SUN Hockey Pool

Player reps tread lightly regarding PA

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Without any details about the NHLPA's latest episode of leadership difficulties Friday, Flames rep Robyn Regehr didn't want to comment.

After an evening of catching up, Regehr fears former interim executive director Ian Penny has set himself up for potential legal action against the union.

"I saw a couple of e-mails last night from everyone involved," Regehr said yesterday after the morning skate.

"My initial thoughts are the fact I know Ian Penny wasn't crazy on having the review committee come in and look at the operations of the PA. So I think his latest move has a lot to do with that and his displeasure with that and trying to put the guys in a tough situation.

"You have to look at the whole thing. He's a lawyer, and he's probably positioning himself as best he can against us."

Detroit Red Wings defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is part of the four-man review committee currently tasked with assessing the NHLPA's internal operations.

Lidstrom was also just learning of Penny's parting Friday upon arrival at the Saddledome, but his group sent a memo to team representatives last night telling them what would happen next.

"We've got guys that are going to step in and take those roles that Ian Penny had," Lidstrom said yesterday before it was reported Mike Ouelett would temporarily take on executive director functions, while Roland Lee would fill the general counsel duties.

"It's unfortunate, but we have to move on as a union. That's the way we're looking at it now."

Jokinen happy for Dogs

With all the negativity surrounding the Phoenix Coyotes the past few months, few would have expected the team to get off to such a great start.

Former Coyotes player Olli Jokinen, however, wasn't taken aback by the 9-4 start.

"They've got one of the better goalies in the league when he's on his game. He's been playing really well," Jokinen said of oddball netminder Ilya Bryzgalov. "Last year, we had a good team over there. They replaced some young guys with a few veterans. They've got a good group of guys.

"Guys like (Robert) Lang, older guys, have really helped that team make the next step."

"You wish them all good. Doaner (Shane Doan) and these guys, they've been there for so long."

Fans flocked to the Glendale arena opening night with no tickets costing more than $25, but numbers have plummeted since. Some believe all it takes to put butts in the seats is a winning team.

"If they can keep winning, we'll see if there's a fan base," Jokinen added.


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