Whether it's something in the air or in the water, it seems that this summer when it comes to dysfunction from within it has arisen in Chicago. From the RFA qualifying offer debacle, to the Tallon demotion, to the disappointment from disgruntled ex-player (Havlat ), to the signing of a former hated rival (Hossa) and the subsequent investigation into that particular contract, all the way to the "Face of the franchise" (Kane) being arrested after an alleged altercation with a cab driver it already was a busy summer in Chicago.
So when the NHLPA decided to remove their Executive Director (Paul Kelly) causing a rift from within it seemed logical to have their annual meeting in Chicago. Looks like the NHLPA wanted in on the fun. In any case in latest turn of events Glenn Healy, the Director of Player Affairs for the NHLPA, has effectively resigned from his position for what he claims "his credibility was undermined by an internal report and comments made by (interm Executive Director) Ian Penny". Oh...and that's not all! It seems Mr. Healy has decided to rip into his former employers by issuing these statements: "That (internal report) indicated that I have mislead the players and did not tell the full truth." , "accusations were made because of the comments that I have made to the players, in particular about Wayne Gretzky and his contributions and personal sacrifices for the Player's Association...when he joined our Group Licensing Agreement in 1992, he made the Player's Association millions of dollars, has allowed the PA to stand on it's own, and allowed every player to prosper". Wayne Gretzky? You mean the once co-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes. Couldn't see the players having a problem with that now would we. I mean what's not to like about your current Director of Player Affairs 'stroking the back' of a then current co-owner. Couldn't see the players having a problem with that now-NOOOO!
That's not all, he also adds " I cannot sit back and continue to perform my duties when the Player's Association unjustifiably impugn my credibility in front of the players I represent and fire shots against Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, two of the greatest players in the game (now owners), who have benefited every player in this Player's Association." Once again, with the current CBA expiring in 2011 I'm sure the player's really want someone in charge of their affairs to be someone that is "buddy-buddy" with now 2 people on the other side of the table. Even if it's Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
Upon learning of these comments Ian Penny fired back "Based on the timing it appears that was part of strategy to deflect attention from today's media reports concerning Paul Kelly's conduct."
Those media reports claim that Kelly allegedly may have read a confidential transcript from a player's-only meeting. If true that may have been the deciding factor in Kelly's dismissal. For that is what got Saskin canned some 2 years ago.
All this and so much more like Ted Lindsay claiming Kelly's dismissal was "the biggest scam job, execution, he has ever seen in his life." and that "there is a lot of traits of Eagleson right here". Big words from the great man who started this very association. Big words indeed. Chicago, Chicago you're my kind of town....for dysfunction within the NHL, this summer anyways.