Thursday, March 22, 2007

More casualties in the NHLPA feud

Another high profile member of the NHLPA has decided to exit the stage, as the state of the association continues to operate under a fair amount of suspicion.

The latest to wash his hands of things was Mike Gartner, who resigned his position with the union on Tuesday. Gartner told player reps that he had been holding misgivings about the way that union business was being conducted as far back as the fall of 2005.

The union is operating under a dark cloud of suspicion these days as lawyer for the association try to determine if they can relieve Ted Saskin of his duties for cause, without having to provide a large settlement.

The most recent controversy was the revelation that Saskin had read private e mails of dissident NHLPA members, a situation that resulted in his being placed on administrative leave while the next move is contemplated.

The loss of Gartner indicates that things are very much in flux at the NHLPA and that it's far from being a settled matter at the moment.

In another strange twist of events, a scheduled meeting between the IIHF and the NHL and NHLPA over the thorny issue of transfer agreements was postponed.

The issue is a complicated mess at the moment, with Russia refusing to sign any form of agreement and the rest of the European federations coming up for renewal at the end of the current season.

Even the reason for the postponment seems to be confusing, with the IIHF saying that the NHLPA could not send a representative to participate at this time due to their internal strife, a charge the NHLPA denied.

However, one thing seems certain until the NHLPA gets its own house in order there's going to be little accomplished in the form of negotiations either in house with the NHL or on the wider world stage.

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