View Single Post
08-31-2009, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Out There
Posts: 54,870
vCash: 500
Russ Conway who was instrumental in bringing down Eagleson (who was prosecuted by Paul Kelly BTW) and certainly knows the NHLPA was very critical:

Also in that article:
Ironically, Kelly, who has become the scapegoat for those concessions, had nothing to do with negotiating the current collective bargaining agreement, while Penny was one of the main lawyers involved. But this group decided to tarnish Kellyís image with the players by pointing to what they believe was too cozy a relationship between Kelly and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly. Hargrove, Penny and Pink also claim that Kelly never made enough effort to get to know the players and members of the union.

According to sources, part of this groupís desire to get rid of Kelly also stemmed from Kelly ordering an internal audit (by a top former FBI forensic accountant) of the players' association's expenses during the previous three years before he took over. That audit was still ongoing prior to Kellyís dismissal. Sources claim that through the audit, Kelly discovered that then-interim leaders Penny and Lindros were spending millions of dollars of the unionís money. Lindros ended up resigning, but word is, that move fueled this attack on Kelly, and Lindros was very much involved. Kelly also beat out Pink for the executive director job, and the belief is that Pink is still sour over that.
I have been in touch with a couple of players and agents I know.

Eric Duhatschek has it pretty much right.

The real driving force I am told behind the move however is Ron Pink who has worked hand in glove with Eric Lindros. I am told that it was Pink who actually authored the report presented by Buzz Hargrove. Not a big surprise as Hargrove is not the most literate guy in the world.

The report apparently was masterful smear job with little hard evidence to back it up. One former NHLPA exec I know claimed they were going around the NHLPA offices asking staff how Paul Kelly treated them personally.

Even Hargrove admitted this in an interview after the firing:
I don't think you can point to any one (issue) and I'm not prepared to name one," he said, adding that "people had just lost confidence that Paul was the one" to lead the union.
Pink was always miffed he did not get Kelly's job in the first place. He is a well-known union side labour lawyer from Halifax and IIRC he has ties to the CAW which would explain the Buzz Hargrove connection.

I am told that Lindros drove Kelly nuts with constant trips to his office and memo after memo about pretty much nothing.

I am a little surprised to see Ian Penny on board with that group but it seems he was bought off with a lucrative contract extension and the interim Director position.

Apparently there was also a split on the advisory board with at least George Cohen and Dan OíNeill supporting Kelly. Here is the press release and brief bios on the members:

I touched base with a couple of players and they are puzzled by the development. When I mentioned Pink being involved they were surprised - they were even more surprised when I told them that Pink had been in the running for the job Kelly got. Apparently that information was never shared with the rank and file members.

One of the players called me back and told me that two of the player members of the NHLPA Executive Board were also unaware that Ron Pink had been in the running for Kelly's job.

What surprises me given the search committee, unanimous vote on Kelly,etc. was that this was rushed through. The player reps should have come back to the teams when training camp opens and explain what was going on and get at least a straw vote on whether or not to keep Kelly.

This way (like with Saskin) there was no real chance for questions to be asked.

Pretty much a palace coup as Duhatschek says.

Wetcoaster is offline   Reply With Quote