Dreger: Is a full purge of NHLPA may be necessary to rebuild?

Darren Dreger
10/2/2009 1:04:59 PM
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Trust, NHL players say, is the foundation of a solid union.

When asked if the players trust the players association's leadership, a union member responded, "No way, we have to fix it, once and for all."

Fixing it may require further change, with sources indicating the futures of NHLPA interim executive director Ian Penny, union ombudsman Buzz Hargrove, and members of the PA's advisory board will be called into question when the executive board conducts its next conference call Sunday.

That will be a call that Sidney Crosby - arguably the most powerful player in the world - intends to be on, as he was this past Monday when the group last conferenced to discuss the unions issues.
Player representatives have admitted to feeling pressure to fire Paul Kelly in the early morning of August 31st. While trust in Kelly quickly eroded after he admitted to reading confidential minutes following a meeting he was excluded from and explained why he did so, the urgent push to ditch Kelly without discussion with the full membership has generated an enormous backlash.

In addition, Tuesday's admission by the PA that they were unaware of the honourable Roy McMurtry's past association with former executive director Allan Eagleson (whom Paul Kelly successfully prosecuted) is seen as incompetence and an embarrassment.

While the board authorized the hiring of outside counsel, sources say Penny is responsible for retaining McMurtry.

Sources suggest there is a growing feeling among players that a full purge may be necessary, with a complete tear-down as the only means of properly rebuilding the association.

Darren Dreger


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