Havlat no fan of hiring

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

This is not the breakaway Martin Havlat had in mind.

He'd rather be in the clear on the ice, but instead the Senators winger is breaking ranks with the NHL Players' Association.

Havlat told the Sun yesterday that he's throwing his support behind a group of players who have asked the National Labor Relations Board in the U.S. to investigate the hiring of NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin.

RED WINGS BITTER

Sources say Saskin was getting plenty of heat during a meeting in Detroit yesterday. There's talk several Wings' players asked him to resign from his post.

"I agree with this group of players. It should have been done the right way in the first place. The rules of our association weren't followed and I just think that something has to be done. You can't have this happening this way," said Havlat prior to last night's game against the Penguins.

But Havlat is not alone in the Ottawa dressing room in his support of the group, which is asking the NLRB in to investigate the way NHLPA president Trevor Linden went about hiring Saskin to replace Bob Goodenow by the union following the lockout.

Senators goalie Dominik Hasek is on a list of players that includes Leafs Eric Lindros and Ed Belfour. The charge is being led by former Kings forward Trent Klatt, who was a member of the NHLPA's executive committee.

"I just feel it's unfortunate it has come to this," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, a VP on the executive committee who doesn't plan to run for re-election next summer. "We had a vote in here and everybody agreed Ted Saskin was the guy. We had nobody against it. I've only heard about it on television. I don't really know what else to say."

Hasek said he has no problem with Alfredsson even though they are on opposite sides of this issue.

"I spoke about this with Alfie last week and I explained to him how I felt. I don't have a problem with him. I just think this hiring should have been done properly. He understands how I feel. This is nothing against him," said Hasek.

Saskin has denied the charges, but there are a number of players who feel he shouldn't have been awarded with a contract in excess of $10 million US after the union gave in and accepted a salary cap.


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