Report: Linden frustrated by firing of Kelly as NHLPA head Staff

9/14/2009 9:12:36 PM

Former National Hockey League Players' Assocation president Trevor Linden may be retired from playing but he's not happy with the recent turn of events involving the group he used to head.

Linden appeared on the TEAM 1040 Radio in Vancouver on Monday and offered his thoughts on the recent firing of executive director Paul Kelly.

"It's frustrating from my standpoint because this search committee was supposed to be the answer to everything," Linden told TEAM 1040 Radio. "They spent a lot of money on the search committee, and I guess they hired the wrong guy."

Linden was the president of the NHLPA when the players were locked out in 2004, cancelling the entire season and causing the departure of NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow. Ted Saskin took over the reigns from Goodenow but was abruptly fired in 2007.

Now the former Vancouver Canucks captain is concerned that it may be difficult to find someone to assume the role after what has happend to Saskin and Kelly.

"When you look at guy like Ian Penny - he's basically undermined two executive directors to this point, so I've got concerns about their ability to hire someone who will want to come into that situation with the way the constitution is set up," Linden told the radio station. "I think it creates a very unhealthy environment in the office. It's disappointing, but hopefully they get it right."

According to Linden, a large part of the problem is the young demographic of the executive board and the likelihood of intimidation in meetings, such as the one that was held in Chicago that saw the dismissal of Kelly in the wee hours of the morning.

"I guess my main concern is that the executive board - which is the 30 player reps - is made up of a lot of young players," Linden told Team 1040 Radio. "They get into a room like that and get influenced by someone who's talking more and louder than everyone else."