Monday, August 31, 2009

The NHLPA, rudderless again.

For those of us who hate NHL work stoppages, how scary is this?
The NHLPA fired its executive director Paul Kelly less than 2 years into the job, on the eve of new CBA talks in 2011.

NHLPA ombudsman Buzz Hargrove told the Team 1040 in Vancouver that he spoke with all 30 team reps and the players didn’t feel Kelly was the right man to “unify and pull the group together and get them all working together. 'Trust and confidence' were the words they used and I think that's used appropriately.”


They admit to having no candidates for the job. A search will begin immediately.
This is either a very bold move or an incredibly stupid one. Clearly the players believe it’s a move that had to be made. If there were any dissenters, they have not gone public with the exception of former player and union worker Pat Flatley who has resigned.

The NHL players have proven historically to have no clue as to who should lead them.
Alan Eagleson went to jail, Bob Goodenow was run out of office, Ted Saskin was canned after allegations of spying on player e-mails and now the chosen one, Kelly, has been unanimously fired. Will anyone ever retire after a successful career running the NHLPA or will all of them eventually have a grenade shoved into their pants?

My greatest fear is that somehow Buzz Hargrove will move from NHLPA Ombudsman to executive director. I don’t know Mr.Hargove and I have never met him. All I know is that as the leader of the UAW in Canada he played a major role in making the auto industry in this country unprofitable and as we have all witnessed, virtually bankrupt.

As someone who makes his living working in the NHL, this is a scary day.

See you at the rink.


PaV said...

Dean, you are spot on. Either there is something more to the story that we are not privy too, or the NHL players are complete and utter morons.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The players don't look too smart with this move.

From the outside, Kelly looked liked a guy who had a collaborative approach that was refreshing. I can't help but think that a confrontational guy like Buzz Hargrove convinced the guys that you have to fight and see the opposition as the enemy or they will take advantage of you.

Buzz Hargrove and Ron Pink are experienced negotiators. The players are like raw meat if these lions guys wanted to plant seeds of doubt in their minds. I'd bet that this is want happened. They scared the players into thinking that they would be worse off with Kelly's collaborative approach in the long run.

The sad part is that some people make their living off conflict. They need to have two parties at war. That justifies their existence. Buzz only sees ownership ripping off labour. He can't conceive that the two sides can be partners. Ron Pink is a labour lawyer. He makes money when their is conflict.

Due to the fact that Kelly was collaborative, he probably would have worked towards preventing a work stoppage. The result would have been an example to other union bosses. But, that would have been a disaster to the people who make their living like Pink and Hargrove.

I'm sure they don't appreciate a guy like Kelly who makes their positions redundant.

Anonymous said...

There's some indication that some players think that a mistake may have been in letting Kelly go. I've also read reports that they think that it's probably too late to undo it.

If these Internet reports are true, wouldn't it be refreshing if they just said "Sorry we made a mistake", and then brought him back.

If he did nothing wrong and he's right for the job, why not bring him back. It's not too late. Just say sorry.

As a fan, it would be nice to have a guy that you know will work towards preventing a work stoppage.

Anonymous said...

Darren Dreger is reporting that Crosby and his high profile agents have spoken out against Kelly's firing. Good for them!

I've always liked Crosby as a player, but I have even more respect for him now. Why should Paul Kelly wear the label, and go through all of the personal drama, of someone who has been fired when he did nothing wrong?

It's getting tiring hearing about manipulative people who take advantage of others and then get away with simply because the public is apathetic.

From what I've read, Ron Pink and Buzz Hargrove and Ian Penney should wear the label of people who took advantage of their less educated membership. They should carry whatever stigma that comes with that. They should be dismissed.

Why do the good people always have to get screwed over? I really hope that more players take an interest and make their voices heard like Crosby. It's in their and the whole game's interest.