Monday, March 05, 2007

Things get uglier for NHLPA

From tomorrow's Globe and Mail:
Already under criticism from several directions, National Hockey League Players' Association boss Ted Saskin has been asked by a former player agent to explain the union's handling of tens of millions of dollars in player funds.
National Hockey League players aren't the only ones to allegedly have their e-mails read or blocked by executives at the NHL Players' Association.

Player agents, particularly those who have questioned how Ted Saskin was hired as the association's executive director, have also allegedly had their electronic mail interfered with, according to sources.
The question now is one of democracy — and the only way Saskin can answer is to provide full explanations for his constituency, to be seen to be above reproach.

Until then, the dissidents, a lonely little group not so long ago, are going to be emboldened, and are going to celebrate as former doubters join their ranks.
I'd said back in January that it seemed the end was near for Ted Saskin, as a trail of inexplicable deeds continued to be linked to his administration. And as more of these stories continue to come out, stories detailing abuse of trust and misuse of union money, it seems more and more likely that the league's bright new union head will be ousted almost as quickly as he was instilled.

As we continue to learn more of the details behind the NHLPA's shenanigans, the question that I keep coming back to is: How on earth can Saskin recover from this?

And more often than not, I'm at a loss for an answer.

I don't think he can.
  • As for the NHLPA's email system: I know from corresponding with a few players the past couple of years that quite a lot of them use their union account almost exclusively as their main email address — meaning that, if the allegations were true, the union could access almost everything sent electronically from all 600+ players. On the whole, this isn't a tech-savvy group.

  • There have been a few, minor complaints from those who aren't interested in reading about the union fracas, and I heartily encourage those readers to simply mosey along and move onto other material. I don't plan on ignoring these stories at any point in the future.

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At 11:14 p.m., March 05, 2007, Blogger Lowetide said...

Goodenow sandwiched between Eagleson and Saskin. They should build him a monument.

They may have to take this off the NHLPA site, though: "Under its current administration, the NHLPA has put in place strict guidelines that guarantee the highest degree of competence and integrity among employees and player agents."

Guess they left that in when Saskin took over, quite the oversight.

At 1:06 a.m., March 06, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Keep at it, James. Eagleson was brought down by a reporter who wouldn't back down. Courage.

At 9:42 a.m., March 06, 2007, Anonymous snafu said...

Great that you and several of the other Globe writers are keeping on top of this, James. It IS an important issue. Like you said, those who aren't interested can move along. However the NHLPA head is the person ultimately responsible for spearheading CBA discussions and the implementation (oversight) of any CBA. It has a direct impact on everything we call NHL hockey.

At 2:18 p.m., March 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how long before the REAL truth emerges that Saskin was chosen/bought by Bettman/the owners to get the deal they wanted all along?
A new lockout/strike is closer than most will admit!


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