Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Stan Fischler at MSG Network, (Paul) Kelly wants to canvass his constituency to get an overall feel for the membership’s thinking. One thing he emphasized to us is his desire to see more widespread TV coverage in the U.S.
He didn’t mention ESPN by name, but rather by implication that a renewed marriage between the biggest sports network and Bettman, Inc. would be highly desirable. It’s tough to argue that point!
more from The Maven…
From the NHLPA,
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) today announced that the members of the NHLPA have ratified a new constitution by way of secret ballot. The announcement marks the end of a thorough review process that began in March of 2006….
Among the significant changes,the new constitution eliminates the Executive Committee, which was comprised of the President and Vice-President positions, leaving the 30 Club Player Representatives to serve as equal voting members of the Executive Board. Also, the positions of Executive Director and General Counsel, which have traditionally been held by the same person, will now be divided between two individuals.
From Damien Cox’s The Spin,
The early guess is that Paul Kelly is about honesty, not about change. Indeed, the new NHL Players Association boss probably just needs not to open other people’s emails and he’ll do fine.
A progressive thinker, however, he apparently is not.
In fact, with respect to the game itself, it turns out Kelly is a bit of closet Neanderthal, something he revealed Saturday night in an intriguing interview with Ron MacLean on Hockey Night in Canada.
Kelly said that not only does he believe fighting is part of hockey, he strongly believes in the necessity of enforcers to “self-police” the game.
From Iain Macintyre at the Vancouver Sun,
Eleven years ago, when the Vancouver Canucks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in overtime, Trevor Linden got into Chris Chelios’s face after the winning goal and the pair tussled.
Chelios threw the first punch and, after the players were separated, accused Linden of covering up and refusing to fight. And that was the high point of their relationship. It has devolved the last two years as Chelios leads his crusade for justice within a National Hockey League Players’ Association that Linden, as the union’s former president, led through a labour war that scuttled the 2004-05 season.
Sunday, Linden seemed ready for the fight.
“It’s easy to pile on,” Linden said before facing Chelios and the Detroit Red Wings Sunday night at GM Place. “I will say this: I’m extremely proud of the decisions the [NHLPA] executive committee made. I think we made, in very difficult times, good decisions for the players.”
from the Detroit Free Press,
“I’m very happy with our choice of Paul Kelly. I’m looking forward to working with him and having him represent us as a union. At least we have a leader now, and we’ll look for direction from him.”
Chelios said Kelly’s arrival was reminiscent of Goodenow taking over in 1992 for the disgraced Alan Eagleson.
“I look back,” Chelios said, “and it was the same thing when we hired Bob Goodenow — we’d gone through a lot in the Eagleson era, and then Bob was hired — pretty much same situation, basically. It’s history repeating itself. Look at what he did for us. Hopefully, Paul Kelly can follow that same path that we did with Bob.”
from Pierre LeBrun of the CP via the Globe and Mail,
Lindros said Wednesday he would welcome a chance to work for the union in whatever role. “I would look forward to something along those lines. This has been really interesting. I’ve learned a lot about the other side of things.”
more on the work Lindros has done with the NHLPA…
Update 11:15pm ET (by Alanah):
From Darren Dreger at TSN,
He hasn’t made it official yet, but Eric Lindros is calling it quits and – if all things work out for him, he’s headed toward a new career with the NHLPA.
Following Paul Kelly’s introduction as Executive Director of the Player’s Association, Eric Lindros stated bluntly his playing career is behind him - with too many health issues to entertain the notion of a return.
From the NHLPA,
The search process, conducted by a five-member committee of NHLPA members and the executive search firm Reilly Partners of Chicago, culminated with the introduction of Kelly at today’s media conference in Toronto.
“It is a distinct honour and privilege to be chosen by the players to serve as the Executive Director of their union,” said Kelly “I look forward to advocating tirelessly for the membership as we prepare to enter what I believe will be an exciting and prosperous new chapter for the NHLPA.
added 1:01pm, from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Kelly’s to-do list must begin with making certain the players get what they are entitled to under the current CBA. He also needs to restructure the business end of NHLPA and its licensing arm (something that has fallen into the leadership abyss) and he needs to tell Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bil Daly where to stuff it when they try something wrong-headed, non-sensical or illegal.
On top, he needs to find a way to keep some 700 members interested enough in the process so that the league no longer views then as little more than mobile skate racks (mostly of the unheated variety). Do that and the union will be on track to handle the next negotiation with the kind of unity the management might respect.
Lawyers representing Toronto-based player agent Don Meehan have issued ‘‘notices of libel’’ against Detroit Red Wing player Chris Chelios and an unspecified number of media outlets.
‘‘We have sent out notices alleging libel to Mr. Chelios and various media,’’ said Meehan’s lawyer, Graham Smith of Goodman’s law firm in Toronto.
added 6:08pm, from the Hockey News,
Chelios said after learning the news Tuesday afternoon that he was misquoted and has “accused Don Meehan of nothing.
“It was always, ‘If he undermined the union’ and ‘If he acted inappropriately,’ ” Chelios said. “If there was any miscommunication in my quotes…I haven’t accused him of anything and I spoke to (the reporter) from the Free Press about it. He hasn’t been accused of anything by me.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Even before the players had finished voting on the nomination of Paul Kelly to become the NHLPA’s new executive director, the presumptive leader of the union was being warned last week by members of the Canadian media to seek compromise in his dealings with the league, not to be confrontational, and last but not least, not to become a clone of Bob Goodenow, for goodness sakes.
Right, that’s all the players need, someone like Goodenow to look after their interests rather than his own, the way Alan Eagleson did and Ted Saskin appears in many cases to have done, though in no way approaching the felonious maneuverings of the man Kelly helped prosecute as assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
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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