Just when he thought he had quelled the rebellion in the ranks, more bad news came a calling to Ted Saskin on Sunday. The NHLPA’s director has had to fend off a bid by dissident Union members who are not fully convinced that his hiring was handled in a fair and democratic way.
Steve Larmer a high profile union member recently resigned his position in the union, claiming that the way Saskin had handled things so far was taking the players association back to the dark days of Alan Eagleson’s reign.
With a confirmation vote underway this month, Saskin felt he had dodged a bullet with initial returns coming in to suggest that he had done nothing wrong. But it’s that vote that has become the latest lightning rod for those unimpressed by the Saskin ascension.
Trent Klatt has been an outspoken critic of Saskins’ through all of this and he posted an open letter to union members on his website this weekend, in it Klatt questioned the “secrecy” of a secret ballot that has to pass through Saskin’s hands before making it to the players association’s accounting firm, which is handling the vote tabulations.
Ever since talk began to surface about the hostility by some towards Saskin, there have been sporadic reports of team dissent. One story last week had it that Saskin had been banned from the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs dressing rooms; such was the state of discontent from that local.
Those in the anti Saskin faction have filed a charge with the US National labour Relations Board over what they said was the improper hiring of Saskin, when Bob Goodenow “stepped down” from his position.
The latest broadside provides more ammunition to those observers that say the NHL players still have questions on the recently settled lock out. They claim that as the players come to terms with the reality of the new NHL it appears that the NHLPA is very much a house, if not divided, then rather fractured these days.