Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Loose Change at the Hockey News,
Basically, enough is enough. There’s a critical mass in most everything in life and the innate ability to recognize when you’ve indeed reached that point is as important as knowing the precise time to let go of a hand grenade.
NHLPA IV is set to open soon and frankly, I think the franchise is already dead….
You probably remember the original NHLPA I: The Evil Empire versus The Embezzler. In that classic (filming started in 1967), the National Hockey League battled the original version of the PA in a timeless David versus Goliath tale.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Regardless of whether Meehan is a target for decertification, it is clear some player agents believe the union – and rumored new executive director Paul Kelly – must go beyond a report from investigator Sheila Block and further delve into the circumstances that led to Saskin replacing predecessor Bob Goodenow as NHLPA chief.
Minnesota-based agent Neil Sheehy is one of those people.
“The Block Report established that there were a lot of documents that were shredded, and hard drives that were destroyed,” Sheehy told TheHockeyNews.com. “So the question is, how do we get all the information out?
from Jim Kelley at Sportsnet,
Thanks to Chelios and the members of the search committee, the NHLPA is working toward remaking itself into a voice that must be heard regarding the best interests of the players and, perhaps even the best interest of the game.
If Kelly does become the new boss of the NHLPA, it’s clear that he won’t be just like the old boss (Saskin) or even the boss before him (Goodenow) and certainly nothing like the boss before either of those men (Eagleson).
He will be the boss because the players, through due process, will have determined that he is.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
Speaking Tuesday from Boston, where he is in the process of trying to inform his clients of his impending move to take this job if hired, Kelly indicated that if people are thinking the NHLPA is in the process of “hiring a junkyard dog who wants to open everything up with the NHL just for the sake of creating confrontation, they are sadly mistaken.”
At the same time, the days of the patsy Saskin are over.
...“I was flattered when the [headhunting] firm first called me to see if I’d be interested and the more and more I’ve learned, the more and more I want to do this. I would say my interest in this has mushroomed over the past couple of weeks.
from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
There has long been speculation that a group of players, the majority of whom are Meehan clients, sidestepped Goodenow’s no-cap position in an attempt to end the lockout.
If that happened, it’s possible a decertification case could be built against Meehan. A player agent has to be certified by the NHLPA before he or she can represent NHL players.
Meehan could not be reached for comment, but has gone on record expressing his contempt for anyone who would question his character and business reputation.
from Mark Spector of the National Post,
...Because most hockey players come from communities where, if someone’s dad made $150,000, that family was considered wealthy.
Remember that, Mr. Kelly, if the time ever comes where you advise 700 players to start missing pay cheques that are in the neighbourhood of US$1.5-million per season.
But that’s enough advice from a sports writer, Mr. Kelly. If you take the job as leader of NHLPA, you’ll have no shortage of that.
Listen less to those voices and more to hockey fans. Canadian ones in particular, who deserve an economic system like the one in place today, where Calgary and Edmonton can compete on a level playing field with Toronto.
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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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