Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I think that the younger players in this league have to take a long, hard look at some of the guys that are still standing after the afternmath. It’s really going to be up to them. If anything is going to be done, it’s the young stars of this league that have to be the driving force. They’ll always have guys like me and long union guys for support and advice if they need, but this next collective bargaining agreement is not going to be about guys like me.
“Having been a player rep for about 18 of my 22 seasons and being a close friend of Ted Lindsay and knowing what he did to start this union and the sacrifices he made, I feel deeply about it being in good hands.”
-Brendan Shanahan on the NHLPA. More from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice.
Signs, symptoms and playing safe!
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Reaction to Paul Kelly’s firing as executive director of the NHLPA continues, more than two weeks after his early morning dismissal in a Chicago boardroom.
NHL player agents, J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson of CAA Hockey have tried to make sense of Kelly’s fall, specifically the process in which it unfolded, to help the players they represent understand the sudden change in union leadership.
However, Brisson and Barry who represent a number of NHL stars including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane, Dany Heatley, Daniel Briere and Mats Sundin, plus NHLPA executive board members, Robyn Regehr, Shawn Horcoff and Maxime Talbot, believe the “process” in which Kelly was fired was flawed.
continued for a statement issued by the two agents…
added 10:02pm, from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Can toothpaste be pushed back into the tube? Not really, no. Can the genie be crammed back into the bottle? Accounts vary, but the general consensus is that it’s rather difficult, too. Can the National Hockey League Players’ Association be convinced by its membership that it has become a Kremlinesque laughingstock in order to rectify its most recent and regrettable blunder?
No, probably not.
from Camwest News Service via the National Post,
Chris Chelios is planning to talk with other players about the possibility of bringing back Paul Kelly as executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association, according to a report on the website of a Montreal radio station.
According to the CKAC report, Chelios said he was misinformed when he was told Kelly was in a conflict of interest with Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux - two former players who have stakes in NHL teams. CKAC reports that perceived conflict led to Kelly’s downfall. Chelios, currently a free agent, has a long history with the union.
I am all for that, how about you?
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Kelly forces, which include a number of veteran players, maintain the firing was nothing more than a palace coup orchestrated by general counsel Ian Penny, advisory counsel board members Ron Pink and Ian Troop, former ombudsman Eric Lindros and interim ombudsman Buzz Hargrove.
They continue to feel that the meeting in Chicago where Kelly was dismissed was a sham and that Penny and Hargrove pressed them into a vote at 3:45 a.m. because they knew the result wouldn’t have gone their way had they had the benefit of sober second thought and a good night’s sleep.
Other revelations, which have come to light via sources close to the situation who spoke to The Hockey News on a condition of anonymity, include:
• Of the five players on the executive committee who voted against dismissing Kelly, four of them were Chelios, Shawn Horcoff of the Edmonton Oilers, Adam Burish of Chicago Blackhawks and Manny Malhotra of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Thursday night in Toronto, Gordie Howe and (Ted) Lindsay coaxed Kelly into attending an NHL Players Alumni dinner in Toronto, where a banquet room full of retirees treated him to a protracted and boisterous standing ovation. These are guys with a memory, recalling that it was Kelly, in his days as a Boston-based prosecutor, who finally exposed the evil deeds perpetrated against the players by former PA boss Alan Eagleson, sending the Eagle off to the slammer.
All these years later, it seems the players have adopted Eagleson’s calculating and tyrannical approach, shooing Kelly off the watch without just cause.
Leave it to the PA. They had the right guy, and they Just Said No. Again.
more plus a mix of NHL topics…
“If the CEO of IBM has leadership issues, trust issues, issues in the office, it’s a no-brainer. You pull the trigger because it’s not working, it’s very frustrating. The last thing you want is turmoil. It would be great if everything ran well and people were happy. Even if things weren’t great, it would have been easy to say, ‘Let’s leave it alone and let them figure it out.’ But that would be far from doing the right thing.
“We made the decision to take the high road and not air our dirty laundry. We decided to do things in a professional manner ... I’m not into he said/she said. I was in the room. I know the facts. When we present our teammates with the facts they’re very supportive. That’s all that matters to me.”
-Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins on the firing of Paul Kelly. More from Ference by Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
People have got this whole story wrong – and I’ve had it up to here (picture me with my hand stretched high above my satellite-sized noggin) with the outrageous amount of player bashing that’s followed Kelly’s dismissal.
I’ve got nothing against Kelly, by far the most humble, progressive and thoroughly decent man ever to hold the PA’s top post. The players may yet come to rue the day they cut him loose.
But how team owners and league brass have evaded any sort of blame for the environment that led to Kelly’s firing is beyond me.
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.’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org