SUN Hockey Pool

McMurtry backs NHLPA

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:27 AM ET

It comes as no surprise to Maple Leafs player rep Matt Stajan that a legal heavyweight has come out in support of the NHLPA's dismissal of executive director Paul Kelly.

While declining to elaborate, Stajan said his fellow player reps were confident in their actions that led to Kelly's firing last month after less than two years on the job.

A report yesterday outlined Ontario's former chief justice Roy McMurtry's opinion that the NHLPA had legal cause to relieve Kelly of his duties.

"We're at the point of keeping things within the players," said Stajan, who earlier was outspoken in his support of the decision.

"We know ourselves (as players) the fact and what's happened."

McMurtry reportedly was hired by the executive board of the players association to offer a formal opinion on whether Kelly's actions were legally viable for dismissal.

SECRET BALLOT

Stajan was one of the players who supported the review of Kelly's actions, which led to a secret ballot that ultimately led to Kelly's firing on Aug. 31.

New Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek, a former player rep for the Montreal Canadiens, said the issue of Kelly will be raised soon in another conference call.

"Right now it's an internal matter and it's tough to make a comment when there are legal ramifications behind the issue," Komisarek said.

Recently, the issue of Kelly's dismissal has exposed a rift among players and agents. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby went public with his concerns, suggesting players needed more details on Kelly's dismissal.

According to the report, McMurtry's opinion concludes that Kelly was out of line in accessing confidential documents that represented a "breach of trust."

ROB.LONGLEY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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