Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
While the search for truth continues into whether or not Roger Clemens took steroids, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association are preparing for their date with U.S congress on February 27th.
Congress has invited NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly, along with the main league and union heads from the three other major sports, to address the issues involved in the drug testing programs in professional and amateur sports.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
While Therma Blade received approvals for its blades from the NHL, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey months ago, the poor reviews from Draper and Lapointe have prompted the NHLPA to balk at signing off on the fledgling product.
And without the approval of the players’ union, the heated blades, which are attached to boots of existing skates, would no longer be able to be used in NHL games, which would be a key marketing tool for the Quebec company.
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly said the union has concerns that the blades don’t deliver as promised – especially considering their price tag. “Before we give our approval or endorsement to a hockey product that will increase the cost to the average family, we should take steps to ensure that this product indeed performs as advertised,” Kelly said.
Adam Proteau at The Hockey News reflects on CBC’s Fifth Estate program which aired last night. The program investigated wrestler Chris Benoit’s life in an attempt to explain the tragedy of last summer.
Yet, instead of focusing on steroid abuse as a possible explanation for the wrestler’s actions, the Fifth Estate spoke with two doctors at the University of North Carolina who examined Benoit’s brain after the murders and came up with an entirely different theory on what caused an otherwise doting father to snap so violently.
Shockingly, the UNC doctors diagnosed Benoit as having the brain of an 80- or 90-year-old person suffering from dementia.
Furthermore, they revealed the results of a study completed on the after-effects of concussions on 3,000 former NFL players. The study demonstrated that, in addition to serious mental and cognitive problems, the ex-football players had to deal with depression – depression that at times led to suicide attempts, or successful suicides – that may be a direct result of repeated concussions.
from the NHLPA,
TORONTO (February 4, 2008): National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) Executive Director Paul Kelly announced today that Bob Lindquist has agreed to join the NHLPA as a consultant regarding Hockey Related Revenue (HRR) matters pertaining to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NHLPA and the National Hockey League (NHL).
Mr. Lindquist, FCA, a chartered accountant who is internationally respected for his long and distinguished career, is coming out of a short retirement to fulfill the NHLPA’s consultant role. In his position, Mr. Lindquist will be responsible for ensuring that NHLPA members receive the appropriate players’ share (over 55.6%) of the NHL’s and its member Clubs’ HRR revenues as defined under terms of the CBA.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL Players’ Association is hiring the so-called godfather of the forensic accounting industry to pore over the financial statements of the NHL’s 30 teams and determine whether they’ve being honest about how much revenue they’re generating.
The 62-year-old represents a critical addition for the NHLPA because player salaries are tied directly to how much money the league and its teams generate. This season, for instance, roughly 55 per cent of league’s overall revenue has been pledged toward player salaries.
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Don’t be fooled by that little charade this past weekend — the one in which National Hockey League Players’ Association head Paul Kelly chastised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for scheduling a game in Europe next season.
It’s all part of the game as Kelly tried to find his footing in his new job.
The source of Kelly’s difficulties is the fact that he represents a diverse group. He’s got some of the bend-over-and-take-it variety. They were the ones who led the revolt against one of Kelly’s predecessors, Bob Goodenow.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The NHL and the European federations – minus the Russians – came to a one-year deal earlier this month that would have seen more players going back to their European teams instead of going to the minors. But after some surprising opposition from GMs around the league and the Swedish decision to pull out, the agreement now would appear to be in serious jeopardy.
The major issue, Loob said, is a provision in the new collective bargaining agreement that forces teams to sign European players within two years of drafting them, which brings them in line with major junior players. Prior to that, teams held the rights or European players in perpetuity after drafting them.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
The NHL put the cart before the horse.
That’s how NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly responded mere minutes after the National Hockey League announced the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers will open the 2008 regular season in Prague and Stockholm.
The Players Association hasn’t approved the agreement and Kelly was surprised by the announcement the New York Rangers will also participate in the Victoria Cup. Although unlikely, Kelly says the players may not agree to play, “There is a chance we wouldn’t consent,” Kelly added….
“If they want us to be a true business partner, then they need to include us from the beginning,” Kelly concluded.
from the CP,
All was warm and friendly as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman interviewed NHL Players Association executive director Paul Kelly on his weekly radio show on Thursday.
“Paul has been really good to deal with,” Bettman said after the 15-minute interview ended on the NHL Hour show on XM Radio from New York.
The two men represent opposing sides in a league that had the entire 2004-05 season wiped out by a lockout, but Kelly is the new man, taking over three months ago after the house-cleaning that swept former boss Ted Saskin out of the NHLPA.
added 6:45pm, from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly surprised some earlier this season when he suggested the players would be in favor of adding a couple of games to the NHL regular season, to make it 84 instead of 82.
Sources say the NHL board of governors will get its chance to vote on that concept this weekend in Atlanta at the NHL All-Star Game.
The governors have previously been lukewarm or even opposed to bumping up the schedule to 84 games, but that proposal was often in the context of going to the Detroit Red Wing-sponsored schedule matrix, where there would be a home-and-home (30 games) series with all teams in the opposite conference.
The NHLPA’s Paul Kelly will be Gary Bettman’s guest on the NHL Hour today.
The NHL Hour broadcasts live Thursdays from 4-5 pm ET on NHL Home Ice, (XM channel 204) and NHL.com. The show will re-run on XM Satellite Radio and NHL.com, with archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
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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