Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Chelios: PA To Meet With MLB, NBA Players' Association Leaders

Posted by George James Malike from Mlive.com
June 05, 2007 08:46AM

According to Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios, MLBPA director Don Fehr, MLBPA general counsel Michael Weiner, and former NBA PA director Charles Grantham will meet with the players in Toronto this month to discuss the PA's future:

June 5, Globe and Mail: The plan is for Fehr, Weiner and Grantham to help the NHLPA plot its future without former executive director Ted Saskin, who was fired with cause last month. Taking part in the meeting will be as many NHLPA player representatives as available, along with any players in the Southern Ontario area who wish to attend.

"I met with [Fehr, Weiner and Grantham] and we'd be crazy not to listen to these guys," said Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios, whose dogged questioning of Saskin's hiring and in-office tactics led to his ouster. "Major League Baseball has the best union in sports and they're willing to help us."

Chelios said the three union officials, current and past, are willing to lend their expertise to help the NHLPA regain its stature as a unified and viable front. The rationale is that a weak union in one professional sport can undermine a union's bargaining position in another.

"If one sport gives something up, others follow, like the National Football League," Chelios said. "[What if NHL officials say] why not do what the NFL did and have no guaranteed contracts? I think there should be interaction within the unions. It's important."

The Globe and Mail's Alan Maki says that the PA will have to wait until August to hear the results of Shiela Block's investigation into Ted Saskin's regime as the PA's executive director, and it's then that Chelios may truly feel some vindication for his struggle against Saskin:

"I'd say about 85 per cent of the guys don't know what happened with the executive committee and Ted Saskin," Chelios said. "The more who know, the better it is because once they understand they'll feel as strongly as I do. We have to make sure this doesn't happen again."

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