July 29, 2005
Ted's the new head
By AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun
The new head of the National Hockey League Players' Association, Ted Saskin, was one of the first key staffers hired by the outgoing executive director, Bob Goodenow.
Originally from Montreal, Saskin had graduated with a law degree from the University of Toronto and had joined a local firm.
His area of expertise was the protection of the property rights of rock groups, and when they came to town, Saskin would attend the concerts, looking for unauthorized merchandise.
When Goodenow took over from Alan Eagleson as head of the NHLPA, one of his priorities was the development of the players' property rights.
In a trade magazine, he saw a story detailing Saskin's success and hired him to become the NHLPA's licensing specialist.
At that time, collector cards were popular and Saskin negotiated lucrative deals with the card companies.
The NHLPA also established the "Be A Player" clothing line and established the players' rights regarding use of their names by corporate entities.
Saskin became one of the NHLPA's lead negotiators and even after the 1995 collective bargaining agreement was in place, there was still a need to negotiate licensing deals and long-term participatory deals for such events as the Olympics, World Cup and world championship, all of which required understandings with the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Saskin was heavily involved in all of those projects.
By the time the negotiations for the most recent CBA got under way, Saskin was Goodenow's de facto adjutant. and he handled most of the serious day-to-day negotiations.
Eventually, as the players lost their resolve, it fell to Saskin to craft the best available deal, and for the most part, Goodenow moved to the sidelines.