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08-31-2009, 02:05 PM
Kevin Forbes
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Nova Scotia
Country: Canada
Posts: 9,150
vCash: 500
Originally Posted by Snap Wilson View Post
Our own Kevin Forbes had the most insightful comment in Mirtle's link that the players themselves (having neither the education or experience in labor relations) shouldn't be involved in the executive process. It's like wanting to hold the sutures as a doctor operates on your child.
That's not exactly what I meant. The players need to have the final say over their own association. However, for the same reason that they need to have that final say, we end up with situations like this.

It all comes back to trust and that stretches right back to Eagleson. Things like Eagleson's handling of the PA's funding led to the players not trusting their own leadership.

Fast forward to the lockout year and even though Goodenow had said to prepare for two years without hockey, the actual reality of a lost season carried a much stronger impact with the players than he anticipated and soon the doubt in his leadership took hold, leading to Saskin and Linden to make the deal with the NHL, effectively turning Goodenow into a lame duck and him resigning shortly after.

Soon afterward, there was talk of a reformed NHLPA with Saskin at the helm and a stronger presence by the NHL team reps with more power to the players. That was followed by Saskin's ousting, first due to an auspicious hiring process and then the final nail coming when it turned out he was monitoring players emails.

Now it's Kelly being pushed out for reasons that aren't too clear but appear to be brought forth by people whose own agendas aren't particularly clear and may be more self-serving then for the betterment of the NHLPA.

I'm not saying that the players shouldn't have the power to run their own association. They need to have that ability. I'm also not saying that Eagleson, Goodenow, Saskin and perhaps even Kelly should not have been ousted as NHLPA head.

But, if you look at the history of the association, and the sheer lack of trust that the players seem to have in the leadership, I don't know how easy it will be to stop this pattern. Regardless of who replaces Kelly, it seems like there will always be guys like Pink and Hargrove whispering in the ears of the player reps and planting seeds of doubt and swaying opinions again.

I just can't see how this scenario will not repeat itself soon enough.

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