Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.’
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
Ian Penny, the interim executive director of the NHL Players Association, said the process to find a new union leader hasn’t been determined because some players aren’t sure the old way is the best way to find the right person.
“Some board members expressed to me that we should be creative and think outside the box this time around,” Penny said.
The NHLPA has fired three executive directors in the past four years, including Paul Kelly, who was removed from office at approximately 3 a.m. Aug. 31, 1 after 30 NHL player representatives debated his job performance for many hours in Chicago
from Aaron Portzline of Puck-Rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Q: You’re still without a contract, an unrestricted free agent. What’s the outlook for you heading into 2009-10?
A: I’m like a lot of guys around the league, waiting for that right opportunity. It’s frustrating, obviously. We’d like to be settled. We’d like to know where we’re going to be at this point, but there’s no sense rushing into situations.
Q: Do you have offers on the table right now?
A: There’s a lot of things that have to take place. Other moves that have to go down before they open up.
Q: Any regrets about not signing here when the Blue Jackets were talking to you in late June, before free agency?
A: We stressed over and over the fact that we wanted to be here. There were a lot of issues: that we were part of the community, that we had friends outside the game, that I knew my role in the dressing room and on the ice. Those things ... I don’t know how many times I said I wanted to be here. That part about it is frustrating….
more including some NHLPA talk…
I’m just not convinced another lockout three years down the road – or any other time – would automatically spell the doom and gloom others predict.
-Ken Campbell of The Hockey News. More from Ken…
Jeremy was on Leafs Lunch, am640 within the last hour and gave his candid views on the NHLPA move to fire Paul Kelly.
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.
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