Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Some NHL players, including those who are now running the NHL Players’ Association, are supportive of Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie’s plans to put a team in Hamilton and unhappy with the league’s apparent unwillingness to back Balsillie’s bid.
The divide is shaping up as the latest indication that paint is peeling on the so-called partnership struck between the players and the league, codified in the collective agreement that ended the 2004-05 lockout.
For the next week, NHL players Steve Montador and Andrew Ference will be in Tanzania, Africa, as athlete-ambassadors for the humanitarian organization Right To Play.
While in Tanzania, Montador and Ference will be able to read your support of their charitable efforts here:
In addition, Ference will be writing a journal and posting pictures when he returns home on July 8, and will be able to respond to any questions or comments you post.
from the Toronto Star,
Delivering a message of hope to hockey players, Donald Fehr believes the NHL Players’ Association is – finally – on the right path.
“If I were a betting man, which I am not, I would guess over the next several months you’re going to see a re-constituted organization which they’re all going to be very proud of,” said Fehr, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association.
“I’m impressed with the seriousness of the group, with their demeanour,” Fehr said Wednesday. “I think they have a gut-level understanding – which is always the first step – of what the task is in front of them.”
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Martin Brodeur may again wear the crown as the NHL’s top goaltender, but that doesn’t mean those in authority are willing to listen attentively to his views on the game.
The New Jersey Devils goaltender, who won his third Vezina Trophy two weeks ago, has abruptly resigned from the league’s competition committee after 18 months of frustration….
“I didn’t feel I was making a difference, and I hate wasting my time when it doesn’t seem to matter,” he said. “I brought up a lot of different points, suggested different ideas like a bigger crease, but nothing’s changed. The protection of goaltenders has just become ridiculous.
“It’s hard when nothing’s improving and your name is associated with it. I didn’t want to live with that.”
from Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star,
Possibly paving the way for a complaint to be filed with the Law Society of Upper Canada, the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board will consider this week whether to release an internal report that alleges former executive Ted Saskin directed a colleague to covertly access the email accounts of as many as 66 NHL players and union employees.
The report, which has not been widely distributed to NHL players, alleges that under a program called “Big Brother,” Saskin directed former NHLPA marketing executive Ken Kim to go so far as to retrieve confidential records about which players voted against the NHL’s current labour contract.
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…
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org