Kukla's Korner Hockey
On Sunday, Buzz Hargrove announced that he is leaving his post as interim Ombudsman for the NHLPA. He had held the role since March 1, 2009 after serving on the Advisory Board for five months prior to that. Eric Lindros was Ombudsman before Hargrove.
“After much reflection I have come to the conclusion that under the current circumstances at the NHLPA that I can not perform the duties of Ombudsman as outlined in the NHLPA constitution,” said Hargrove in a media release. “Therefore I am resigning as interim ombudsman effective immediately.”
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
On the surface, the fight inside the NHLPA is all about Paul Kelly’s firing. But, it goes deeper than that. Right now, the union finds itself at a crossroads, in the middle of its most important decisions since the overthrow of Alan Eagleson. It’s not only about who will lead - it’s also about where to go with the next CBA, how to motivate a disinterested majority and how to rebuild an organization rife with distrust.
“I don’t know how it got this bad,” one player, active within the union, said this week. “We have a lot of work to do.”
read on (suggested reading)...
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
What they need is someone with a hockey background who has played on both sides of the street. The best-case scenario is that he’s a lawyer, has worked in the NHL front office, must have held an executive position with an NHL team to understand the players’ needs, and has to be strong enough and knows enough about what goes on within league ranks to play on a level field with Bettman.
He has to know what is needed by the players, know what the game itself needs to grow.
The man I have in mind who is eminently qualified for the post is out there. Trouble is, nobody associated with the NHLPA’s search committee is aware of it.
Don’t ask me who I would go after. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Publicly, the NHL’s position – on the rare occasions when commissioner Gary Bettman will discuss the NHLPA’s trials and tribulations – is that the league believes a strong union is good for business.
Deep down, it is hard to imagine they truly believe that. Otherwise, would they have not have discouraged Sens owner Eugene Melnyk from filing a complaint that seems like a sure-fire loser, given that Heatley – whatever you may think about him asking for a trade after negotiating a no-movement clause - did not technically breach his contract….
In some ways, the NHL has inadvertently done the players a favour by heading down this path. Just in case the players association required further evidence of the need for strong leadership heading into the next CBA talks, this pre-emptive shot across the union’s bow can only reinforce that belief.
And the NHLPA does have one card to play – the option of extending the CBA to 2012, or for an extra year beyond the original six-year term, to prepare for the battle that lies ahead.
That extension, you’d think, is as good as done…
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The executive board of the NHL Players’ Association held an emergency conference call Sunday night, sources told ESPN.com, feeling the need to quickly convene after a turbulent weekend.
In the wake of Ian Penny’s departure Friday as general counsel and interim executive director as well as the resignation of outside counsel and advisory board members through the course of the weekend, the players’ union got the board together, or the player reps, on Sunday night to take the pulse of the situation.
“Private union matters should remain in the locker room and PA offices. Internal disagreements should not be waged through the press.
“Some members of the media may have conflicting interests, leading to biased or inaccurate reporting.”
-Ken Baumgartner who resigned from his advisory board position this weekend. More from Baumgartner by Tim Wharnsby of CBC.
Former NHL star Steve Larmer is very concerned about the fate of the NHL Players Association.
In a letter of resignation to the NHLPA obtained by Hockeycentral, Larmer wrote: The NHLPA constitution that was created in 2005 has now been suspended. Certain players with the assistance of their agents have, in a sense, hijacked the union. They have used the cover of an operations review to paralyze the NHLPA staff and placed certain employees under surveillance. It is my understanding that the former executive director Paul Kelly has communicated with Chris Chelios and Shawn Horcoff and others directing them to investigate the affairs of the PA.”
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…
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 email@example.com