Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
...the former Boston prosecutor has done a commendable job of emphasizing process above all else, a commitment to doing things the right way that the NHLPA badly needed.
For example, a number of general managers have been muttering about their unhappiness with the NHLPA for not unilaterally extending the current collective bargaining agreement last spring, on the grounds that it would have made signing veteran players easier because teams could then could defer bonus payments into next year’s cap, as they’ve done throughout the current agreement.
Most people think that’s what will eventually happen; that the players have made out far better than expected in the current agreement and have no appetite to go to war with the owners only four years after losing an entire year out of their careers to a work stoppage.
But rather than just assuming that’s how his membership felt, Kelly wanted to know the answer for sure.
more plus some HHOF talk and other hockey notes…
“We have a building in Kansas City that’s ... NHL ready. My view is the NHL would probably lean towards Kansas City first if it has to relocate a team, but I’m not a big fan of that idea. Kansas City has had a NHL team in the past—it didn’t work out real well. I would be much more in favour of a Canadian franchise if you were gonna move one.
“That said, we’d like to see all the franchises succeed. We are a bit concerned when we see drop-off in places like Atlanta, in places like Florida, Phoenix ... I’ve been to those buildings—the people who follow the sport are passionate about it. We just need more of them.”
-Paul Kelly, Executive Director of the NHLPA. More from Kelly by Randy Sportak of he Calgary Sun.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The NHLPA filed an unfair labor practice charge against the NHL with the National Labor Relations Board in New York today, The Post has learned.
The action by the Players’ Association immediately followed notification that the union had lost its grievance against the NHL regarding “defected player status” for drafted and unsigned Europeans.
Glenn Healy talks with Craig Custance at the Sporting News Today on the subject of head hits which is the hot topic these days.
Will softer shoulder pads be part of the answer?
From Pierre LeBrun at ESPN,
It’s time to stop calling Paul Kelly the “new” leader of the players’ union. On Friday, he celebrated his one-year anniversary on the job as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association.
“Today is the big day,” Kelly told ESPN.com in an interview Friday.
Much has changed in his 365 days in office. The players’ union was a divided group when Kelly came on board, still reeling from its controversial decision to accept the sport’s first salary cap in order to end the NHL lockout three years ago.
continued… with a look back and looking ahead
from Mike Smith at the Hockey News,
The NHL is entering the fourth season under the new collective bargaining agreement. The first three years have witnessed significant revenue growth that has led to an increase in club payrolls.
Salaries, from the players’ perspective, have risen nicely.
There is a notion the new agreement has helped the players more than the clubs. But before you make an assessment, you need to read the entire pact. There is likely to be a major shift back toward the clubs during the 2008-09 season.
Paul Kelly has been executive director the National Hockey League Players Association for less than a year, but he already has formed some strong opinions on how the game should approach its business.
- There should be at least one more franchise in Canada
- Expansion – or relocation – to Europe makes sense
- Jim Balsillie should be an NHL owner
read on as Paul Kelly sits down with Daren Millard of Hockey Central.
from the CP via TSN,
Anyone who played in the NHL last season can expect to receive a nice little bonus by the end of the month.
A source tells The Canadian Press that the players will be given back all of the money they paid into escrow last season….
Some players will receive fairly sizable cheques.
For example, Daniel Briere and Scott Gomez each earned US$10 million last season. They’ll both get back the $950,000 they paid into escrow plus interest and an additional $48,000 or so to cover the shortfall in overall salary payments.
from the CP,
“I think that it has worked better for the players than they anticipated coming out of the lockout in 2005,” he (Paul Kelly) said recently. “I think there was a great deal of fear and unhappiness (when it was signed). There was a lot of unhappiness about the fact that the players had agreed to a rollback of salaries by 28 per cent. There was a fear of what a cap system was going to mean - not only for them personally, but for their team.
“I think as it has evolved ... it’s actually worked relatively well.”
Of course, there are elements of the deal he’d prefer to see changed.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
BERLIN—It looks like the NHL is going for reinforcements in its European invasion.
With four teams in Europe to kick off the 2008-09 regular season this week it’s possible that number could double next fall, the head of the National Hockey League’s Players’ Association, Paul Kelly, said Sunday.
The number of teams taking part in what is now a two-year tradition of starting the regular season in Europe will grow next fall to six teams presumably in three cities and maybe as many as eight teams, Kelly said before the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off against Berlin in an exhibition game Sunday.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org