Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
We fully understand why most hockey fans’ eyes glaze over whenever we update them on labor issues in the NHL. But this little bit of news, we believe, will grab some attention.
We’ve been told the NHL Players’ Association will hold a conference call with the players’ executive board (30 player reps) on Thursday night in which the group will ultimately decided whether or not to opt out of the current collective-bargaining agreement. (The players’ union, as per terms of the CBA, has the right to opt out after the fourth season of the deal, which is this season).
If the answer is yes to opt out, who knows if there’ll be hockey next season. If the answer is no, then it’s at least two more years with the current CBA and labor peace.
continued with more hockey topics… If you watched the Hot Stove on HNIC last night, you heard most of the additional topics…
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The players, said union boss Paul Kelly, remain eager to work with league officials on adding penalties for those who target opponents’ heads with checks. “The trick is to do that without reducing the amount of contact that is part of what makes this such a great sport,” he said.
The five players on the Competition Committee: Jason Spezza, Mathieu Schneider, Brian Campbell, Jeff Halpern, and Ryan Miller. To sum up their dislikes: 1. whistles (needless stops in play) and 2. defensive, trapping hockey. Sounds like a group that gets it.
more hockey notes…
Paul Kelly talked with Ron MacLean last night on numerous topics. Watch the ten minute interview below…
from Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal,
NHL Players’ Association Executive Director Paul Kelly acted to quell dissent within the union last week by publicly condemning recent press reports that criticized union ombudsman Eric Lindros and indicated Lindros would soon be fired.
But hockey sources question whether Kelly’s comments, which also expressed support for Lindros, will mend what has become a deepening rift within the union, at the same time NHL players are trying to decide whether to terminate the current collective-bargaining agreement.
As reported by SportsBusiness Journal in November, Kelly and Lindros, who were staunch and vocal supporters of each other when they were both hired in 2007, are increasingly at odds with each other, according to numerous sources.
continued and thanks to SBJ for releasing the normally paid subscription link to KK.
Also from Liz Mullen of SBJ,
The NHL Players’ Association board of player representatives will vote later this month on whether to end the collective-bargaining agreement this year or extend it another two years, and it is widely expected they’ll choose not to opt out.
Sources said an announcement of the players’ decision may be made the week of the NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 25 in Montreal. NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said in an e-mail that players would vote on the issue in mid- to late January.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
On the night of June 9, 1972, heavy rainfall, and the failure of the nearby Canyon Creek Dam, unleashed a wall of water that wiped out all of the homes in the area. The flood left 238 people dead.
In the wake of that tragedy, the city decreed that virtually all commercial and residential development along the creek that winds through Rapid City would be turned over to green space.
Bob Fuchs, a local businessman and hockey dad, went down to the rink at 10 p.m. on cold winter nights and flooded the surface so kids could skate the next day. There was one corner of the rink that caught more sun than the rest, so they had to add extra water. If it was windy, the leaves played havoc with the surface. Occasionally, the water pump for the rink would deliver a small trout or two from the creek.
At best, it was bumpy, but it was ice. There was hockey in Rapid City.
From Mark Spector at Sportsnet.ca:
NHL players have been warned by their association that its escrow hold-back could be increased in the new year.
Currently, the NHL holds back 13.5 per cent of players’ paychecks. That money is available to the league at the end of the year in case NHL revenue projections are not met. The procedure was included as part of the most recent collective agreement so that players take home only their negotiated 56 per cent share of NHL revenues. Players have received back all of their escrow monies the past three seasons.
from Fluto Shinzawa of Bruins Blog at the Boston Globe,
Executive director Paul Kelly took some time to provide an update on the NHLPA, its outlook on the economy, and how it will affect player salaries moving forward.
While cap problems might curb the trend of rising contracts, Kelly said the top-tier players heading into unrestricted free agency should still earn lucrative paydays. Kelly cited Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg as an example. “You’ve got to pay Henrik Zetterberg to play for you,” Kelly said. “He’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s an exciting player. He’s a guy who can singlehandedly carry a team. I don’t think a guy with his skill level is going to suffer that big a shock in the marketplace. He’s one example. There are dozens of guys that fit that profile.
more & Wings fans thank you Mr. Kelly for increasing the $$$ Zetterberg may be asking for!
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.
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