Saskin firing applauded

After letting go of union leader Ted Saskin yesterday, look for the NHLPA to resolve his contract....

After letting go of union leader Ted Saskin yesterday, look for the NHLPA to resolve his contract. (File Photo)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:14 AM ET

Bryan McCabe wasn't sure this day would come.

Informed that Ted Saskin had been fired from his post as head of the players' union yesterday, McCabe acknowledged "being a bit surprised."

"I thought we had lost control of our own union," McCabe said last night from Long Island, N.Y. "I had figured that was the way it was going to remain.

"I give Chris Chelios and some of his colleagues credit for keeping up the fight.Maybe now the players can regain democratic power in the union."

McCabe acknowledged being bitter at the way Saskin was rushed into Bob Goodenow's job following the NHL lockout two years ago.

It left such a bad taste in the mouth of the Maple Leafs defenceman he quit his post as the team's player rep.

"It's not that Ted is a bad guy," McCabe said.

"I just didn't understand the hurry of pushing this guy into the position so quickly. What would have been wrong with taking our time? Instead they shoved his (promotion) in our faces.

"I really soured on the whole thing. The players, including many of the reps, were kept in the dark on a lot of issues. Maybe there is hope for the union now."

The NHL's executive board, including the 30 player reps, voted unanimously via conference call yesterday to oust Saskin, who has been on a paid leave of absence.

Saskin, whose ball-park salary of approximately $2 million US a year reportedly was double that of baseball union head Donald Fehr, was released without compensation, so expect him to seek monies in the coming months.

In an e-mail to The Canadian Press, Saskin said he was "proud" of his accomplishments during his 16-year run with the union, adding that "I will work towards a fair resolution of the my contractual rights with the NHLPA and wish them well in the future."

Chelios, who led the players' charge to oust Saskin, acknowledged the issue likely is far from over.

"(At least) we're all on the same page. We're moving forward," Chelios said of the unanimous vote.

Former Leaf Eric Lindros, the Edmonton Oilers' Shawn Horcoff and NHL legal counsel Ian Penny will be among those kicking tires in the search for a replacement.


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