Kukla's Korner Hockey
For those of us who’ve been laughed at as “conspiracy theorists” and league-critical cynics of a Larry Brooks-like pedigree, Saturday was our Groundhog Day.
As in, we got to peek out of our little bunkers, point at our long shadows, and say, “We told you so.”
We told you that the lockout was about franchise equity, and the concept that a franchise’s bank value would increase exponentially when viewed as an entity with “cost certainty”—theoretically capped costs in terms of salary expenditures, directly tied to league-wide revenues, which effectively renders whether an individual team makes or loses money at the gate, in terms of ticket sales-vs.-expenditures, irrelevant.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Gary Bettman, who spent the lockout trying to break the NHLPA (and would have succeeded if not for the efforts of people such as Chris Chelios, Trent Klatt, Steve Larmer and Eric Lindros), recently went on the record insisting he believes in and welcomes a strong union across from him at the table.
Well, the commissioner is going to get what he wished for, because once Paul Kelly, the former assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, becomes NHLPA executive director, that’s exactly what the union will again become.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
The NHL Players Association has narrowed its search for a new executive director down to three finalists: former U.S. attorney Paul Kelly, NFL Players Association lawyer Richard Berthelsen, and Bill Gregson, president and chief executive of sports store chain Forzani Group.
It’s expected that the union will hold a conference call on Monday. During the call, a five-player search committee will recommend the union hire Kelly, who, as a prosecutor, spearheaded the investigation of union founder Alan Eagleson.
from Rick Wethead of the Toronto Star
During Saskin’s tenure at the union, emails reveal that NHL chief legal officer and deputy commissioner Bill Daly passed on to Saskin several suggestions about which players and union staff might be conspiring against him. Other emails reveal Saskin had become especially close to Daly and Gary Bettman after his hiring.
In advance of a meeting in Russia in autumn 2006, Saskin emailed the NHL commissioner: “Looks like Bill is getting the Moscow trip in September; I may send Chelios.”
In a response the same day Bettman deadpanned: “With a one-way ticket (cc not bd)?”
read on... getting ugly again folks…
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
After considering and interviewing more than a dozen candidates, the NHLPA’s five-man search committee has whittled its list down to three finalists.
While the identity of the three remains a well-kept secret, there is speculation former U.S. prosecutor Paul Kelly is a prime candidate. He was an important participant in bringing former NHLPA executive director Alan Eagleson to trial for fraud and embezzlement.
Neither of the other two candidates are hockey agents (as Eagleson and his successor Bob Goodenow were) while one is a Canadian.
The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association, together with Getty Images and Greystone Books have published Reflections on a Hockey Season: The 2007 NHL Year in Photographs. [...] The first of an annual visual celebration, the book chronicles the highlights and candid, behind-the-scenes images from the 2006-2007 NHL season.
Photos and more descriptive info below:
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
As the Vancouver Canuck players prepare for the oncoming season, one of the last things on their mind is union politics, and rightfully so.
But over the next few months they’d better start to get serious because they’ll be voting on a new leader or leaders and that decision is going to be absolutely critical to their long-term interests.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Here’s some news worth calculating: the more our Canadian dollar rises, the more likely it is that NHL players may soon be taking a pay cut….
But soon, our dollar and the U.S. dollar are expected to be equals. And should our dollar surpass its US counterpart – a possibility, according to some economists – NHL players will be taking home less money.
from Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (paid sub.),
Former NHL Players’ Association executive directors Bob Goodenow and Ted Saskin routinely tape-recorded players, agents, NHL officials such as NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and officials of other sports unions, including NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw, without their permission or knowledge, according to a report issued to NHLPA members last month….
The report also details a taped conversation between Daly and Saskin in October 2004, which Daly said was recorded without his knowledge. Last week, Daly wrote in an e-mail , “I’m not prepared to comment on the ‘ethics’ of the practice. But apparently, it was a practice that Bob (Goodenow) endorsed and may even have been insisted on.”
Daly blasted the report, saying, “To the extent anyone reads the Block report and treats its conclusions as ‘gospel’ — i.e., that they are factual — they are making a big mistake,” Daly wrote in an e-mail.
Thanks go out to Sports Business Journal for allowing KK members and guests to read the full article...
TORONTO (September 12, 2007): Following today’s media release issued by the National Hockey League announcing the suspension of Mark Bell for 15 regular-season games, NHLPA Associate Counsel, Ian Penny issued the following statement:
“The NHLPA sees no basis for the excessive suspension Gary Bettman has imposed upon Mark Bell.Mark has fully accepted the serious consequences of his actions. He faces incarceration at the conclusion of the season and has already been suspended without pay as a result of his placement in Stage 2 of the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program (SABH). There is no legitimate purpose served by adding a substantial league disciplinary suspension to the severe sanctions that have already been imposed.
We are currently reviewing all of our legal options with respect to this matter.”
The NHLPA will have no further comment at this time.
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.
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