Thursday, July 21, 2005

What about Bob?

These are not great days for NHLPA executive director Bob Goodenow.
He has to had to deal with serious illness in his family. He has had to endure sniping from players who are not happy at having lost a year of their careers, and corresponding income. And on Thursday, Goodenow's NHLPA is virtually certain to endorse an economic system of linkage and a salary cap that Goodenow personally abhors and vowed never to accept.
Amid questions of how involved, or not involved, he was in the process that led to the settlement of a new CBA, the question that must be asked now is, what now for Bob?
There appear to be three options.
Option 1: Goodenow decides that he is interested in remaining in his current post and fulfills the terms of his contract, which reportedly has another three years at $2.5 million per year. It is a little difficult to envision this one as,
(a) Goodenow may not want to stay on
(b) The rank and file of the NHLPA may have other ideas, although if that's so, someone is going to have to lead the charge to make a change and who's going to do that? It's difficult to think Goodenow would or could enter into this new "partnership" with the NHL in general and commissioner Gary Bettman in particular, so the odds of this are long, but you never say never.
Option 2: Goodenow knows that his days as head of the association are numbered, he's ready to move on, but given the length of time and amount of money owed on his contract, he'll be in no hurry to do anything except wait to see what settlement offer he might get from the NHLPA. This scenario could well take weeks or months to play itself out.
Option 3: Goodenow knows his incredibly successful run as head of the union is over and it's time to go - now. If you know Bob Goodenow at all, you would have to think there is a large part of him that would take great delight in standing up on Thursday or in the next few days and announcing his resignation on the spot, telling everyone how much he is opposed to the linkage/cap system, how he said he would never accept that and he won't put his name to that agreement because he is out, out, outta of here.
The truth is, based on Goodenow's personality traits, you could make a case for any of the three options. He is combative enough to maybe stick around just to make Bettman's life miserable. He is savvy enough to sit tight and maximize his buyout or settlement.
And he is most certainly defiant enough to make a bold and provocative exit to underline his opposition to a system he doesn't believe in.
Yes, this is going to be interesting.
-referenced from

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