Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Saskin New Executive Director of NHLPA

The NHLPA executive committee had the mandate to make a deal with the league on the CBA. I'm sure the executive committee also felt it had the mandate, knowing that executive director Bob Goodenow was being marginalized, to get that deal done and push Goodenow out in favour of Ted Saskin.
If the rank and file membership have a problem with it going forward, they will let their feelings be known and it will sort itself out in the wash.
I get the sense that the executive committee wanted to finish the job. They got the deal done, they knew Goodenow wasn't part of that deal and shouldn't be part of it going forward, and so they pushed him out. They've made their choice for a replacement, deciding Saskin should be the man. If the rank and file have a problem with the decision, the executive committee will deal with it through the player reps.
Is Saskin the right man for the job?
There are people loyal to Goodenow who will tell you that he was undercut in the CBA process - with Saskin doing some of the cutting. Saskin was certainly part of an executive committee that took control of the wheel away from Goodenow.
Having said that, I think most of the PA rank and file will tell you that Saskin is a good man, who has done a good job, and deserves an opportunity to carry this thing forward.
Goodenow leaves behind quite a legacy. A number of years ago, Goodenow said the thing of which he was most proud in his job as executive director of the NHLPA was that he made being a hockey player a true profession. Under his watch, any player that spent considerable time in the NHL could retire as a player and never have to work again if he so chose.
Unfortunately, there will be some players who remember him as having cost them an entire year's salary.
On balance, though, most players will retire without ever taking on another full-time job, and it was Goodenow who made that possible.

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