Monday, September 05, 2005

NHLPA Problems

Most NHL players are interested in playing hockey and not the business of playing hockey. As a result, most players don't worry much about the NHLPA now that the lockout is over and they don't worry much about NHLPA politics.

Many players still harbor some hostilities over the lockout. They lost a season of their career only to accept a CBA that many are not entirely happy with. In fact there have been some calls that maybe the NHLPA should decertify. Since most of the players tend to be conservative, in that they are afraid to do anything that might jeopardize their NHL spot, this idea has been mostly a non-starter.

However, the NHLPA leadership is starting to fight with itself and that may change things. As Al Strachan reports there is a divide at the NHLPA leadership level over Ted Saskin replacing Bob Goodenow as NHLPA head, after Goodenow resigned.

Last Wednesday, the NHLPA executive had a conference call to confirm the appointment of Saskin as NHLPA head. This is a violation of the NHLPA's own rules that state the executive board should nominate the NHLPA head and he should be confirmed with a secret ballot. It appears that the conference call was used because it was easier and would cut some of the problems that may be created by the more bitter NHLPA members.

Maybe this is the beginning of the end of the NHLPA. Further, maybe that is a good thing for the NHL players because the NHLPA will no longer exist to agree to collective bargaining agreements that benefit the owners and not the players. The players would become governed by the same labor laws that govern workers in other industries.

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