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.
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.