Friday, March 09, 2007

NHLPA sends official home

National Hockey League Players' Association executive Ken Kim has left the Toronto office with most of his personal belongings, an indication he may not return to work once the NHLPA executive committee holds its emergency conference call on Sunday.
Ken Kim, we hardly knew ye.

It's difficult to say if this is a case of Ted Saskin pinning some of the latest email shenanigans on an underling, although that's the sense you get from agent Ritch Winter's description of Kim's duties in the Toronto Star today:
"He's technically telling the truth," said Ritch Winter, an Edmonton-based player agent who has been working to oust Saskin for months. "He did not authorize technical staff to access email, he had Ken Kim do it. And (Saskin) did not access player email, he had Ken Kim do it and deliver it to his desk."
There's also some more good info on the Sports Law Blog today regarding the secret letters sent between the league and the union during the collective bargaining agreement negotiations in 2005:
However, some players and agents say that players were not told about the contents of the letters, including one that pledges union money to the league if players are paid too high a percentage of leaguewide revenue, until after they had voted on the labor deal. According to Richard Marcus, an attorney representing the players, "How can the letters be not confidential to Ted Saskin but confidential to the people who employ him?" Mullen also noted the observations of two unnamed labor lawyers who stated that, while there is precedent in which management has been able to keep proprietary information secret from unions, they have never heard of a case in which the union already has the information and keeps it secret from its own members. Also, the NLRB has taken the position that the union's "failure and refusal" to give the players access to the side letters constitutes a violation of the NLRA.
As I said this morning, everyone can see where this is headed. Given all of the leaks that have taken place to this point, I don't imagine it'll be long after Sunday's conference call for everyone to be filled in on the latest juicy tidbits from this whole affair.

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At 11:06 p.m., March 09, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Actually, where this should head is huge fines against the owners for unfair labor practices. That's not where it will head, mind you, because the NLRB has been utterly useless for a couple of decades now, but it should.

At 6:05 a.m., March 10, 2007, Blogger Gert Bruhn said...

I think this is an excellent reason for people (like you and me) to stop fearing the big stacks... and to stop bullying the small stacks. It was quite useful reading, found some good/nice stuff in here. Thanks!
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At 11:47 a.m., March 10, 2007, Anonymous Numbers Guy said...

If Saskin has been reading emails - regardless of whether he personally accessed them or had a minion do it and provide him the printout - he may have just screwed himself out of a cushy golden parachute. Some of that correspondence likely included priveleged communications with agents and lawyers. I strongly doubt that the NHLPA's email policies provide for a blanket waiver of confidentiality, and even if they did, it is pretty tricky to enforce such a provision in the face of obviously privileged communications - remember, this isn't the usual employer/employee relationship here: Saskin may be management, but the members employ Saskin, not the other way around. Saskin potentially faces significant personal legal liability here.


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