Kukla's Korner Hockey
from The Maven at Game On (yes, another website for Stan),
Although the NHL Players’ Association fired its boss, Ted Saskin, the union still has to do business with the league. Gary Bettman tells us that one of the triumvirate – at least temporarily – running the Association is none other than onetime enforcer, Stu Grimson. Grimson‘s partner is Ian Penny.
a few more NHL bits from Stan…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
The promotion of Boston owner Jeremy Jacobs, the most hawkish and virulent anti-union voice leading up to and throughout the NHL lockout, to chairman of the Board of Governors, should tell the players all they need to know about their so-called partnership with the league as they prepare to meet in Toronto this week to plot their course.
read on for cap talk and other NHL/NHLPA bits…
from Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune,
Members of the Original Six franchises faced vengeful behavior and scandal while fighting for postretirement benefits. Only in the past decade has the league’s rank-and-file recovered from the shock waves generated by Alan Eagleson’s contentious tenure as executive director of the NHL Players Association.
“We fought our tails off in the 1960s for decent benefits,” said Lightning founder Phil Esposito, the No. 5 goal scorer in league history.
The former NHLPA president turned 65 in February, and Esposito said he’s receiving an annual pension of $32,000 (Canadian) following a 19-year Hall of Fame career.
from the CBC,
Hockey players in an isolated northern Manitoba community are looking up to NHL players for more than just their hockey skills after learning the big-league players are outfitting them with brand new gear.
Children in Berens River, a fly-in aboriginal community on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, will receive complete sets of new equipment from the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s Goals and Dreams fund.
Until now, the children have been a ragtag group on the ice. Most children don’t have helmets, and not everyone has gloves.
from Larry Brooks at the NY Post,
As an over-35-year-old signing a one-year contract, Brendan Shanahan would be eligible to receive signing, games-played and performance bonuses that would allow the Rangers to exceed the cap by 7.5 percent or alternately be applied against the 2008-09 cap if they didn’t have that space. Thus, Shanahan, who played for $4 million last season, could sign a deal for a cap-applied base of $2 million with readily attainable bonuses to allow him to earn another $2 million without jeopardizing the Blueshirts’ position.
Folks around the league who presume Chris Drury will leave Buffalo to play in either L.A. or Colorado are overlooking the Big Moment Kid’s lifelong desire to play the Big Stage on Broadway, and the reciprocal interest the Rangers’ organization has in him.
more from Brooks, including the cap will now be around $48.5M…
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Donald Fehr, MLBPA general counsel Michael Weiner and former National Basketball Players Association executive director Charles Grantham are scheduled to meet with members of the NHLPA in Toronto this month.
“I met with [Fehr, Weiner and Grantham] and we’d be crazy not to listen to these guys,” said Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios, whose dogged questioning of Saskin’s hiring and in-office tactics led to his ouster. “Major League Baseball has the best union in sports and they’re willing to help us.”
from Al Strachan at Fox Sports,
Fans are understandably sick of hearing about financial issues, but a couple of recent revelations bear noting.
One is that it appears that the NHL Players Association will exercise its right to have the salary cap raised to the maximum permissible level. That should push it over $50 million.
Those of you who remember commissioner Gary Bettman’s assurance that the salary cap he needed to impose would keep ticket prices down might wonder about this.
Bettman could have prevented the year-long shutdown of the league by accepting a PA proposal that would have set payrolls at approximately $42 million. He refused, saying that such a figure was beyond the reach of owners. Two years later, we’re at $50 million.
more on this, plus a few other NHL topics, including the Pronger suspension…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Slap Shots has been told that the NHLPA is planning to exercise its right under the CBA to request that a full five-percent bump be built into next season’s cap. If 2006-07 league revenues come it at $2.36B - Gary Bettman on Monday said he thought the number would be close to $2.4B - a five-percent bump would bring next season’s upper limit to approximately $52M.
We’ve learned that the PA was urged to push the cap as high as possible by, among others, Major League Baseball PA executive director Don Fehr and former NBA union head Charles Grantham during a meeting in Toronto last Monday with members of the NHLPA’s current leadership group.
more on Michael Nylander and the Rangers asst. GM search…
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
You hear it all the time in hockey circles: Who really cares about the never-ending drama at the NHL Players’ Association?
Well, I do, for more than a few reasons. But here’s a good example why fans should be interested in a strong, healthy players’ union:
You know the Nashville Predators? The franchise that almost assuredly will be relocating sometime in the next couple years? Yeah, them.
read on and many more hockey bits too…
Liz Mullen at Sports Business Journal has written an article today on more of the background to the Ted Saskin and NHLPA scandal. SBJ is normally for subscribers-only, but has graciously provided Kukla’s Korner with a free link to the complete article for the benefit of our readers. Our sincere thanks to them for doing this.
And this article is well worth reading. My own reaction was that some people might - and perhaps should - face serious legal consequences for some things that happened in this case.
The electronic spying program instituted at the NHL Players Association targeted 45 players, was referred to as Big Brother and extended to ex-union chief Ted Saskin examining how individual players voted in the secret ballot to ratify the NHL labor deal, according to sources familiar with a report on the matter.
Among other details from the report, according to sources: Saskin systematically read the personal e-mails of players and union staff members for more than a year, but stopped briefly because he was concerned about legal implications in the wake of the Hewlett-Packard corporate surveillance scandal. Saskin resumed reading the messages when he learned of an effort by NHL players to authorize an investigation into his hiring and other activities.
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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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