Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NHLPA In Shambles

The NHLPA is currently at one of its lowest points in its history. Ted Saskin has been sent on paid leave until the player's legal council find the cheapest way to fire him. This was prompted from the investigation into his spying on player's emails but goes back to unhappiness with how he replaced Bob Goodenow and brought in a pro-owner CBA after the players had lost a season. All of this was done in a manner that was inconsistent with the NHLPA constitution, which might not have been a big deal had the players not been accepting defeat and had the issue not been pushed by Trent Klatt, Chris Chelios and several other dissident players.

Ken Kim has also been suspended indefinitely. He is the NHLPA senior director who was the initial fallguy for Saskin's email spying. Former player Mike Gartner, the director of hockey affairs has resigned. People are leaving the sinking ship as fast as they can.

Who is left in charge? This isn't completely clear, although the best answer is former player Stu Grimson and lawyer Ian Penny are in the leadership role by default. There is some thought that Ian Penny may take over the NHLPA when the smoke clears (but likely an exhaustive search for a new leader will take place first).

This situation is affecting hockey in other ways. IIHF meeting was cancelled due to a lack of NHLPA leadership. This meeting is in part to discuss transfer agreements (none exist with Russia and this had led to various problems.

The players in the NHL do not seem very happy to get involved with the NHLPA. James Mirtle has a good piece on this.

You are Right and One needs to ponder about the sort of skeletons that are covered up in the NHLPA's storeroom. Saskin himself is an expert attorney and would have clearly made the proper strides in his moves to the highest point of the association's administration. Throughout the rule of Bob Goodenow, he and the official council ruled on all issues. Saskin may have imagined that he would ride into a comparable position. Be that as it may, the embarrassment the association caused by tolerating a pay top and Saskin's high yearly pay most likely ticked off a significant number players.
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