On the NHLPA

I haven’t said anything until now about the NHL Players’ Association firing executive director Paul Kelly because I flat out don’t understand it.

The players seem to have a history of betrayal by and betrayal of their executive directors.

Alan Eagleson stole from them. Bob Goodenow was fired after leading them through a lockout during which the players turned on him. Ted Saskin spied on them. Now the players have sent Kelly packing.

They just can’t get it together and I don’t get that. I understand some of the comments being made about the ordeal even less.

George Malik commented this morning that he sees the NHLPA as a potential fans’ advocate.

I supported the PA in The Great Hockey Stoppage of 2004-05 but I can’t agree with that.

The players are not on the fans’ side. We just happen to have a shared opponent in that the owners are trying to screw both the players and the fans.

If you don’t believe that, take a look at the Red Wings’ payroll pre- and post-lockout and then take a look at Detroit ticket prices in the same time frame.

When the Wings’ payroll went down the cost to see the team didn’t. Mike Ilitch wins on both sides and it’s the players and the fans that are screwed.

The Board of Governors did something incredible during the lockout and its effects are still felt today. The group of men who overcharge for fans to watch games, by memorabilia, etc. told the fans that the players were at fault and for some reason many fans believed them. That leads to comments like the one I read at the bottom of one of today’s articles on TSN.

I really dont care who is at the head of the PA. As long as the person wont put us through another lockout in two years and isnt so arrogant to make ridiculous demands to the NHL directors that could never be accomplished.

Let me clarify something for people who don’t remember how things happened. The Great Hockey Stoppage of 2004-05 was not a strike (not that this particular person called it that) and it was not the players’ doing. It was a lockout put into action by the owners and the owners alone.

The players would have been fine with the status quo. They weren’t making any demands. It was the owners crying poor and demanding a salary cap that lost us a year of hockey. That they eventually got it doesn’t mean it was any less their doing.

The Players’ Association has got to get its act together or the league will always be able to play the fans against it. Of course, if they keep firing the leaders who are actually trying to do right by them just to hire guys who try to cheat them, it won’t matter what the fans think, the players will be screwed all on their own.

Author: Clark Rasmussen

Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.

DetroitHockey.Net is not officially affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings organization or the National Hockey League

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