Three current and former National Hockey League players, with the support of a large number of additional NHL athletes, filed suit today against the NHL Players Association, Executive Director Ted Saskin, former President Trevor Linden and three other Association members. The plaintiffs, Chris Chelios, Dwayne Roloson and Trent Klatt, say the NHLPA and the other defendants have repeatedly violated the Association's constitution, thus infringing upon the democratic rights of the players that the union represents.
The players are asking that the court remove Saskin as NHLPA Executive Director. They say, among other things, he was improperly elected, he misrepresented salary figures during negotiations, and he illegally diverted tens of millions of dollars in union funds for his own benefit. The other defendants in the suit are Bill Guerin, currently playing in the NHL, and Vincent Damphousse and Bob Boughner, both retired.
"Unfortunately, this lawsuit has become necessary after months of stonewalling by the union," said Chelios, a 22-year veteran of the NHL. "On behalf of more than 100 NHL players, we continue to seek full disclosure by the NHLPA of the events leading up to Bob Goodenow's departure and the hijacking of the union by a handful of other players. We have repeatedly requested that Mr. Saskin agree to an investigation by an impartial third party and he has steadfastly refused to do so. We simply want to eliminate fraud within the players' union and restore democracy as provided by our constitution."