Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Incapable of Governing Itself


Steve Simmons has obtained a copy of a memo written to the NHLPA executive by interim director Ian Penny. The Simmons column is fairly thin on facts (and doesn’t tell us what Penny actually wants the executive to do), but we can’t tell whether Simmons has poorly summarized the memo or whether Penny was merely wasting everyone’s time with a long winded whine about the activities of Chris Chelios.

Under the category of Leaking of Internal Information, Penny writes to the player reps that “Sensitive, confidential union information is appearing in the media within minutes of the meetings’ conclusions. These leaks have resulted in a siege mentality among staff and have created the perception that we are an ineffectual organization incapable of governing itself.”

I don’t know about Penny’s other complaints, but this one seems to be ridiculous on the face of it because there has been almost nothing of any importance leaked. Fans still haven’t received a reasonable explanation for Paul Kelly’s dismissal. While we do know there are clearly at least two factions who are bitterly divided, we have no idea what issues – if any – actually divide them. As best we can tell, the players are still fighting the battle that destroyed the Union during the lockout and the current stupidity doesn’t have anything to do with the issues the NHLPA should actually be addressing.

More to the point leaks had nothing to do with any siege mentality felt by staff and the leaks had nothing to do with creating the perception that the NHLPA is an ineffectual organization incapable of governing itself. The fact that the NHLPA is now managed by its fourth Executive Director in less than five years creates more than a perception. It screams a reality.

The NHLPA is an ineffectual organization incapable of governing itself. Why on earth does it exist? Apparently it exists to sign off on any changes Gary wants in the next CBA. They won’t have the unity or strength to do anything else.

Postscript: One thing Penny should have done by now is negotiate and announce the amount being withheld this year in escrow. I’m surprised none of the hockey reporters have thought to ask about it.

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8 Responses to “Incapable of Governing Itself”
  1. Kel says:

    And nobody wrote about last season’s final escrow percentage either.

    • James Mirtle says:

      I’m fairly certain Bob McKenzie had it, and that it was 13 per cent.

      • Kel says:

        You’re right. My bad for not paying attention, but you know it was a busy time with the beginning of the season. If players got about 5% back, they could lower the withheld percentage by at least 2-3%, unless revenue projection points to a worse 09-10 than 08-09.

  2. James Mirtle says:

    The escrow figure for this season is also already available, Tom.

  3. Tom says:

    Thanks, James. This was the official announcement this year? Unnamed sources tell Darren Dreger and he slips it at the end of a blog entry?

    In every other year there has been an announcement and the announcement was a story carried by all hockey media

    • James Mirtle says:

      Unnamed sources? It’s my understanding every agent and player in the league knows what it is. I confirmed it easily.

      You’re right that it should have been more widely reported.

      • Tom says:

        You misunderstood. I know the players and agents knew. It was on their first paycheque. Dreger got it from a league source. Every other year, the number has been announced by the NHLPA director. The second year, Saskin explained how the number was determined. Getting that number out in the public is in the best interests of the players. For the first time, there was no announcement this year. I think that says something about the chaos at the NHLPA.

        It is also interesting how their failure to do that converts an annual big story into a non-story. If the NHLPA announced it at a press conference, it draws stories everywhere. They don’t and nobody pays any attention. I think that says something about the hockey press.


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