Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
It’s been obvious since the lockout ended two years ago that the PA was in serious need of internal housecleaning. Constitutional changes allowing the players more input into PA decisions, especially in labor negotiations, appear to be a positive step.
But it’ll take more than changing the constitution for the NHLPA to move forward.
The priority will have to be on not only healing the rifts within the PA ranks, but also to ensure there is more interest in PA business by its membership in the coming years.
Recently there’s been some media concern that the PA, under a new executive director, could bring the current CBA to an end in 2009 by exercising its right to re-open labor talks with the league if the membership believes the CBA is no longer working for them.
Possible, but highly unlikely.
from Liz Mullen at SportsBusiness Journal,
The executive committee of the NHLPA fired former union chief Bob Goodenow without legal authority, and it’s unclear whether a secret-ballot election of his successor, Ted Saskin, would have been upheld in court, said sources familiar with a report issued to the NHLPA membership last week.
The long-awaited report, written by Toronto lawyer Sheila Block and details of which were revealed by sources to SportsBusiness Journal, also found that Saskin “reported to Goodenow throughout negotiations” of a labor deal that ended the NHL lockout, and that also included a salary cap, which Goodenow opposed. But the summary of the report also said that “Saskin first suggested the concept of a payroll limit change to the league without discussing it with the players or having the authority to do so.”
read the full article and thanks to the folks at SBJ for providing the subscrition only link to KK readers…
from James Mirtle,
Two years ago, you wouldn’t have found Chris Chelios anywhere near the NHLPA’s leadership hierarchy.
On Friday, he was the face of the union’s rebirth.
Chelios remains a big-time supporter of Bob Goodenow; he is one of the few active NHLers who was playing back when Alan Eagleson resigned in 1991 and his deputy (Goodenow) took over.
As soon as Goodenow was pushed out during the 2004-05 lockout, Chelios became an outsider, a trouble-maker on the fringe, and the only way he was going to get back into the NHLPA’s decision-making fold was if Ted Saskin was forced out.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
“I was a big Bob Goodenow fan,” said Chelios yesterday, just minutes after the NHLPA’s three-day general meetings had come to an end. “If we could find another Bob we’d be well off.
“If Bob put in his resume we’d consider it. But I think Bob wants to move on and we want to move on.”
Schneider feels the new leader must share the same mandate that Goodenow harboured during his lengthy tenure as the union’s executive director.
“When you compare Bob to Ted (Saskin) or (Alan) Eagleson, the thing about Bob was that he always looked out for the best interests of the players. Always,” Schneider said.
from the CP via TSN,
The NHL Players’ Association could have a new leader within the next two months but he likely won’t have the same power as his predecessors.
‘‘The 30 player reps will run the program,’’ Eric Lindros said Friday as three days of NHLPA meetings wrapped up. ‘‘Below it will be the executive director and the general counsel.’‘
Nothing is etched in stone at this point, Lindros quickly added, but the union is undergoing a massive reshaping of its power structure and constitution.
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
While several players said yesterday they plan to push the union to release Block’s report to all its members, they really needn’t bother. After all, when the controversy over Saskin’s hiring first surfaced, most players’ view on the debacle was, “let’s just focus on what’s happening on the ice.”
Instead of parsing down Block’s carefully crafted report, a better exercise for players would be pressing for the release of a separate report prepared three months ago by another Toronto lawyer, Chris Paliare. It’s shameful that report, which details the NHLPA’s email surveillance scheme, remains stamped “PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL.”
by George James Malik
As Paul noted on Monday, the inestimable Stan Fischler had some choice words for Chris Chelios, who Fischler believes will succeed Ted Saskin as the NHLPA’s chief executive:
One hopes that some good will come of the Sheila Block-Union probe, which is due for a public revelation next Thursday. If the finger is pointed at Ted Saskin it will be old news. Chris Chelios insists that Block’s report will confirm the hiring of Saskin as the head of the Union was not within the guidelines of the NHLPA’s constitution. What really matters is where the Union goes from here. You can bet that if Chelios becomes the new, chief Association power broker there will be another civil war in two years. …
Ol’ Comrade Stan is barking up the wrong tree in looking to unleash his hatred for the PA upon Chris Chelios.
Chelios never intended to run the NHLPA—first, and foremost, he’s very busy both managing two successful restaurants and playing hockey for the Detroit Red Wings, which he plans on doing so for at least a few more years. Moreover, he never wanted to stage another lock-out—Chelios wanted to get Saskin’s butt kicked out of office, and he wants the NHLPA to act and operate as an honest, open, and accountable union. That’s all.
from The Maven at the Hockey Journal,
• Media critics such as ESPN’s Scott Burnside are beginning to realize that the NHL has become a leader in an important – and vital new area. “No other professional league has attacked new media with the fervor showed by the NHL. Internet, wireless, you name it, and the NHL is in it big time,” says Burnside. “That technology savvy demographic, in many ways a new generation of sports consumers, might find the NHL’s relatively blemish-free visage attractive. …
• One hopes that some good will come of the Sheila Block-Union probe, which is due for a public revelation next Thursday. If the finger is pointed at Ted Saskin it will be old news. Chris Chelios insists that Block’s report will confirm the hiring of Saskin as the head of the Union was not within the guidelines of the NHLPA’s constitution. What really matters is where the Union goes from here. You can bet that if Chelios becomes the new, chief Association power broker there will be another civil war in two years. …
much more from Stan…
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios said Toronto lawyer Sheila Block’s report on the hiring of former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin will go a long way toward proving the players did the right thing when they fired Saskin from his post in early May.
Members of the NHLPA’s executive committee and the 30 team representatives began receiving copies of the 80-100 page report Wednesday and it will be formally disclosed to the rank and file at player meetings to be held in Toronto next week.
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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