Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
The battle between Paul Kelly and the NHLPA just got even uglier.
The Toronto Star reported Wednesday that the union hired former Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry to investigate whether or not it was correct to fire Kelly for looking at confidential documents.
According to the newspaper, McMurtry found that Kelly committed “a serious breach of trust” and that there was “legal cause to terminate him.”
But the NHLPA should never have hired McMurtry to investigate Kelly.
And McMurtry should never have accepted.
It appears as thought the NHL Players’ Association has made a major blunder in their attempt to prove they had just cause for the firing of former PA head Paul Kelly.
from Lester Munson of ESPN,
Chelios and others have questioned the validity of Kelly’s dismissal, arguing that excluding Kelly from board meetings violated the union’s complex constitution. Kelly and a battery of six lawyers are examining the circumstances of the meeting and other union actions to determine whether Kelly will challenge it, sources said.
Three teams (Carolina, Ottawa, and San Jose) had no representatives at the meeting where Kelly was dismissed. The five teams who voted against Kelly’s dismissal were Anaheim (George Parros), Columbus (TK Malholta), Detroit (Chelios), Edmonton (Sean Horcoff), and Chicago (Adam Buresh). Even as he serves as the group’s interim leader, Penny is under attack by a number of players and agents. As the union’s top lawyer, he has lost four consecutive player grievances. During his time with the union, he has lost more grievances than he has won.
Both Hargrove and Pink were heavily involved in the efforts that led to Kelly’s dismissal. Hargrove is a former official of the auto workers union in Canada, and Pink was a candidate for executive director when the union selected Kelly. The anti-Kelly faction also included former union ombudsman Eric Lindros and union pension chief Kim Murdock.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The NHL Players’ Association held a conference call on Monday night which consisted of the player representatives and full membership.
A source said the call wasn’t contentious at all and the group talked about the procedure and events leading up to Paul Kelly’s firing and was asked to take the discussion back to their teammates for further analysis.
No NHLPA staff, advisory board members or even ombudsman Buzz Hargrove were allowed to participate in the 2 1/2 hour meeting.
Another conference call will be held on October 4, at which point the executive board will recommend how to handle Kelly’s firing.
If the board feels Kelly was fired with just cause, then the remainder of his contract may not be honoured. If that were to happen, it’s believed Kelly would swiftly challenge this decision legally and a new fight will begin.
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Today, the NHLPA will hold the first of two huge conference calls. (The second is scheduled for next Sunday.) Any player can join the discussion. And, if they are truly serious about the future of their association; truly upset about Paul Kelly’s firing, there will be a huge turnout.
What’s clear is that canning him at 3 a.m. – as staunch union supporter Chris Chelios repeatedly asked everyone to sleep on it – made Kelly a sympathetic figure. (By the way, credit to Chelios and Shawn Horcoff for facing the media when both their teams voted against firing Kelly.) Initially, several players who disagreed with the process said they still felt the reasons for firing him were sound. Now, that rationale is under attack.
continued plus links discussing the Eastern Conference…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Next Sunday, with the season under way, another conference call will have all union reps on the line for an annual start-of-the-season meeting of the executive board. Penny, Hargrove, and Pink are expected to be part of it, along with the half-dozen divisional reps that were handpicked by Lindros for their jobs in his days as ombudsman. Ex-Bruin Rob Zamuner is one of the six divisional reps, and according to players who have publicly questioned Kelly’s ouster the last month, Zamuner routinely has called them after the fact to, shall we say, impress upon them that they should not support Kelly.
Quite telling, isn’t it? This is a union that takes votes at 3 a.m. that none of the rank-and-file knows about, then dispatches Zamuner to keep the herd in order. Members, at the very least, should understand that their intelligence, integrity, and dignity are being insulted. At the very least, they should inform Penny, their interim executive director, that they don’t like being played for fools. Maybe he could help them.
The tide is shifting here, ever so slowly, and it could shift dramatically in these next two weeks when the annual voting for union reps is held.
much more plus other NHL notes…
“Let me tell Andrew Ference, one defenseman to another, he should spend more time worrying about going to back to get the puck than to worry about Paul Kelly’s ability to do the job as head of the PA, said Park, who turned 61 years old in July. ‘‘When [Ference] was in junior, I assume he wasn’t going to college…so I ask, what makes him so [expletive] smart?! They had a guy like Chris Chelios in that room [in Chicago] who disagreed, told them to wait and think.
‘‘Maybe guys like Ference should take time to listen to guys who are older and smarter.’‘
-Hall of Fame Defenseman Brad Park on the comments Andrew Ference made about Paul Kelly. More by Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe.
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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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