PA executive backs Saskin as boss

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Embattled Ted Saskin has won a boardroom battle, but the war will continue with a band of dissidents.

A majority of the National Hockey League Players' Association's executive board has re-affirmed Saskin as executive director. Not all ballots were received, but an 85% majority of the 37 counted -- representing the 30 teams and the seven-man executive -- has come in. The accounting firm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers will continue to take ballots up until Dec. 16.

Tie Domi, who along with Maple Leafs teammates Eric Lindros and Ed Belfour have been in the anti-Saskin camp, said the last word should still come from the National Labour Relations board in the U.S., which is hearing charges that Saskin's appointment was not properly conducted under NHLPA by-laws. Lindros seemed to be surprised at Saskin's winning margin, but would only say his resolve has not changed.

"We knew (the result) was coming, but I don't know how things will pan out (with the NLRB)," Domi said. "Until they decide, there is nothing set in stone.

"We lost a year and I thought everyone involved thought our leadership had to be assessed, as any business would. Things were said and done by (the executive) over everyone else and that's what this is all about -- everyone having a voice. That's where the frustration set in."

Saskin seemed to be offering the group an olive branch.

"I'm pleased to have the support of a majority of the teams across the league," he told the Canadian Press. "I'm also mindful of the fact there is a small, but vocal group of dissatisfied players I must try to get onside."


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