Monday, August 31, 2009

Solidarity Forev, er, a little while...

"It was a question of Paul Kelly being around [22] months and still not being able to build the trust and confidence in the office or with the executive, and that he was the guy to continue on in this role"-- NHLPA ombudsman (temporary) Buzz Hargrove offering up a thought on why Paul Kelly, former Executive Director of the NHLPA is unemployed today

If the NHLPA were a company, you might be advised to think twice before you sent them a resume.

For the second time in a few short years and the third time in the last four, the NHLPA is seeking out a new director for its collective.

In a palace coup of surprising swiftness, Paul Kelly the highly touted replacement for Ted Saskin, he the recipient of the title after disechantment with Bob Goodenow's efforts, was unceremoniously discharged from his duties this weekend.

Buzz Hargrove, the long time organizer and leader of the Canadian Auto Workers appears to be in the centre of the controversy as is Eric Lindros, the former thorn in the side to NHL General Managers has apparently reprised that role in the drag em in, bare knuckle politics of union leadership.

Hargrove who most recently replaced Lindros as the association's ombudsman, appears to have been the conduit of discontent between some factions of the association (ie: those who lost out to Kelly in the last coup) and the membership as a whole, which took the most unusual step of replacing their director just as the association prepares to enter into a pivotal year of negotiations with the NHL leading up to talks on a new CBA for 2011.

Chris Chelios, never one to shy away from a discussion, offered up some cryptic thoughts about Kelly's peformance in office, "We are potentially only two seasons away from the expiration of the CBA and we feel now is the best time to make a move to ensure that we have optimal leadership in place to improve and protect our members' rights in the collective bargaining agreement," .
Words that seem a far cry from his thoughts back when Mr. Kelly was hired, an event which found Chelios rather impressed with, "His resume is beyond impressive and he is passionate about protecting our best interests. We are excited about what awaits us going forward.”

It would appear that things certainly can change in less than two years!

With Kelly getting cashiered as Sunday night merged into Monday morning, reports have it that another member of the executive Pat Flatley quit, many wonder if Glen Healey may not be quick to join the exodus, considering his past words of support of Kelly's leadership over the last year and a half.

Considering the sideshow impression that many are left with when it comes to the NHL ownership and management participants, having the player's association exhibit the same kind of eat the young mentality of their partners/opponents does provide for no shortage of entertainment.

Though it makes you wonder if anyone associated with the NHL these days, management or labour, really has a clue as to what they are doing.

Globe and Mail-- NHLPA takes another shot at own foot
Globe and Mail-- Kelly departure a palace coup
Globe and Mail-- Kelly dismissal shrouded in mystery
National Post-- Kelly a victim of NHLPA power grab
National Post-- Paul Kelly out as NHLPA's executive director
National Post-- Buzz Hargrove, making friends wherever he goes
Toronto Star-- NHL players fire union chief
Toronto Star-- Still Falling apart
Canwest News-- Internal issues prompted NHLPA to fire Kelly
Toronto Sun-- Union in limbo with Kelly axing
Toronto Sun-- Key figures feel ripples of NHLPA move
CBC Sports-- Penny replaces Kelly as NHLPA boss

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