Kukla's Korner Hockey
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…
from CTV Olympics,
The NHL Players’ Association is recommending that players who participate in Olympic orientation camps this summer “seriously consider” purchasing additional insurance coverage in the event of injury because their contracts do not cover activities at the camps.
“The league has taken the position that our members’ Standard Player Contracts (SPC) will not cover activities at the Orientation Camps, and that they will therefore be participating at their own risk,” said Paul Kelly, NHLPA executive director, in a statement.
“Following discussions with Hockey Canada and USA Hockey, they have recently agreed to increase the insurance coverage they are providing to our members invited to their Orientation Camps,” he continued.
“Unfortunately the federations’ insurance coverage is still very limited.”
from NHL Home Ice Blog,
NHL Executive Director Paul Kelly spoke with Scott Laughlin about the lack of offers for RFAs this off-season and the insurance issue for players invited to pre-olympic camps
click to listen to the interview Paul did on Hockey This Morning on XM204…
from Dave Campbell of 630 CHED,
Speaking exclusively on 630 CHED’s “Inside Sports with Dan Tencer”, NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly broke his silence on the Dany Heatley saga on Wednesday night.
“I think that this been kind of twisted in a negative way, which is unfortunate for Dany. I think he’s just a victim of a bad set of circumstances,” said Kelly about Heatley, who requested a trade earlier in the off-season.
“While it is true that he requested a trade, it was not Dany Heatley or his agent that made that fact public. I think Dany’s been unfairly treated by the media and by the (Senators) organization.”
Update 3:05pm ET: More on Heatley from Chris Yzerman at the CP—
While Cory Clouston introduced the newest member of his staff Thursday, talk turned to what’s becoming an old story for the Ottawa Senators coach: what to do about Dany Heatley.
Clouston, speaking on a conference call after the Senators announced the hiring of former NHLer Brad Lauer as an assistant coach, said he’s yet to speak with his disgruntled star. It’s Heatley’s unhappiness over his diminished role and ice time since Clouston took over as head coach that’s been cited as the reason for the left-winger requesting a trade out of Ottawa this spring.
“I’m more than willing to listen and talk to anybody, but nothing’s changed at all,” said Clouston, who was “surprised” at Heatley’s request.
The NHL players’ association (NHLPA) denied on Wednesday it had forced German ice hockey players to miss a pre-Olympic training camp because of concerns they would not be adequately insured in case of injury….
The NHLPA said it had never made any demands about insurance but had simply advised players that the training camps might not be providing enough to cover their contracts or future earnings should they get injured there.
“While our NHLPA members look forward to the opportunity to represent their countries at the Olympics, it is unreasonable to request that players participate in on-ice summer orientation sessions without sufficient insurance against injuries,” Paul Kelly, NHLPA executive director, said on Wednesday.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
There are plenty of rumors swirling around Edmonton’s apparent need for a third line center, most of it focusing on free agents Manny Malhotra and Blair Betts. No doubt the roster would really benefit from the signing of character guy like Malhotra, but his asking price (thought to be three years, $6 million) is too high. The familiarity of coach Tom Renney with Edmonton native Betts makes him a logical fit, too, but the guessing here is that Oilers stick with what they have and hope that an option emerges in camp.
As if the loss of Joe Sakic isn’t enough for the sad-sack Avs to deal with, it looks like the schedulemakers had to get their shots in, too. Colorado, which had a league-low eight back-to-back games in 2008-09, has 16 of them slated for 2009-10. So who catches a break? That would be the Blue Jackets, who led the league with 20 B2Bs last season, but have just 12 on the new sked…
read on for some NHLPA/Olympics talk…
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
No one is suggesting that Kelly leads Bettman and the owners in a rousing version of “Kumbaya” when the two sides get together. There are issues of contention: The limits to which players are willing to submit to enhance the league’s drug-testing policy is one. But there is also an appreciation that the two sides can have different opinions without necessarily being on separate planes, which was how the two sides existed for much of the past two decades.
“I think Paul takes a far more constructive approach to labor relations than Bob Goodenow ever did,” Daly told ESPN.com via e-mail this week. “He works hard to find common ground as opposed to points of conflict. And he clearly understands that success for the players is integrally tied to the league’s success.”
These are interesting, if not complicated, times for the players as they try to make their way in this new global economic order under a CBA that has them more closely tied to the league than at any previous point in NHL history.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the National Hockey League Players Association has filed a grievance over the Chicago Blackhawks mishandling of a number of its qualifying offers and intends to argue the players affected by the mishap, who remain unsigned, should be ruled unrestricted free agents.
The NHL will be notified and can agree with the NHLPA’s filing, or the league can disagree and the case will move on to an expidited hearing.
“In response to various media inquiries, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) confirms today that it has filed a grievance regarding the failure of the Chicago Blackhawks to submit Qualifying Offers to its 2009 Restricted Free Agents prior to the deadline stipulated in the CBA. The NHLPA will make no further comment on the matter, which is now pending before the Impartial Arbitrator,” said Jonathan Weatherdon, NHLPA Spokesperson.
At this moment, it’s the Players’ Association’s contention, these players are unrestricted free agents and free to negotiate with any team.
added 6:16pm, from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
The status of only Versteeg and Barker is in question since the Hawks signed five of their restricted free agents on Monday, including Troy Brouwer, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Corey Crawford and Aaron Johnson.
According to a source, the five restricted free agents chose to re-sign with the Hawks rather than be part of the union’s grievance. Brouwer and Crawford signed two-year deals while Eager, Johnson and Fraser re-uppped for one.
Obviously the agents for Versteeg and Barker see the Hawks’ blunder as a golden opportunity to get their clients a bigger payday.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
According to both the NHL and the NHLPA, the investigation into how and why the Chicago Blackhawks bungled a number of their qualifying offers is ongoing.
Neither side will comment, however since this story broke Friday evening on TSN.ca, interest into how the league and players association will respond is significant.
If the NHL grants leniency and attempts to sweep this issue away, it’s expected the NHLPA will swiftly file a grievance and the matter will go to a hearing.
Sources with hands on knowledge of how qualifying offers have to be filed say as innocent as this mistake may have been, there is no excuse for it, and the league should follow through with the ultimate penalty and declare all players who didn’t received proper notification, unrestricted free agents.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Attendance at the union meetings in Las Vegas was so limited, it seemed as if one had wandered into a game in Glendale. Fact is, the PA did not have enough player reps at its own meeting to tally the vote on the critical issue of voting on the 5-percent cap escalator clause that eventually was adopted through e-mail tally.
Much worse, and perhaps scandalous, is that a number of players went to Las Vegas on the union’s dime, partied, and never bothered to actually, you know, attend the meetings. Wait until the summer meetings in Rome.
The close vote on the escalator indicates executive director Paul Kelly and director of player affairs Glenn Healy do not have the union’s attention. For both these gentlemen understood the critical importance of not allowing the cap to fall by the $2.64 million it would have if the vote had gone the other way.
Slap Shots has learned that the escrow withholding figure for last season has been calculated at a staggering 15.9 percent. That means, for example, that Alex Ovechkin will wind up losing $1.431M of the $9M he thought he was earning last year for the Caps.
more & additional hockey topics too…
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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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