Friday, March 09, 2007

Saskin is finished — and here's why

...the anonymous player agent said the players could fire Saskin before Block's report if they seek legal advice now and are told they have just cause to remove him.
A lot of what I'm about to write has been covered off nicely in a few other blogs in the past few weeks, namely by Tom Benjamin and Tyler Dellow, but consider this a concise summary of the odds stacked against the NHLPA's embattled leader, Ted Saskin.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the NHLPA's executive committee still holds its 'interim' designation, and that when the union holds a vote (as with voting for the Block investigation), this appointed, six-player body doesn't have a voice. Only the 30 player reps have the power to vote at the moment.

This is bad news for Saskin.

The appointed executive is full of Friends of Saskin (few of them, they may be at this point), but hasn't been 'voted' in, mainly because Chris Chelios et al would never do so — and especially so in light of the recent email peeping allegations against Saskin.

Essentially, Saskin has this toothless executive backing him (aside from Mathieu Schneider, who is on board with Chelios), no PA president to replace Linden (because they can't vote one in), and a group of 30 team reps (including Chelios) who are clearly against him.

Saskin has zero support, really. He might as well be a man in the wilderness. Former NHLPA director of player relations Steve Larmer spoke out earlier this week as to his interpretation of what has gone on since his resignation, and his opinion was that no one can successfully steer a union unless it's a wholly united group, moving toward a collective cause.

No one's mistaking the current PA configuration for that — in fact, Larmer himself said he believed two-thirds of the players were now backing the investigation into Saskin's dealings — and it's for that reason Saskin simply can't survive. He just doesn't have anyone in his corner the way former union director Bob Goodenow always did (and to some extent still does).

There's almost certainly going to be a vote — or at least a discussion — regarding Saskin's termination on Sunday, and if the decision to oust him doesn't come down then, my guess is he's gone in the summer or immediately after Sheila Block reports back from her investigation — whichever is sooner.

Either way, this is the end of the line — and all that's left to determine is the payout.

It's a good thing there's not a salary cap for the union membership, as these buyouts of the past two union heads would take quite a toll. And you better believe their successor will be as buttoned-down and by-the-book as can be.

Although I doubt he'll have a five-year, $10-million deal.

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At 9:35 AM, March 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It didn't have to come to this.

If they just would have followed their own constitution regulations/laws/by-laws/whatever, they would have found an appropriate candidate thru due process, whether it turned out to be Ted or not, they would have let Bob go thru the proper means instead of giving him such a gross golden handshake and who knows, the union might now be out of the news as it should be. Which means everything is running smoothly. Only when the dung hits the fan is when you're constantly in the news like this.

And for Ted to actually release a statement akin to "Well, Bob did it first" regarding the e-mail snooping... Ummmmm, who cares if Bob started it or not Ted? Bob doesn't work there anymore and you do and you knowingly continued such a heinous practice even though in the dark recesses of your brain you knew it to be wrong. You're the man on top TODAY Ted and perpetuating such a blatant disregard for common personal and private boundaries by blaming it on a previous employee is cowardly to say the least. Not the behaviour I would personally want from my union head that's for sure.

The union made many great strides to divest themselves of the Eagleson taint (giggity giggity) but unfortunately his ghost is back to some extent...


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