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SBD/Issue 34/Leagues & Governing Bodies
NHLPA Review Committee Looking To Hire Advisors, Legal Counsel
Published October 29, 2009
FOUR WARNED? Kelly was at odds with Penny, current acting Ombudsman Buzz Hargrove, members of the advisory board and some of the NHLPA field reps before he was fired. The October 27 letter was sent to the 30 executive committee members, but was copied to all NHL players, agents, and NHLPA staff. A growing number of players are concerned about the four-member group, said sources who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals from the committee. Noting how the formation of the review committee was spurred by concern that Kelly was the victim of a coup, one source said, “Talking about complaining about a coup, this is now a blatant coup where (the four player committee) has taken control of the association. They have been authorized to conduct a review of how Kelly was fired and their memo to the executive board and copied to the world is a blueprint of how they intend to run the association going forward.” Meanwhile, there was no mention in the memo of a search for a new Exec Dir, and there is growing speculation that Kelly may be brought back -- something that was unthinkable when he was fired by a vote of 22-5 on August 31. Other hockey sources questioned whether any of the four players who signed the memo wrote it. The memo states, “We want to advise you that we have and will continue to consult with our own agents, other agents, our own legal counsel and several of our business contacts” (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).
READY & WILLING: ESPN.com's Lester Munson noted the players are "looking for someone outside the players' association who can sort things out and help them reset their union." Former NFLPA Exec Dir Ed Garvey, who in '89 crafted a report that "led to criminal charges" against former NHLPA Exec Dir Alan Eagleson, is "available again to step into the current fray." Garvey: "I would like to be considered. I know something about the way a player union can and should work and what it should be accomplishing for the players." Munson wrote Garvey has "charm, charisma and the capacity to explain difficult matters in ways that players can quickly comprehend." Munson: "If the players really want to solve their problems, Garvey can help" (ESPN.com, 10/28).