SBD/Issue 238/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly Reportedly Under Fire, Could Be Ousted

NHLPA's Exec Committee Could
Vote To Remove Paul Kelly
NHLPA Exec Dir Paul Kelly is "facing intense scrutiny" from union members and his status "may be challenged" when the NHLPA's Exec Committee meets Sunday and Monday, according to union sources cited by Darren Dreger of TSN. Sources added that NHLPA interim Ombudsman Buzz Hargrove is "expected to make a presentation to the committee" at the regularly-scheduled meetings in Chicago, "identifying concerns within the association about Kelly's leadership." No details have emerged about the nature of the concerns. The sources said that it is "possible the executive committee could vote to have Kelly removed and, in accordance with the NHLPA constitution, could do so without consent from the full membership of NHL players." Sources indicated that NHLPA Advisory Board member Ron Pink, who is believed to have applied for the NHLPA Exec Dir job before Kelly accepted the position, would have "strong interest in the job if Kelly is ousted" (TSN.ca, 8/27).

ANSWER IS BLOWIN' IN THE WIND: The GLOBE & MAIL's Tim Wharnsby reports NHLPA Exec Committee members "recently participated in what could be described as a leadership review," part of which was to "interview each member of the NHLPA staff." It is believed that "dissent surrounding Kelly's leadership began to pick up steam" at NHLPA meetings in Las Vegas in June, and "alarm bells certainly went off in February" after Ombudsman Eric Lindros suddenly resigned. Wharnsby notes "opinions are wide ranging as to whether members have been pleased with the job" Kelly has done in his 22-month stint, and some players "pledged to grill Kelly on a variety of internal matters," including Lindros' resignation (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/28). In Calgary, Steve MacFarlane notes NHL players Thursday "weren't willing or informed enough to comment" on the matter. Kings LW Ryan Smyth: "I don't know much about it, so I'm not really going to comment on it." Sharks D Dan Boyle said, "I heard a couple guys talking. I'm honestly not that informed about it and I don't know enough" (CALGARY SUN, 8/28).

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