Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
Even though embattled NHL Players’ Association executive Ted Saskin directed a 17-month campaign to secretly read player emails, the union would still be obliged to pay him close to a million dollars if it decides to fire him “with cause,” a lawyer hired by the union has concluded.
In a three-page report delivered this week to the players’ union, Toronto employment lawyer Chris Paliare concluded the campaign, which started in September 2005 and ran through January 2007, also involved Ken Kim, the union’s head of business development. Both Saskin and Kim have already been suspended with pay.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
It has been months since Ted Saskin was told to take a paid hike as executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association. Eight weeks and three days, to be precise.
Now, finally, the fate of the quasi-exiled union boss is about to be decided. This week, a conference call will be held involving Toronto lawyer Chris Paliare and the player representatives from the 30 NHL teams. Paliare was retained by the players in late March to examine Saskin’s contract and determine what course of action the players should take.
No one will go on the record or off to discuss Paliare’s recommendation for fear that one wrong word, one whispered statement could give Saskin the legal ammunition he needs to shoot back at the NHLPA.
NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 23, 2007) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) online game-worn All-Star jersey auction came to a close last week and earned $140,397 to benefit Hockey Fights Cancer. The auction, which featured jerseys worn by NHL elite during the first period of the 55thNHL All-Star Game on January 24, 2007, was available for bidding through NHL.com and NHLPA.com.
The first NHL All-Star jersey ever worn by Pittsburgh Penguins center and All-Star rookie Sidney Crosby generated a record total of $47,520. The figure more than doubled the winning bid from the 2005 NHL & NHLPA auction, in which Crosby’s game-worn jersey brought in $21,010 to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims. Other notable final bids include jerseys from NY Rangers Left Wing Brendan Shanahan ($5,681.61) and New Jersey Devils Goalie Martin Brodeur ($5,020).
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Now, more than 40 years on, Wirtz says he’s poised to sever ties to the NHL charter member. One of the most vilified owners in sports – he’s been nicknamed “Dollar Bill” for his alleged thriftiness when it came to player salaries – Wirtz says he’s worried about who the NHL Players’ Association hires as its next leader.
After losing $31 million (all figures U.S.) this season and $191 million over the past 10 on the beleaguered Blackhawks, Wirtz said if the players union hires someone cut out of the mould of Bob Goodenow as executive director, he’ll hang up a for-sale sign on the Blackhawks.
Thanks to Liz Mullen and the folks at Sports Business Journal, we have access to the most in-depth article on Bob Goodenow in years.
Take some time out and read it today!
from Liz Mullen at Sports Business Journal (normally a paid sub.),
In retrospect, it’s hard to say when, exactly, Bob Goodenow lost control of his union, but it may have begun in a very innocent way.
In the early days of the 2004-05 hockey lockout Goodenow, the NHL Players’ Association’s executive director, attended all the important bargaining sessions, as did NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. That changed about four months into the work stoppage.
“I think they were both involved in the negotiations for a certain point in time,” said Steve Larmer, a former NHL all-star who was the union employee in charge of player relations during the lockout. “And then Gary wasn’t there, and so [union officials] didn’t want Bob there.”
According to a report in the Calgary Herald, disgraced hockey agent and promoter Alan Eagleson was pardoned in 2005 by the Canadian government on his 1998 conviction and imprisonment on three counts of fraud and embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars of Canada Cup earnings.
The paper reports that Eagleson avoided a five-year prison sentence in the U.S. in a 1998 plea bargain that allowed him to serve just four months of an 18-month prison sentence in Canada.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“It’s hard to jump into a team midway through the season,” said Forsberg, in an interview. “It’s never happened to me before because I’ve always been on a team that made the playoffs. I don’t think I’ve played as good as I want to, but it’s starting to get better. I’m starting to get used to my teammates and line-mates, so it should go uphill from here.”
The problem, from Nashville’s perspective, is that they haven’t had a chance to get their full team together since making the Forsberg trade. They currently have three top-nine forwards (Steve Sullivan, Martin Erat and Scott Hartnell) out of their line-up, with relatively serious injuries. Nashville’s strength is its balanced three-line attack. Forsberg is one point shy of 50 for the season; when he reaches that mark, he will be the eighth Predators’ forward to do so this season.
murch more on the Preds plus some NHL & PA talk…
The NHL Players’ Association announced Monday that Mike Gartner has stepped down from his post as Director of Hockey Affairs.
“These are difficult times for the Association and I feel at this point I can best serve the future of a changing union by stepping aside,” Gartner said in a statement issued Monday night.
“I will continue to fully support all efforts to restore the integrity of the NHLPA.”
Gartner joined the NHLPA in 1999 as its Director of Business Relations following a 19-year Hall of Fame career. In March 2006, he was named the NHLPA’s Director of Hockey Affairs, working towards improving the on-ice game and safety for the players.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
There have been consistent and growing whispers about the conduct during the lockout of Don Meehan and the Newport Sports Agency that represents, among dozens of players, Trevor Linden - who served as PA president throughout the 2004-05 CBA negotiations - Jarome Iginla, Chris Pronger, Henrik Lundqvist, Wade Redden, Ryan Smyth, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sean Avery, Curtis Joseph and Dion Phaneuf….
“Who are these slime-balls who are trying to ruin my reputation? Why don’t they crawl out from under their rocks and show their faces? Let me tell you something, if anyone wants to file charges against me, let them. If anyone has the [guts] to make this claim against me, I’ll sue their [butt] off.”
from Jeff Z. Klein & Karl-Eric Reif at the New York Times (Sunday edition),
Despite a number of injuries in the past few years as a result of illegal or malicious play by fellow union members, the union’s only action — in marked contrast to similar bodies in soccer and football — has been to represent the assailants at disciplinary hearings.
“The N.H.L.P.A. will be reviewing and checking hits to the head with our membership at our annual player meetings this summer,” the union’s director of hockey affairs, Mike Gartner, said Friday in an e-mail message. “The issue of head shots will likely be an item of discussion for the competition committee as well,” he added, referring to a league committee.
much more on the NHL, inlcuding a nice feature on Paul Stastny…
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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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