it’s Penny complaining about the “poisonous” atmosphere around the NHLPA offices.
In a memo to the league’s 30 player reps, Penny accused Chelios, a supporter of Kelly who tried to stop the middle-of-the-night vote to oust Kelly, of using union staffers to spy on other union officials.
Penny wrote: “This completely inappropriate conduct has created a hostile, fractured and distrustful work environment. It is the type of environment that exists in repressive, totalitarian regimes—not work places.”
read on & more topics included such as head shots, Toronto, Atlanta and Pat Quinn…
If you missed the Hot Stove on HNIC tonight, you can read about it at CBC or watch the video.
added 11:35pm, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN may have touched on subjects here that he did not mention in the Hotstove segment.
TORONTO (October 23, 2009) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Board has voted 25-5 passing a resolution to have Rob Blake, Chris Chelios, Nicklas Lidstrom and Mark Recchi form a committee to review NHLPA operations and submit its recommendations to the Executive Board of the NHLPA.
Rob, Chris, Nik and Mark will convene a conference call in the next few days to determine: the nature and extent of the review; the advisors who will be recommended to be retained to assist them; and the next steps to take.
There will be no further comment from the committee or NHLPA staff on these internal union matters until its work is complete and it has reported to the Executive Board and the players as required by the resolution establishing the committee.
Sources say the NHLPA has completed its vote and has passed the implementation of a four member review committee to investigate the unions internal operations.
Veterans Chris Chelios, Mark Recchi, Rob Blake and Nicklas Lidstrom will handle the review which is expected to include interviews with current PA employees, discussions with former PA executives Paul Kelly and Glenn Healy, plus the possibility of an extensive look at email correspondence over the past several months.
Sources say the final vote was 25-5 in favor of this review.
from Elliotte Friedman & Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
The number one reaction to the NHLPA’s 19-3 vote in favour of forming a players committee to review the entire organization has been disappointment.
This sentiment was expressed because most players and agents felt that the Chris Chelios-led conference on Sunday evening was an extremely important step in rebuilding the tattered union.
But eight player reps either did not partake in the call or did not vote, leaving Chelios one vote short of the necessary 20 and three shy of the 25 required for a quorum.
Under the new NHLPA constitution, players can still cast a vote up to 72 hours after the conference call.
The speculation is that Chelios will eventually get his desired result.
via Darren Dreger of TSN,
Former NHL Players’ Association executive director Paul Kelly has commended the Association for the formation of a review committee to investigate the internal operations of the Union, but still believes there is more work to be done.
“I applaud the players for taking this initial, but important step. I welcome a complete review of what transpired at the NHLPA and the reasons behind it.” Kelly told TSN.
...not getting enough players on a call for a vote suggests there are still too many guys who can’t see beyond the end of their respective noses. This is a story that doesn’t resonate for many fans. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to resonate with enough players, either.
-Scott Burnside from ESPN writing about the NHLPA. Many more hockey notes from Scott…
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
According to several sources, Chris Chelios has a plan. The future Hall of Famer wants change and will propose an enormous one. Over the past few weeks, he has been reaching out to several highly respected former players, asking them to join a kind of “leadership council” that will run the union until a new executive director is found. It’s why Chelios has yet to report to the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves – he’s been working on this.
Among those contacted: Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin (both, apparently, have declined); Mike Richter (still considering); Brendan Shanahan (still might play or join an organization) and Trevor Linden (who has accepted). The most interesting thing about this move is that it involves Linden and, potentially, Shanahan.
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