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Could Kelly Return As NHLPA Exec Dir?
I WANT THE TRUTH! The GLOBE & MAIL's Allan Maki reports CAA Sports Hockey co-Heads J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson are "asking their clients to find out what led to Paul Kelly's firing." Barry and Brisson in a statement Thursday noted they have had talked to their clients -- which include Penguins Cs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane -- as well as other NHLers and said that "some of the things we have learned about the process are very troubling to us." Chelios also said that his former Red Wings teammates "wanted to know why such an important decision was made without their knowledge or consent." Chelios: "They felt they should have been consulted first. They felt I should have gotten the information, and brought it back to them then I could have taken their consensus back to the executive board. I couldn't agree more" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/18). Chelios said that the next NHLPA Exec Board meeting on September 28 "will be important since the 30 player reps will have all garnered feedback from their teammates throughout training camp." Chelios: "That's really the first chance for us to get together and talk about the feedback they got." He added, "We want transparency. The players in Detroit were surprised and disappointed. ... They can't believe they didn't have a say in this" (ESPN.com, 9/17).
UNION RAILROAD: In Vancouver, Ed Willes writes three weeks following Kelly's removal, the situation at the NHLPA "remains confusing and troubling for hockey fans." If the proceedings are "simply the result of a dysfunctional and chronically inept PA, most fans could care less." But with CBA negotiations with the NHL looming, if this is the "prelude to another long and tortured negotiation followed by another work stoppage, then anyone who cares about the game should be alarmed" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 9/18).
Pash Says NFL May Give
Up Control Of Drug Program
NBA referees "expected a lockout to be 'imminent'" after negotiations between the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA) and the league failed to produce a new CBA, according to Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com. The NBA and the NBRA "exchanged further counterproposals Thursday, with the union claiming to have made $1[M] in additional financial concessions," but those talks "ended at an impasse." NBRA Exec Dir Lamell McMorris said that there "remained a crucial unresolved dispute over the same retirement benefit issue, relating to severance pay, that caused commissioner David Stern to abruptly end a formal bargaining session nine days earlier." A source said that there were other unresolved issues, including the "use of D-League and WNBA referees in regular-season NBA games, a separate pension issue concerning employer vs. employee contributions to referees' retirement plans, and myriad other comparatively minor dollars-and-cents issues." Sheridan noted the NBA referees' training camp is set to begin Sunday, but NBA Exec VP & General Counsel Rich Buchanan Thursday said he is "not optimistic" a deal will be reached (ESPN.com, 9/17). In N.Y., Howard Beck notes the NBA is "not ready to make the same proclamation, but it appears highly likely that replacement referees will take the court when the preseason opens in two weeks." McMorris said that the "chances of a deal being struck before the preseason starts were 'less than 50-50.'" Meanwhile, Beck notes another matter in dispute is the NBRA's "claim of making $2.2[M] in concessions," a figure that "apparently includes about $1[M] that will be saved through the retirement of four veteran referees" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18). McMorris: "We remain open to continuing the dialogue and trying to come to a resolution with the league. It's not like we're not willing to negotiate. It's just that the talks ended" (NBA.com, 9/17).