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NHLPA fires Paul Kelly (UPD: player review of firing completed)

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Old
09-25-2009, 03:30 PM
  #426
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
Kelly informed the NHLPA exec comm that he had accessed the information he shouldn't have. (Nothing I read/heard of what was made public *how* that happened, just that it did.)

And nothing known of what he did with the information, if anything once he saw it.

Reading Moneyplayers (slow process, only about a chapter a day at lunch). Very interesting reading the history of Eagleson, Goodenow. (Eagleson was essentially in the pocket of the NHLPA, especially BOG pres Wirtz and NHL pres Ziegler. The players got steamrolled until Godenow took over -- to Eagleson's chagrin and way underestimated by Eagleson and NHL.)
Here is a good summary of the many misdeeds of Eagleson:
http://andrewsstarspage.com/CBA/11-16cba.htm

CBC has archived material on Eagleson:
http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/busine...s/topics/1493/

I would highly recommend several other books if you have not read them.

Game Misconduct: Alan Eagleson and the Corruption of Hockey by Russ Conway

Net Worth: Exploding the Myths of Pro Hockey by David Cruise

The Power of Two: Carl Brewer's Battle with Hockey's Power Brokers by Susan Foster

The Defense Never Rests by Bruce Dowbiggin

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09-25-2009, 03:45 PM
  #427
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2 More interesting online articles... one from today and the other about a week ago

Steven Diamond - Contrast of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the NHLPA

Ference's Email to Stan Fischler

*** Stick tap to Lost Horizons over at the Bruins Boards for finding this (Love that Avatar BTW)

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Old
09-25-2009, 04:46 PM
  #428
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Originally Posted by Major4Boarding View Post
2 More interesting online articles... one from today and the other about a week ago

Steven Diamond - Contrast of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the NHLPA

Ference's Email to Stan Fischler

*** Stick tap to Lost Horizons over at the Bruins Boards for finding this (Love that Avatar BTW)
I found the Ference e-mail interesting on several fronts.

Hands up those of you who believe this was actually written by Andrew Ference? No. Thought not.

I read through it and got a lot of trust issues, certain staff at the NHLPA did not like him and that this had gone on for over one year. It suggests Kelly was terminated "for cause" but skirts the issue.

Quote:
There was a loss of trust and cooperation between Mr. Kelly and many key members of the NHLPA staff that remained unresolved and actually worsened for over a year. This led to the internal review of the office to cut through the he said/she said situation and actually get a gauge on how effective the office was currently and moving into the next CBA negotiations. The results from that review did not look favorably on his leadership. We were also informed of information that caused a loss of confidence in Mr. Kelly and after discussion and a secret ballot vote, his position at the PA was terminated.
That would seem to harken back to Lindros.

The part that seems to be missing is how you deal with this sort of problem under employment law. This is what is referred to as progressive or corrective discipline.

There is supposed to be an opportunity provided to the employee to know the issues that the employer is concerned about and have time to consider the allegations or concerns. The employee then is given an opportunity to respond and may or may not rebut some of the issues. The employer then lays out what it believes are necessary changes to be made in the employee's behaviour setting out realistic achievable goals. After a period of time the situation is reviewed to determine if performance is improving and the issues identified earlier are being dealt with properly.

The typical progressive discipline formula begins with a verbal warning and progresses to a written and then a final written warning prior to termination.

From what Ference is saying this never occurred and instead of facing Kelly they just kept looking for more issues. Ron Pink is a pre-eminent employment lawyer and Hargrove of all people coming from heading up a union would know the proper procedures well.

Also if this had been building up for over a year why did none of the players and apparently a number of the player reps never know this was on the table until it happened?

Here is the comment to Fischler I found somewhat humorous:
We were confident in making this decision and after talking with our teammates in the days since, have been backed by their support of our decision after hearing the full facts of the matter.

Mark Recchi, Chris Chelios and Sidney Crosby would disagree.

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09-25-2009, 06:03 PM
  #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wetcoaster View Post

The Defense Never Rests by Bruce Dowbiggin
He just posted this a short time ago. Excellent, excellent read. Highly recommend this article to everyone (Pro/Anti Kelly alike)

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mana...2_10022&page=1

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09-25-2009, 09:08 PM
  #430
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Originally Posted by Bluefan75 View Post
I haven't gone through every single post you have made in this thread, but if memory serves, you have made this point several time, that Kelly was wrong to get this info, while completely whitewashing the fact that in this same meeting, during the part where he was excluded, the players "reviewing" him also saw fit while they had a moment to give a very high-ranking person a 5 year deal without the ED involved. Either you are too stupid to see the problem(which I don't think you are), or you are being intellecutally dishonest by completely ignoring that fact.
Thank you for your generousity and I'll extend YOU that same benefit of the doubt and assume you aren't too stupid to know the difference between and employER and an employEE.

My boss is allowed to read my email. I'm not allowed to read his.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
Kelly informed the NHLPA exec comm that he had accessed the information he shouldn't have. (Nothing I read/heard of what was made public *how* that happened, just that it did.)

And nothing known of what he did with the information, if anything once he saw it.
My understanding is he was denied twice by the players (his bosses) and so he went to the printer.

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09-25-2009, 09:18 PM
  #431
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Originally Posted by Major4Boarding View Post
2 More interesting online articles... one from today and the other about a week ago

Steven Diamond - Contrast of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the NHLPA

Ference's Email to Stan Fischler

*** Stick tap to Lost Horizons over at the Bruins Boards for finding this (Love that Avatar BTW)
Nice finds. Liked this part from the SAG guy...

"Unfortunately, right now the NHLPA seems engaged in the same kind of internal bickering that has consumed SAG over the last three years. Better to move on - get the right team in place and work hard for a successful contract round."

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09-25-2009, 10:58 PM
  #432
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Wait - have we learned something new or did Paul Kelly still go behind their backs and order transcripts that he was denied access to by his employer (twice)?

''Guys that say, 'Oh, you need to have everybody vote on something that big,' well, we had five guys voting on hiring [Kelly],'' Ference told Shinzawa. ''I didn't hear too many guys complaining about the process of hiring him. We didn't have 740 guys vote on that.''

I suppose eventually someone will attempt to guess at a motive behind the nefarious activities of Andrew Ference. We've heard Crosby was pretty upset about Kelly's firing. I'll take a stab at it - Ference was just trying to get back at him for getting the best of him in their little scrap a couple years ago?
Why does Ference insist that five guys picked Kelly? The entire membership voted on his candidacy for the position. Certainly Ference would have cast a vote too. I think Ference is a well-meaning guy, further evidenced by his off-season charity work, etc., but he's not really make sense on this point.

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09-27-2009, 11:23 AM
  #433
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Originally Posted by Major4Boarding View Post
He just posted this a short time ago. Excellent, excellent read. Highly recommend this article to everyone (Pro/Anti Kelly alike)

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mana...2_10022&page=1
Brilliant article, really well done.

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09-27-2009, 08:59 PM
  #434
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Originally Posted by Major4Boarding View Post
He just posted this a short time ago. Excellent, excellent read. Highly recommend this article to everyone (Pro/Anti Kelly alike)

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mana...2_10022&page=1
Nothing new in there - just a summary of what we've already heard, interspersed with Dowbiggin's opinion (which is worth less than [mod: deleted] IMHO).

One of these days I'd like to see somebody's on-the-record name attached to these accusations that it's the devious Eric Lindros and his devious family behind all of this. So far the best we've seen is "a source close to the situation" - which always read pretty obviously as "Glenn Healy" to me. Unfortunately, his opinion could hardly be considered impartial.


Last edited by Fugu: 09-27-2009 at 10:59 PM. Reason: keep it clean
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09-28-2009, 01:29 AM
  #435
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Wasn't there supposed to be an all-hands phone conference this evening to finally sort this out for the rank-and-file?

Any leaks yet on what was said?

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09-28-2009, 02:09 AM
  #436
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Ironically, it is supposed to happen today (9/28), on the 4 year anniversary of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board / Saskin filing.

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09-29-2009, 09:28 AM
  #437
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http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=293033

TSN on yesterday's conference call

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09-29-2009, 11:14 AM
  #438
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Here is another link to a story by Darren Dreger:
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=293055

What I found interesting was this:
Quote:
According to sources, Kelly requested a confidential meeting with all P.A employees to discuss any concerns, or complaints his staff may have, or thoughts on how the union could be improved moving forward.

The meetings with Kelly never took place and some employees viewed this request as a "scare tactic," and were skeptical of the timing of this request.
Since this is the sort of thing a competent manager would do to try to deal with alleged problems, I do not know how that would be a "scare tactic".

The story also notes there will be subsequent conference call and it is expected at that time the firing will be discussed in detail and whether or not the NHLPA had "just cause".
Quote:
If the board feels Kelly was fired with just cause, then the remainder of his contract may not be honoured. If that were to happen, it's believed Kelly would swiftly challenge this decision legally and a new fight will begin.

Regardless, Paul Kelly's contract will definitely be the top agenda item on the October 4 call.
One other thing to consider is that the player reps are up for election after the next conference call and depending upon the make up of the executive board there could be further investigations of precisely what happened internally.

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09-29-2009, 08:18 PM
  #439
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Since this is the sort of thing a competent manager would do to try to deal with alleged problems, I do not know how that would be a "scare tactic".
I guess that's a testament to how deep those trust issues ran that we've heard so much about.

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09-30-2009, 07:08 AM
  #440
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Kelly fired with cause: Lawyer
http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/703099
NHLPA had basis to dismiss boss over `a serious breach of trust' says report by ex-Ontario chief justice

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09-30-2009, 07:11 AM
  #441
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The Toronto Star published a report today that former Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry provided an opinion letter in September suggesting that the NHLPA has cause to fire Paul Kelly. This is based on the fact that he told members that he had only looked at a part of a transcript of a confidential meeting and later admitted in emails looking at the entire document. Mr. McMurtry suggests that this is a breach of trust of someone in a position of high authority which is cause for dismissal.

The actual letter is not published.

The opinion would appear to give the NHLPA some grounds on which to resist paying out Mr. Kelly. However, based on over 20 years in employment law, this is not as clear cut as it seems. Short of a lengthy disciplinary record or some very egregious conduct, the law of wrongful dismissal is not overly sympathetic to terminating for one action. Much would depend on whether there was a policy in place, what Mr. Kelly was advised about access to this type of information, and whether he was warned and whether this was enforced previously.

Maybe this opinion will change what seems to be a one sided debate on the lack of merits on Mr. Kelly's being fired.

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09-30-2009, 07:39 AM
  #442
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Originally Posted by stormtracker View Post
The Toronto Star published a report today that former Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry provided an opinion letter in September suggesting that the NHLPA has cause to fire Paul Kelly. This is based on the fact that he told members that he had only looked at a part of a transcript of a confidential meeting and later admitted in emails looking at the entire document. Mr. McMurtry suggests that this is a breach of trust of someone in a position of high authority which is cause for dismissal.

The actual letter is not published.

The opinion would appear to give the NHLPA some grounds on which to resist paying out Mr. Kelly. However, based on over 20 years in employment law, this is not as clear cut as it seems. Short of a lengthy disciplinary record or some very egregious conduct, the law of wrongful dismissal is not overly sympathetic to terminating for one action. Much would depend on whether there was a policy in place, what Mr. Kelly was advised about access to this type of information, and whether he was warned and whether this was enforced previously.

Maybe this opinion will change what seems to be a one sided debate on the lack of merits on Mr. Kelly's being fired.
From the article:
Quote:
McMurtry said Kelly was reminded via emails that it was improper for him to receive a transcript of the closed-door session.

"But in order to obtain a copy of the confidential transcript, he falsely claimed that he had been in discussions with the advisory board about the meeting and the transcript," McMurtry wrote.

McMurtry added Kelly "implicitly acknowledges this deceit" during meetings in Chicago.
According to the article, Kelly deceived while executing an act of insubordination (clearly not doing what his boss, the board, told him to do). Insubordination alone is good cause. Lying while achieving it only buries him deeper. And it came after several other concerns with his conduct had been brought forward.

If they can prove that, as it appears to have convinced the ex-Chief Justice, Kelly isn't going to get very far with wrongful dismissal. Like Saskin, they'll probably settle out of court but it will likely be for a small fraction of his contract. I would have fired his ass on the spot too.

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09-30-2009, 08:49 AM
  #443
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From the article:


According to the article, Kelly deceived while executing an act of insubordination (clearly not doing what his boss, the board, told him to do). Insubordination alone is good cause. Lying while achieving it only buries him deeper. And it came after several other concerns with his conduct had been brought forward.

If they can prove that, as it appears to have convinced the ex-Chief Justice, Kelly isn't going to get very far with wrongful dismissal. Like Saskin, they'll probably settle out of court but it will likely be for a small fraction of his contract. I would have fired his ass on the spot too.
Again, though, he was hired to be the ED, and the ED is to be involved in PA matters. Giving Ian Penney a 5 year contract is one of those matters. I would be in agreement were it not for that not so small detail and how it was done. If Kelly is not needed for these matters, then he should have been dismissed then. If as you say there were legitimate concerns brought forward(and I'm not convinced a proper process was followed on that front either, but I'll stipulate for the sake of this point), then there would have been enough at that point. Having a meeting to review his performance, and while we're at it let's hand out a contract even though Kelly needs to be part of this process, and keep this all in the secret minutes, reaks of a setup.

The boss hired Kelly to be the ED. There are duties and responsibilities that come with that. If you do not want him to perform them, then get rid of him then. Don't mix business he is constitutionally required to be a part of in with a review of his performance, and then hide it all in secret minutes. If you would have "fired his ass on the spot," I would ask you why you wouldn't have "fired his ass" before then if you are going to start doing his job?

I suppose if when this is all said and done, Pink, Penny, Hargrove and Lindros have nothing to do with the PA, the palace coup theory will have far less credibility. But somehow I don't see that cast of characters exiting stage left any time soon.

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09-30-2009, 09:09 AM
  #444
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Again, though, he was hired to be the ED, and the ED is to be involved in PA matters. Giving Ian Penney a 5 year contract is one of those matters. I would be in agreement were it not for that not so small detail and how it was done. If Kelly is not needed for these matters, then he should have been dismissed then. If as you say there were legitimate concerns brought forward(and I'm not convinced a proper process was followed on that front either, but I'll stipulate for the sake of this point), then there would have been enough at that point. Having a meeting to review his performance, and while we're at it let's hand out a contract even though Kelly needs to be part of this process, and keep this all in the secret minutes, reaks of a setup.

The boss hired Kelly to be the ED. There are duties and responsibilities that come with that. If you do not want him to perform them, then get rid of him then. Don't mix business he is constitutionally required to be a part of in with a review of his performance, and then hide it all in secret minutes. If you would have "fired his ass on the spot," I would ask you why you wouldn't have "fired his ass" before then if you are going to start doing his job?

I suppose if when this is all said and done, Pink, Penny, Hargrove and Lindros have nothing to do with the PA, the palace coup theory will have far less credibility. But somehow I don't see that cast of characters exiting stage left any time soon.
I now suspect this coup business is a face saving story planted in the media by Kelly and/or his supporters. Time may tell.

To me, the rest of the story doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot. The board told him not to do something. He deceived and did it anyway. They fired him for it. Period. End of story. End of his ability get very far in a wrongful dismissal case.

He wasn't fired before because he was only under review at that point for various concerns brought forward by various parties and hadn't being caught yet deceiving and not following the orders of his employer.

In terms of the Penny review, when the transgression of Kelly not being in the room as he should have been was brought to the board's attention, it was reported that they brought him in the room and repeated the process so that it followed their constitution. But that is not an acceptable excuse to deceive and/or not follow the orders of his boss, the board.

In my opinion, Kelly doesn't have much of a leg to stand on if the findings of the exChief Justice are accurate. He can whine to his hearts content and mumble about a coup but deceitful insubordination is good cause for dismissal. Two wrongs don't make it right. Kelly was wrong to do what he did no matter what others were doing.

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09-30-2009, 05:38 PM
  #445
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The things I take issue with. Not the timing of the article itself and who authored it, but what is contained within the article.

Quote:
However, the board retained McMurtry, the province's chief justice for 11 years until 2007, to write an opinion on whether Kelly's conduct provided cause for dismissal.
A Heavyweight-by-stature (Former Chief Justice of Ontario) opinion...unbiased, one would assume... that if a former Chief Justice can see and reason with the dismissal, who could argue that right? I certainly hope the Board was looking for an unbiased assessment to bolster their reasons for ousting Paul Kelly.

But unfortunately, by reaching out to the Hon. Roy McMurtry, they weren't going to get an unbiased opinion considering the Hon. Roy McMurtry was on the Tribute Committee for Buzz Hargrove and the CAW's Buzz Hagrove Tribute Dinner (Charity Event for Eva's Initiatives Sept 18, 2007). An event sponsored by the CAW. Not knocking Eva's Initiatives by any means, just I question the impartiality of the Hon. Mr. McMurtry's summary of events over at the PA when he was on the Tribute Committee honoring Buzz Hagrove.

If the Hon. McMurtry was on, say, the Fundraising Committee instead of the Tribute Committee I wouldn't think too much of it. If anyone wants to quickly glance this publications reference to the Hon. Roy McMurtry's participation, do the old "Control + F" and type in McMurtry.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../12/c8008.html

In light of the events in TheStar article, one would reasonably think that if this was the "A-HA!!!", the "Smoking Gun", the indisputable evidence, etc. that they brought to the Exec Board, and by extension the court of public and media opinion, that they would seek someone or some entity that has zero ties to the Advisory Committee, the NHLPA, or Buzz Hargrove. This is twice now that has occured, where certain members of the Advisory Board have reached out to people where their impartiality is called into question. Ann Marie Turnbull and now the Hon. Roy McMurtry.

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09-30-2009, 06:07 PM
  #446
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Maybe this opinion will change what seems to be a one sided debate on the lack of merits on Mr. Kelly's being fired.
It doesn't change the fact that Paul Kelly was very media-friendly so I doubt much will change in regards to how this whole affair is painted in the media (and ergo, how it is perceived by the masses).

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09-30-2009, 06:13 PM
  #447
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I suppose if when this is all said and done, Pink, Penny, Hargrove and Lindros have nothing to do with the PA, the palace coup theory will have far less credibility. But somehow I don't see that cast of characters exiting stage left any time soon.
Why would they? They just managed to sniff out an insubordinate liar - not just in their midst but running the entire show. Sorry, given the history of the people holding that position, you have to be beyond reproach. If you don't like the rules, don't take the job.

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09-30-2009, 06:39 PM
  #448
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Originally Posted by Major4Boarding View Post
The things I take issue with. Not the timing of the article itself and who authored it, but what is contained within the article.

A Heavyweight-by-stature (Former Chief Justice of Ontario) opinion...unbiased, one would assume... that if a former Chief Justice can see and reason with the dismissal, who could argue that right? I certainly hope the Board was looking for an unbiased assessment to bolster their reasons for ousting Paul Kelly.

But unfortunately, by reaching out to the Hon. Roy McMurtry, they weren't going to get an unbiased opinion considering the Hon. Roy McMurtry was on the Tribute Committee for Buzz Hargrove and the CAW's Buzz Hagrove Tribute Dinner (Charity Event for Eva's Initiatives Sept 18, 2007). An event sponsored by the CAW. Not knocking Eva's Initiatives by any means, just I question the impartiality of the Hon. Mr. McMurtry's summary of events over at the PA when he was on the Tribute Committee honoring Buzz Hagrove.

If the Hon. McMurtry was on, say, the Fundraising Committee instead of the Tribute Committee I wouldn't think too much of it. If anyone wants to quickly glance this publications reference to the Hon. Roy McMurtry's participation, do the old "Control + F" and type in McMurtry.

http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/a.../12/c8008.html

In light of the events in TheStar article, one would reasonably think that if this was the "A-HA!!!", the "Smoking Gun", the indisputable evidence, etc. that they brought to the Exec Board, and by extension the court of public and media opinion, that they would seek someone or some entity that has zero ties to the Advisory Committee, the NHLPA, or Buzz Hargrove. This is twice now that has occured, where certain members of the Advisory Board have reached out to people where their impartiality is called into question. Ann Marie Turnbull and now the Hon. Roy McMurtry.
So the conspiracy theory spreads to the ex-Chief justice of Ontario? All because the NHLPA coup don't want to pay a little severance pay but are more than willing to give the ex-Chief Justice a little kick back?


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09-30-2009, 07:07 PM
  #449
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So the conspiracy theory spreads to the ex-Chief justice of Ontario? All because the NHLPA coup don't want to pay a little severance pay but are more than willing to give the ex-Chief Justice a little kick back?

Nice try. As you said, because the NHLPA coup don't want to pay a little severance pay ... wouldn't you seek that advice from someone or somewhere that has no ties to your Ombudsman?

And in no way shape or form was I, or am I, insinuating that McMurtry is going to receive some sort of gratuitous "Kickback". I was expecting a response from you at some point, but that one...

Again, so that I am clear... I brought this up as the article shows they reached out to the Hon. Roy McMurtry to weigh in on where they stand. That it appears with his weigh-in, no one could conceivably question it right? All I'm saying is if you are going to go about it that way, and dispell this "conspiracy theory", why window dress it as some great accomplishment when someone like me (and my grassy-knoll conspiracy theory) can question the impartiality.


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09-30-2009, 08:21 PM
  #450
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Originally Posted by Major4Boarding View Post
Nice try. As you said, because the NHLPA coup don't want to pay a little severance pay ... wouldn't you seek that advice from someone or somewhere that has no ties to your Ombudsman?

And in no way shape or form was I, or am I, insinuating that McMurtry is going to receive some sort of gratuitous "Kickback". I was expecting a response from you at some point, but that one...

Again, so that I am clear... I brought this up as the article shows they reached out to the Hon. Roy McMurtry to weigh in on where they stand. That it appears with his weigh-in, no one could conceivably question it right? All I'm saying is if you are going to go about it that way, and dispell this "conspiracy theory", why window dress it as some great accomplishment when someone like me (and my grassy-knoll conspiracy theory) can question the impartiality.
McMurtry has had a long and distinguished career even if I haven't always agreed with him or liked him. He's not going to get messed up in a silly little dirty affair at this late juncture in his career (and that's what this would be to him if there was anything sinister about it). I heard the same BS about Levitt during the lockout.

Going to an acquaintance who has a good reputation to look into this is the way most people would go. A lot of business is done on the basis of who knows who.

As his opinion could go before a court as part of the evidence in a civil action, the ex-chief Justice isn't going to make a jackass out of himself with a bunch of unfounded claims. He looked at the evidence and rendered his opinion. Now if the NHLPA lawyer hired him, then he didn't have to publish the opinion or give it to anyone if it was unfavorable. But I think that's the worst possible case of such an arrangement. Beyond that, the lawyer wasn't going to try to dictate to McMurtry what he was "supposed" to say. No chance of that.

Further, the evidence that McMurtry primarily used to draw conclusions was contained in the emails:
- The emailed instruction to Kelly that he was not to review the minutes.
- The two emails from Kelly proving that he read all of the minutes after he told the board that he didn't

Basically, according to the article, they've got Kelly dead to rights in writing lying and conducting an act of insubordination. It doesn't matter who reviewed those emails. They couldn't escape that conclusion. And all the players on the NHLPA executive board know it and quite frankly, so must Kelly. So ends the conspiracy theory on that count.

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