Kukla's Korner Hockey
TORONTO (December 5, 2008): NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly’s statement regarding the suspension of Sean Avery for six regular season games:
“While the NHLPA does not condone Sean’s comments, which were clearly inappropriate, the discipline imposed by the Commissioner is unprecedented both in its severity, as well as the process by which it was handed down. We have also seen signals from the Dallas Stars that Sean’s contractual rights might be challenged. We are monitoring the situation as it develops, and we will evaluate all legal options as the circumstances warrant. In the meantime, our first priority is supporting Sean’s efforts to learn from his mistake and move forward in a positive manner.”
from Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal,
The NHL Players’ Association overhauled its constitution a year ago to prevent the union from repeating the errors of its past, but the union’s new structure is now causing friction between Executive Director Paul Kelly and ombudsman Eric Lindros.
Kelly and Lindros, once staunch supporters of each other, are increasingly at odds over their roles at the union, according to numerous hockey and sports industry sources.
continued and thanks to Sports Business Journal for allowing a normally paid subscription to be posted.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Star has learned the NHLPA has filed a grievance over the Washington Capitals’ refusal to allow representatives of the union into the Capitals room.
The union believes this to be a violation of the agreement, which states: “No one other than NHL, NHLPA or team representatives or properly accredited members of the Media shall be allowed in dressing rooms during Media access periods.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the issue is isolated to one club. “From our perspective, it’s not something either the collective bargaining agreement or applicable law provides for or guarantees, and our position is that each club has the latitude to establish its own policy,” Daly said.
I asked the Capitals about this situation this morning and they are deferring to the quote from Bill Daly.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Removing the trapezoid, the area behind the goal line where NHL goaltenders are allowed to play the puck, is another idea that will get discussed by the competition committee.
Some believe, the combination of forwards barreling in on the forecheck, protected from obstruction, and goaltenders not being allowed to freely move the puck have contributed to injury.
Paul Kelly wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Van Ryn would have been in the same vulnerable position if Vesa Toskala had been allowed to get to the puck before Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos raced in to complete his check…
from James Duthie at the Ottawa Citizen,
So we conducted our own more detailed NHL player poll. Here are the questions and answers from both (since results of the NHLPA survey have not been tabulated yet, we offer instead our own unofficial estimations):
Actual NHLPA question: Would you support the competition committee investigating a penalty for head shots?
Yes: 75 per cent
No: 25 per cent
Our followup: Would you support a penalty for shots to Sean Avery’s head?
No: 99.9 per cent
Yes: .1 per cent (Avery)
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
In his first post-lockout interview, retired NHLer and NHL Players’ Association executive committee member Trent Klatt told The Hockey News how betrayed he felt after discovering that former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin and another union official hacked into players’ personal email accounts.
“It was like I got kicked in the balls, pardon my French,” Klatt told THN for a story that will appear in the Dec. 1st issue of the magazine. “To think they’re hacking into my emails in my house, in Northern Minnesota, and reading everything…there are just lines you don’t cross, and I never imagined that would take place. I still can’t believe it.
“At the time Ted first took over, that wasn’t something I thought was possible. But he just brought it on himself.”
from Daryl Reaugh of Razor With An Edge,
...should there be a “term limit” on the Commissioner’s office? And if so, then should there also be a limit on the time any one individual heads the NHL Players Association? Would the game be better served with this idea in place? Would more get done? Would views be broader? Would it be worse? Lots of queries.
Take the current Commish for instance. If you were to break Gary Bettman’s tenure into 4-year segments he would be approaching the end of his fourth term.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
This probably isn’t what’s meant by giving the finger, but the Maple Leafs are already attempting to deal Jeff Finger, the defenseman whom they signed to a four-year, $14M free agent contract this July, we’re told.
Finally, for those people who say, “Lou would never do that,” when the possibility is raised of Lamoriello trading for Nikolai Khabibulin in the wake of the potentially shattering elbow injury to Martin Brodeur, they should never forget this:
Lou would do anything.
more for some CBA talk and other hockey notes…
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.
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