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01-03-2013, 01:23 PM
joshjull's Avatar
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Originally Posted by Sabresfansince1980 View Post
You might not feel this way, but you sound as if you feel this extended lockout is the NHLPA's fault (mostly anyway). The NHL came out of the gate with an absolutely ridiculous offer that was roundly criticized from all corners of the hockey world as both unfair and a transparent negotiating ploy. All that did was strengthen the players' resolve and cause them to dig their heels in more than they already planned on. What kind of message did the NHL send? Sounded to me like, "you better put the gear away and grab a Snickers, because this is going to take a while".

This entire process has not been anything remotely close to a "give and take" negotiation, it's been entirely about how much the NHL will take. In what world would anyone expect the NHLPA to NOT play the 'union negotiating tactic' playbook to the hilt after that? Maybe it would've gone this route anyway, but when one side is only looking at how much they will lose, after already having their tail handed to them 7 years ago but seeing revenue almost skyrocket, would anyone expect them to not do whatever is necessary to lose as little as possible?

I don't like the situation, but I find it real hard to blame the NHLPA very much, even if the economics do need to sway toward the NHL. The league and owners simply haven't done a very convincing job of crying poor man after spending like drunken sailors, middle rung teams and wealthy teams alike, every season. Crying poor after forcing an unviable expansion plan to markets that can't compete.
The problem is yourself and many others don't seem to understand that opening NHL offer was in response to the NHLPA's actions.

The stage was set for this battle back in 2009 when the NHLPA hardliners orchestrated a coup to get rid of Paul Kelly. The owners knew from that point forward the CBA talks would be a confrontation and they would be dealing with a hardliner controlled NHLPA. In response to that they came with a very aggressive initial proposal that would give them a lot of space to walk back to get a deal.

Too many posters don't understand how much the Kelly ouster has impacted the current relationship between the NHLPA and NHL and what thats meant for the CBA talks. Kelly had a strong working relationship with Bettman and the NHL. Something the hardliners didn't like. Also Paul Kelly, in his attempts to clean up the NHLPA, had dug up evidence of financial shenanigans by the likes of Lindros and Pulver. He decided to do an audit and investigate the NHLPA's books from previous years looking for other improprieties. Not long after Kelly decided to do this is when Lindros and Pulver along with others, moved to remove Kelly.

The majority of players were kept in the dark about why Paul Kelly was removed. Many players back then were shocked or pissed or both and wanted answers. So did many agents. Guess what? The current NHLPA leadership will not release the report on Kelly's dismissal. Since it would reveal, in part Fehr's level of involvement in getting rid of Kelly. What a shocker.

I touched on it in an earlier post.

Why? Well, it was a coup orchestrated behind the scenes by union lawyer Ian Penny and ex-ombudsman Eric Lindros, and carried out in public by players like Andrew Ference, Matt Stajan and others.

Driving the coup, along with personal rivalries, was the suggestion that Kelly, despite his impressive record as a U.S. attorney, wasn’t tough enough and wasn’t experienced enough as a negotiator to take on the NHL and Gary Bettman.

What he had done was establish a cordial working relationship with Bettman. He’d even been invited to speak to the owners at a meeting in Pebble Beach, and that didn’t sit right with some.

Ultimately, a report was done on this shameful episode in NHLPA history, a report that has never seen the light of day or been made public.

Kelly’s dismissal set in motion a series of events.

First, former baseball union head Don Fehr, who was on the phone with members of the coup later in the same day that Kelly was fired, became a consultant for the NHLPA. He’d been denied a spot on the advisory committee on Kelly’s recommendation several months earlier
Fehr, despite being asked, has never revealed what was in the Kelly Report or what his involvement was in the sacking of his predecessor.
Here is an article from back when Kelly was ousted.

According to many, the NHLPA also may have signed a death warrant for themselves, the NHL and the game of hockey — because Kelly was looked upon as the first “true, clean” leader they ever had. “This is a very sad day for hockey,” Hall of Fame hockey scribe and former Lawrence Eagle Tribune NHL and Bruins beat writer Russ Conway told on Monday. “Unfortunately, the union continues to drink the Kool-Aid.”

Conway — who was responsible for bringing former NHLPA head Alan Eagleson to justice with his best-selling book, Game Misconduct: Alan Eagleson and the Corruption of Hockey — knows the NHLPA inside out, and he is right on the money. Many players claim they are not kept in the loop with regard to what goes on with NHLPA matters — some even acknowledge they really don’t care to know but just want to play hockey. That’s all fine and refreshing to hear to an extent, except when something like this latest NHLPA debacle occurs.
in recent months, a group consisting of the union’s legal counsel — Ian Penny, ombudsman Buzz Hargrove and chairman of the union’s advisory board Ron Pink — built a list of concerns regarding Kelly’s leadership. The purpose of this list was to ultimately convince the 30-member board of player reps to oust Kelly from his position with the union, which they did successfully during a lengthy meeting that ran from late Sunday afternoon until early Monday morning.
Hargrove, Penny, Pink, Pulver and Lindros represent the old guard of the NHLPA, one that was confrontational, hard-lined and more concerned with money than the overall well-being of the union and the game. They come from a time when chaos and greed ruled the players’ association and still believe the union conceded too much after the 2004-05 lockout.
According to sources, part of this group’s 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 Kelly’s dismissal. Sources claim that through the audit, Kelly discovered that then-interim leaders Penny and Lindros were spending millions of dollars of the union’s 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.
“These guys could really care less about whether the game and the NHL take another PR hit with a work stoppage,” one source told Murphy’s Law on Sunday. “They’re more concerned with making money. They had a cozy setup before Kelly came in and found out what was going on. He has done his best to clean things up and distance the union from its troubled past. Unfortunately, part of that cleaning up should’ve been a housecleaning — because now these guys are conspiring against him. This is simply crazy.”
“This was just a scheduled meeting to update the players on certain issues and just simple stuff to discuss,” said the source. “Now they come in and probably some of them are not as connected as others, and they could be duped into voting out probably the best leader they’ve ever had.” Unfortunately, as Conway pointed out, the 30 player reps that voted Kelly out Monday didn’t realize or appreciate what they had in Kelly. A hard-liner will now take over, and the cold war between the NHL and the NHLPA will resume. When the current collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15, 2011, fans may be in for some more wrangling between the union and the NHL.

But the owners, in your mind, are the bad guys because they saw what was going on with the NHLPA and reacted to it. The NHL understood the type of folks they would be up against and their opening proposal reflected that understanding.

Last edited by joshjull: 01-03-2013 at 01:38 PM.
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