Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Johnston of the CP via TheRecord,
The executive director of the NHL Players’ Association still isn’t sure exactly how much impact the crumbling economy will have on the league beyond next season.
Kelly presided over an annual meeting with certified player agents on Thursday and spent plenty of time addressing economic issues.
He figures the salary cap will be between $54 million and $57 million next season, but he can’t say what will happen in 2010-11.
“It’s like predicting the weather - you get about three or four days out and you can’t do it reliably,” said Kelly.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
...Being the league’s statistician, it was a simple matter for Andrews to release these numbers to the media, and in 1967, the league made it official. Plus-minus became a recognized statistic.
But that was more than 40 years ago and the game has changed a lot since then. Now, we have specialists. We have coaches who have elevated the art of line-matching to a science.
As a result, certain defensemen will always be on the ice against the opposition’s top lines. So if you’re constantly going head to head against the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and so on, how can your plus-minus have any relevance whatsoever when compared to the defensemen on your team who only get off the bench to play against third and fourth lines?
more plus some Kelly/Lindros talk…
from the CP via TSN,
The head of the NHL Players’ Association believes it’s time to consider a rule mandating helmet use during fights, and to examine the role of one-dimensional enforcers in the game.
While a “clear majority” of players want fighting to remain a part of hockey, Paul Kelly feels his constituency is open to new restrictions on how the gloves are dropped.
“A couple that we’ve talked about that ought to be looked at anyway is, do you consider a rule whereby players need to keep a helmet on during the course of a fight, and perhaps require officials to step in if a helmet comes off during a fight,” Kelly told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Conn Smythe Celebrities Dinner and Auction….
Kelly, however, didn’t stop there.
Acknowledging the role fighting has in policing the tenor of play on the ice, he added that so-called “staged fights” between two players with skill sets limited to chucking knuckles may no longer have a place on the ice.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Last summer, at union meetings in Chicago, Lindros arrived with a laundry list of complaints, including some directly aimed at Kelly. In the end, the rest of the key union executives backed Kelly and gave Lindros a rap across the knuckles.
That destroyed the relationship between the two men, and it was hardly a shock when Lindros departed yesterday, although nobody’s saying whether this was a resignation or a firing.
So the latest round of NHLPA bloodletting has again become public.
More specifically, a union that has in the past had difficultly dealing with dissension and disagreement in its ranks has again dealt harshly with an individual viewed as a troublemaker.
The NHLPA ombudsman Eric Lindros has resigned from his post, Sportsnet has learned.
Lindros was hired by the Players’ Association back in November of 2007. The newly created position was added under the ratified NHLPA constitution and allowed Lindros to resolve any complaints by members and/or staff of the NHLPA while reporting directly to the executive board.
from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,
...despite the ‘all’s well’ speeches from both management and the player’s union, the undercurrent is one of great unhappiness with what’s gone down so far.
Sources told Sportsnet.ca that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s decision to suspend Detroit Red Wings Nik Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk for bowing out of the festivities was viewed as a challenge to NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly. Conversely Kelly’s decision to use the gathering to announce that the players had voted not to reopen the contract and his thoughts on international play was a partial affront to the Commissioner as it came on his showcase turf.
According to one source the player’s union felt Bettman’s suspension was a part of a hastily devised policy that came without input from the PA and that it was arbitrary aas well as being patently unfair. They also felt Bettman’s statement on the players’ decision to extend the collective bargaining agreement was structured to read that he was pleased that the players were on board with the program as crafted by him in the wake of the lockout and that that was a subtle jab to let Kelly know who’s running the show here.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Zach Parise is 24 years old, one of the brightest young stars in the NHL and a pro athlete pulling down millions of dollars in annual pay.
Yet as of yesterday, Parise seemed unaware he was already out almost $170,000 in salary for this season, with another $310,000 or more still to lose.
The New Jersey Devils forward, a participant in tomorrow’s NHL All-Star Game, is one of hundreds of NHL players who are about to be struck by the bombshell that the deteriorating North American economy is about to take enormous bites out of their paycheques.
According to the projections of NHL Players’ Association boss Paul Kelly, his members will collectively return about $217 million back to the league this season as NHL revenues plummet.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Friday’s announcement that the National Hockey League’s players would extend the collective-bargaining agreement at least through the fall of 2011 may be seen by some as a kind of achievement, an end piece.
It’s not. It is a beginning.
And unless both the NHL and its players use the intervening time to continue to work at deficiencies in the current agreement and ensure labor peace well beyond the life of the CBA, then the announcement will be pointless.
“While the NHLPA’s membership has issues with the current Agreement, the players and their Executive Board decided that due to the current economic conditions as well as the players’ focus on continuing to help grow this game and expose our great athletes to many more fans, now is not the appropriate time to enter complex labour negotiations.”——NHLPA Executive Director, Paul Kelly
TORONTO/MONTREAL (January 23, 2009) – The Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) announced today that the NHLPA has declined to exercise its option to terminate the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) following the 2008-09 season. The current CBA between the NHLPA and the National Hockey League will remain in effect for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.
from Stephen Brunt of the Globe and Mail,
How is it the NHLPA, under its newest executive director, Paul Kelly, is expected to announce Friday its membership has declined to reopen its collective agreement with the league, as is its right, and will play on under the current contract until 2011?
That deal, cut under duress, cut after their union was effectively broken, is working just fine for the players, thanks. They’ll say all the right things about not wanting a labour disruption during these trying economic times, but the bottom line is they continue to earn loads of dough in a vigorous market for talent, while league owners are faced with several teams now teetering on the brink of insolvency….
If anything, those clubs are in worse shape now than they were before the lockout, their decline accelerated by the credit crunch and ensuing recession, coupled with shaky ownership.
If they’re still in business come 2011 — and who would like to bet their life on that right now? — the next labour war won’t cure what’s wrong with them, either.
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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