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Report: Former NHLPA head Paul Kelly was "railroaded" out of office

Jul 18, 2010, 12:46 PM EDT

paulkelly.jpgWe’ve already covered quite a bit about the labor struggles going on amongst the owners and the players and about how all these actions will have an impact on how things play out when the Collective Bargaining Agreement runs out at the end of the 2011-2012 season. One disturbing part of all this is the internal strife going on amongst the players within the NHLPA. The NHL players have been courting former MLBPA head man Donald Fehr for some time to get him into position to deal with the owners during the next round of negotiations.

But just how did he get to be the prime candidate so fast, especially in the wake of Paul Kelly’s very public firing. Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe had one, brief statement on Twitter about what he thought happened.

Players get results of investigation into events that led to dismissal of PA ‘s Paul Kelly. Finding: Kelly shamefully railroaded.

Yikes. Craig Custance of The Sporting News looked into things a little bit more and tells us that Kelly may have indeed been given short shrift but we’ll be lucky if we ever get to actually find that out.

… An NHL source told Sporting News that details of the Kelly investigation remain sealed until there’s a new executive director. The new executive director will ultimately decide whether to make the full report available to the players. This week, the players heard a series of recommendations from the committee that did the lengthy investigation.

The decision to keep the results of the investigation into Kelly’s middle-of-the-night dismissal sealed might become questionable if Fehr gets the job, since some have accused Fehr of being behind Kelly’s dismissal.

While the players rally themselves around Fehr, should Fehr get appointed to the lead position, it might serve the players best to not release that information out of fear of having the players union splinter once getting their act seemingly together. That said, things behind the scenes with the players have always been a bit ugly, something to which Toronto Star writer Damien Cox was happy to share via Twitter.
Five hours after Paul Kelly was fired, Don Fehr was magically available for a conference call with the union reps.Almost like it was planned
Obviously, none of this reflects well upon the players if they just ran a guy like Paul Kelly out of a job, especially by guys who have since left the NHLPA themselves in Ian Penny and Eric Lindros. Then again, if those guys sacrificed their own jobs to get Donald Fehr into a position to unite the players union and the players get their way in CBA negotiations, will anyone in the union remember nor care about the how’s and why’s of Paul Kelly’s dismissal? Not a chance, especially for a union that’s lacked leadership for a long, long time.
  1. 60eagles - Jul 18, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    The NHL is becoming more popular in the states. Will the time come when they challange the NBA? I think so. Many think they do already. The elevation of the Flyers and Blackhawks this year was super for the NHL. The final round of the Stanley Cup was sensational.

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