Hockey Critic

Is the NHL players union in shambles?

The NHL Players Association went through a major leadership change when the lockout ended in 2005 and Bob Goodenow was whisked out, to be replaced by Ted Saskin. The infighting began shortly after the changes as a group of players questioned the way Saskin had ascended into power. And now, Ted Saskin's critics have had their latest wish come true - the National Hockey League Players' Association will conduct an independent investigation his 2005 hiring as the union's executive director. Well known Toronto based labour lawyer Sheila Block has been appointed to the position.

"This is an informative investigation that we feel will preserve the integrity of our NHLPA constitution and leadership process," Detroit Red Wings defenceman and executive committee member Mathieu Schneider said in a statement issued by a New York public relations firm. "The purpose of the investigation is to clear the air, produce clarity and fortify a strong unified union."

One has to wonder about the kind of skeletons that are hidden in the NHLPA's closet. Saskin himself is an accomplished lawyer and would have surely taken the appropriate steps in his moves to the top of the union's leadership. It is a known fact that throughout the reign of Bob Goodenow, he and the executive committee reigned supreme on all matters. Saskin may have thought that he would ride into a similar position. But the humiliation the union incurred by accepting a salary cap and Saskin's very high annual compensation surely ticked off quite a few players.

So let's see what Ms Block uncovers.
posted at 10:40:13 on 02/01/07 by HockeyCritic - Category: Business of Hockey

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