Kukla's Korner Hockey
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 Ference has been replaced by Mark Recchi, who made it known to his teammates that he would contest Ference’s spot and run against him in a vote among the Bruin players.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.
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.
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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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