Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sidney sends out some signals

“As for where it goes, I have no idea, but I really like the way that some players are starting to speak up, a guy like Sidney.”-- NHLPA and Calgary Flame player representative Robyn Regehr, expressing his reaction to some comments from Sidney Crosby over recent NHLPA events.

As one of the more high profile players of the game today, Sidney Crosby is starting to find his way as one of the leaders of this era. Like Gretzky and Lemieux and others before, he doesn't seem to come across as controversial, in fact he's of that same mould it seems, aloof on the issues, but certainly not dis-interested.

So it was of some importance to note his entrance to the discussion over the fate of Paul Kelly the most recent President of the NHLPA who was dismissed from his job August 31st, following an all night session of what came across as some kind of NHLPA midnight Star Chamber.

Taking a cue from his agent Pat Brisson, Crosby outlined what he and no doubt many other NHL players are thinking of this entire episode, the need for more information to flow to the players as to why such drastic steps were deemed necessary in the middle of the night.

Crosby and the rest of the players in the NHLPA not on the executive boards and such have good cause to be asking a few questions of their labour leaders. It wasn't all that long ago that the praise was being heaped upon Mr. Kelly over his past experiences with hockey and his thoughts on where the association should be going.

With little in the way of mis-steps made public since he took on the job, many of the players may be wondering how things went so wrong, so fast.

Late last week there was some talk making the rounds that there were moves taking place to reinstate Kelly to his position, but those rumours were refuted pretty quickly as the weekend arrived.

Still, there does seem to be the need for a more comprehensive accounting to the players as to why the steps that were taken were required and exactly where their association is going, especially considering the collective agreement will be up for renegotiation in the coming years.

Crosby may not have been heavily involved in the union politics in the past and it's likely he won't be hands on in the future, but he has waded into the debate it seems and is showing a bit of leadership about a key event for the association.

It will be interesting to see if anyone else comes over the boards as well and whether any of it will have any impact on what seems to be a growing sense of dysfunction at the NHLPA.

Globe and Mail-- Crosby wants answers about Kelly
Toronto Star-- Agents, Sidney Crosby call for answers over Paul Kelly firing
TSN-- Crosby, Blake seek information on Kelly's firing
National Post-- Crosby latest to question Kelly’s dismissal from NHLPA NHLPA turmoil continues after Kelly's firing
ESPN-- Concerns raised about players' union

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