Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
“Obviously some guys are a little louder than others when they give comments, and they get more play. But guys are very comfortable with the decision that we made. We did the right thing. It doesn’t make me feel any different from the moment that we had the meetings.’’
-Andrew Ference on the removal of Paul Kelly. More from Fluto Shinzawa at the Boston Globe.
“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…
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 email@example.com