What happened: Paul Kelly was fired yesterday. The decision came from executive board which is made up of 30 player representatives.
Why? That’s the million dollar question. Nobody knows exactly why Kelly was fired.
- TSN has said that some inside the NHLPA thought Kelly wasn’t doing enough to get to know the players and/or was too close to Bettman and Daly.
- Was Kelly fired because he actually did his job instead of simply being a mouthpiece? That was one question posed one of the talkshows that I happened to overhear (I can’t remember which). They seemed to feel on the show that Kelly was fired because he was doing his job. Because he had opinions and would voice them. They claim the NHLPA’s board didn’t like this.
- What about Ian Penny who is currently sitting in as the interim exec director? He’s had issues with Kelly before and now he has his job. Coincidence?
- What of Buzz Hargrove the former president of CAW? Apparently his report on Kelly’s (alleged) flaws played a large role in the executive board’s nearly unanimous decision to fire Kelly. What will his role be in the post-Kelly NHLPA?
So why would the average fan give a damn about this? Kelly wanted to work with the NHL in a constructive manner. Now that he is out and we know that guys like Hargrove tend to take a hardline approach, we can expect the NHLPA to assume a more rigid stance once the CBA can be renegotiated in 2011. Which means…..
….We could be in for another lockout, right? Quite possibly, yes. The NHLPA had the opportunity to re-open the CBA this year but they optioned not to. Keep in mind though, that that decision came under Kelly. Under a new executive director who is willing to take a hardliner approach, we could very well be in for another lockout.
And that’s….bad? Yes. Not only is a lockout sucky for the fans, but a second lockout could be devastating for the league (particularly for franchises that are currently struggling to survive). The Preds on the Glass and the Program offered up the ultimate doomsday scenerio. Granted it’s an absolute worst case scenerio (for Bettman anyway), but it’s interesting to think about where the NHL could potentially end up.