Kukla's Korner Hockey
TORONTO/CHICAGO (August 31, 2009) – The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that it has voted overwhelmingly to relieve Paul Kelly of his duties as Executive Director, effective immediately.
The NHLPA Executive Board, consisting of one Player Representative from each of the 30 NHL teams, made the announcement at their annual meetings in Chicago, Illinois. This decision by the Executive Board follows an in-depth analysis of the NHLPA’s operations.
Statement from the NHLPA Executive Board:
“Following the Executive Board’s review of the overall operation of the NHLPA, it was decided that Paul Kelly should no longer continue to serve as Executive Director. We appreciate Mr. Kelly’s service to our Association.”
The Executive Board will immediately begin putting together a search committee that will identify and interview potential candidates for the vacant Executive Director’s position.
added 9:57am, from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
NHLPA staff members Glenn Healy, the director of player affairs, Pat Flatley, the assistant director of player affairs and Penny attended the proceedings. A source stated that both Healy and Flately were pro-Kelly, while Penny wanted to see a change at the top.
There was a report Monday morning that Flatley resigned his post after the Kelly announcement.
There also have been charges made from the pro-Kelly camp that Lindros continued to play a behind-the-scenes role in the attempted coup.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Paul Kelly has been fired as executive director of the National Hockey League players association.
The decision was made by the NHLPA’s executive board, made up of 30 NHL player representatives following several hours of meetings in Chicago.
Kelly spent much of Sunday night waiting in a corridor outside the boardroom while the executive board deliberated, twice inviting interim ombudsman, Buzz Hargrove in to the discussions before a final vote and decision was made.
Kelly was invited back into the board meeting along with general counsel Ian Penny where he learned his fate.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
There are suggestions that Kelly is in trouble for not taking a hard enough line (suggesting in one interview, for instance, that his job in the next contract negotiation was to avoid a lockout rather than to secure the best possible deal for the players). But many people inside and outside the NHLPA’s membership are pointing fingers directly at Lindros (and his parents) now, suggesting that he is the driving force behind what appears to be a budding insurrection.
Hockey fans can be forgiven for not caring about any of that. Battles among millionaires don’t exactly tug at the heartstrings, especially at a time of real economic woes for real people.
But that said, anyone who is interested in a resolution of the Phoenix debacle that would result in a seventh NHL franchise in Canada, or who would like the pros to continue playing in the Olympic Games after 2010, has a vested interest in who is leading the PA.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly, who has been on the job less than two years, is facing intense scrutiny according to union sources and his status may be challenged when the Players’ Association’s 30-member executive committee convenes Sunday and Monday in Chicago at a regularly scheduled meeting.
Sources tell TSN that NHLPA interim ombudsman, Buzz Hargrove, is expected to make a presentation to the committee identifying concerns within the association about Kelly’s leadership. No details have emerged about the nature of the concerns.
Sources say it’s possible the executive committee could vote to have Kelly removed and, in accordance with the NHLPA constitution, could do so without consent from the full membership of NHL players.
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
Paul Kelly, executive director of the NHL Players Association, said he would be surprised if the investigation of Marian Hossa’s contract with the Blackhawks resulted in a ruling against the team.
“Based upon everything that we know, those contracts are perfectly valid and proper under the terms of the (collective bargaining agreement),” Kelly said, speaking Tuesday at the USA Hockey Olympic camp in Woodridge.
NHLPA head Paul Kelly discusses the NHLPA donation to the Goals & Dreams Program from USA Hockey Camp in Woodridge, IL.
“It has been a relatively busy summer with free agency and some trades. It’s died down a bit and I think you’ve seen some GMs show restraint and patience, but there’s still been some big deals out there. I think once the [Dany] Heatley situation is resolved too, you will see more trades and signings as well as when camp gets closer, teams will need to address cap issues and fill out rosters. It will heat up soon.”
-Paul Kelly, Executive Director of the NHLPA. More about Kelly from James Murphy at NESN.
from Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald via the National Post,
As far as Hockey Canada is concerned, the issue of insurance coverage for the country’s best players has a giant check mark beside it.
“Everything is fine,” Johnny Misley, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations, said regarding the controversy over insurance coverage for NHLplayers attending the upcoming orientation camp for potential 2010 Olympic team members.
“We have secured insurance to help protect the players - given the low risk there is - to give them peace of mind.”
Peace of mind doesn’t describe the mindsets of the NHL or NHL Players’ Association - at least judging by recent public comments regarding the camp.
added 7:50pm, Icethetics may have the first pictures of what the Team Canada sweater may look like for 2010.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
• Revenues for 2008-09 have yet to be finalized. But based on current projections, players will earn only 85-87 percent of their contracts because of escrow. For example, Alex Ovechkin, due $9 million in 2008-09, would take home $7.65 million in pre-tax earnings. For 2009-10, escrow could become even more significant to make up for any revenue shortfalls. The 2009-10 figure hasn’t been set yet, but some agents are informing their clients that 20 percent of their salaries could be tucked away via escrow. “You always err on the side of caution,’’ said Andrew Ference, the Bruins’ player representative….
• For those fretting about Phil Kessel remaining unsigned, remember that there is no rush for either side to put pen to paper. The 21-year-old forward might not be ready to play until December because of rehabilitation following shoulder surgery. Kessel can continue his rehab and see if the Bruins sputter at the start, which could put pressure on the club to lock him up….
more hockey notes, most Bruins related…
If the NHL truly believed the Olympics were important, that the quadrennial tournament was an important marketing platform for the NHL and its players, the league wouldn’t play cutesy with the orientation camp insurance. They would expand the clauses in the collective bargaining agreement that ensures players’ contracts are guaranteed during international play, including the Olympic tournament to include the camps. End of story.
-Scott Burnside of ESPN. More from Scott on this topic…
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