Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Be it Tuesday or Sunday, depending on ongoing office politics at the NHL Players Association office in Toronto, the player representatives, including Mark Stuart as Boston’s new spokesman, are expected to hook up on a long conference call. Their aims are to figure out:
1. What to do with the PA’s existing leadership group (Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Groucho) in Toronto; 2. How to eliminate the many pitfalls in the language of the PA’s constitution; 3. How to go about finding a new executive director; 4. How fast to pay Paul Kelly, dumped some six week ago as union boss, the nearly $2 million he is due on his contract, before, as noted here from the start, it turns into a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. No one is laughing at these guys more, players and current union leaders included, than the folks at the NHL offices in New York and the club owners.
many more hockey notes…
from Lester Munson of ESPN,
David Feher, a nationally recognized sports labor law expert, is interested in helping the struggling NHL Players Association solve its problems….
“David Feher has a long history of player advocacy and would be just what the players need at this time,” said Paul Haagen, a professor at Duke and one of the nation’s leading authorities on sports and labor law.
“He is aggressive when it is necessary, and, more importantly, he can be calm and take a considered approach to the issues when it is necessary,” Haagen added. “With the brutal infighting that has gone on at this point, David will know how to end the warfare and to move into what works collectively for the players.”
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
Even though they did not have voting privileges because they are not player reps for their teams, sources said both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby were on the call for a period of time.
In other union news, Andrew Ference, a leader in the charge to fire Kelly, has effectively been ousted as the Boston Bruins player representative and will no longer be a member of the executive board. Ference has been replaced by Mark Recchi, who made it known to his teammates that he would contest Ference’s spot and run against him in a vote among the Bruin players. Patrice Bergeron was appointed alternate player rep.
Plus on AM 640 Toronto, Buzz Hargrove will bein studio on The Bill Watters Show at 5:40PM ET in response to Russ Conway’s accusations of Buzz accessing Paul Kelly’s emails.
You can listen here...
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League Players’ Association conducted its fair share of business Sunday night, including an executive board vote in favour of negotiating a contract settlement with former executive director Paul Kelly.
That much is clear.
What’s open to debate is how the 30-member executive board voted on tearing up the five-year contract of legal counsel Ian Penny and firing ombudsman Buzz Hargrove and advisory board chairman Ron Pink. Sources have said the executive did precisely that only to learn the vote didn’t count since several players had dropped off the call because of its six-hour length. Others have said it was more a straw poll than an official vote.
The NHLPA’s constitution calls for 25 players to form a quorum and 20 votes to pass a motion. Sources said there were votes on the future of Penny, Hargrove and Pink but that the 25 and 20 numbers were not reached thereby rendering the process meaningless.
via Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The final escrow number (basically the percentage of player salaries the players gave back to the NHL for league overspending) for last season has been made official and it’s 12.9 per cent.
That means whatever the face value of a contract was for 2008-09, the player actually receives 12.9 per cent less than that.
But since the amount of escrow money withheld last season was around 18 per cent, the players will be getting a cheque cut, worth about five per cent of their salary. It’s not a refund per se, since the money collected belonged to them in the first place.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The idea of naming a player—an athlete without a college degree, no less—to direct a union rather than selecting a labor lawyer or a Fortune 500 corporate attorney or board member, may seem naive, but no one is better educated in the history between the NHL and NHLPA than Shanahan, who has endured one strike and two lockouts through a career that commenced in 1987.
There isn’t a soul who would be on the players’ side who understands the mentality of Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors more acutely than Shanahan, who played a key role in the talks that ended both the 1994-95 deadlock and the 2004-05 stalemate after being invited into the negotiations both times by Bob Goodenow.
Understand, Shanahan has not officially retired. He most certainly has not thrown his hat into the ring for the vacancy at the top of the union. When I asked him on Thursday whether he would consider joining the NHLPA in an executive capacity, Shanahan responded by text, “Haven’t had time to consider anything.”
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• There’s nothing wrong with toughness but there is something wrong when two fighters, who aren’t even part of the game, square off because they believe it’s their job to do so.
• The Boston Bruins would love to deal NHL Players’ Association rebel Andrew Ference, but who wants a mediocre defenceman with misguided political aspirations?
• What’s next for the messed up NHLPA, after ignorantly hiring Al Eagleson’s buddy, Roy McMurtry, to explain the Paul Kelly dismissal. Why not hire Ted Saskin? Bob Goodenow? Or why doesn’t Ian Penny just resign and let the PA start over again?
Coach’s Corner tonight- Don talks Leafs goaltending, NHLPA, Andrei Markov injory & Matt Duchene is going to be the rookie of the year.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Trust, NHL players say, is the foundation of a solid union.
When asked if the players trust the players association’s leadership, a union member responded, “No way, we have to fix it, once and for all.”
Fixing it may require further change, with sources indicating the futures of NHLPA interim executive director Ian Penny, union ombudsman Buzz Hargrove, and members of the PA’s advisory board will be called into question when the executive board conducts its next conference call Sunday.
That will be a call that Sidney Crosby - arguably the most powerful player in the world - intends to be on, as he was this past Monday when the group last conferenced to discuss the unions issues.
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.
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