Saskin, Linden Asked to Resign

Files from and The Toronto Star make up this report.

The Toronto Star reports that a group of NHL veterans are calling for the resignation of NHL Players Association executive director Ted Saskin, union president Trevor Linden and other players association officials amid allegations that Saskin was hired improperly.

According to the Star, Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tie Domi and Minnesota Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson are among the players demanding a change in leadership.

Last week, the Star reported that Saskin’s contract did not come from the full executive board, as required under the Association’s constitution.

The paper added that some players were upset the deal was ratified without a secret ballot, as required.

Linden released the following statement following the report:

“A NHLPA conference call was conducted on Wednesday evening with our full Executive Board, which includes a player representative from each team along with the seven members of our Executive Committee. The Executive Board had lengthy and productive dialogue on Ted Saskin’s new contract and other matters. After a thorough discussion, the contract was overwhelmingly approved. I’m pleased that Ted will continue to represent the players as he has done since 1992.”

Saskin was reportedly offered his contract – worth $2 million a year – in a private conference call when the union should have hired a search committee to search for other possible replacements for outgoing boss Bob Goodenow.

According to its bylaws, the union’s five officers and 30 team player representatives who form the union’s executive board should have first nominated a successor to Goodenow and then held a secret-ballot vote.

“This is supposed to be a democratic union and it’s become communist,” Roloson was quoted telling the Star.

NHLPA sppokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said in a statement that Linden and Saskin have the support of the association’s executive board.