NHL Players Association: Wikis


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NHLPA Logo.svg
National Hockey League Players' Association
Founded June 1967
Members 1,005 (2007-2008)
Country Canada Canada
United States United States
Key people Mike Ouellet (Interim)[1]
Office location Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Website NHLPA.com

The National Hockey League Players' Association or NHLPA is the labor union for the group of professional hockey players who are under Standard Player Contracts to the thirty member clubs in the National Hockey League located in the United States and Canada. The Association represents its membership in all matters dealing with their working conditions and contractual rights as well as serving as their exclusive collective bargaining agent.




First organizing efforts (1957–1958)

The first NHLPA was formed in 1957 by hockey players Ted Lindsay of the Detroit Red Wings and Doug Harvey of the Montreal Canadiens after the league had refused to release pension plan financial information. The owners broke the union by trading players involved with the organization or sending them to the minor leagues. After an out-of-court settlement over several players' issues, the players disbanded the organization.

Alan Eagleson era (1967–1991)

The association formed in June 1967, when representatives of the six NHL teams met and elected Bob Pulford their first president and appointed Alan Eagleson as its executive director.

To prevent the new NHLPA from suffering the fate of its predecessor, Pulford met with the owners of the NHL teams and demanded they recognize the new union or the union would seek official recognition from Canadian Labour Relations Board. Additionally, the players sought guarantees that no member of the new union would be punished for being a member. The owners acceded. In return, the NHLPA agreed that it should represent at least two-thirds of the active players in the NHL and that the players would refrain from striking for the duration of the agreement, so long as the owners did not contravene any terms or conditions.

Bob Goodenow era (1991–2005)

Eagleson stayed on until the end of 1991, when the players replaced him with Bob Goodenow. Eagleson went on to face criminal charges relating to his conduct during the time he worked at the NHLPA, and ultimately, on January 6, 1998, pleaded guilty in a Boston court to three counts of fraud, agreeing also to pay a fine of CA$1,000,000. The following day in Toronto, Eagleson pleaded guilty to another three counts of fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Bob Goodenow would seek to restore respect and honour to the Association during his successful 13 years of service to the players as Executive Director. He led all NHLPA members through the strike of 1992, which most notably gave players the rights to the marketing of their own images. In 1994–95, he was at the helm as the players endured 104 days of an owners’ lockout, ensuring that a fair deal was reached. A decade later, the owners locked out the players yet again, becoming the first professional sports league to cancel an entire season. Goodenow would depart following the last owners’ lockout, notifying the players of his resignation in July 2005.

Ted Saskin era (2005–2007)

As Goodenow stepped down, the members of the Association turned to long-time NHLPA Senior Director Ted Saskin as his successor, drawing on his experience within the Association.

The NHLPA Executive Board terminated the employment of Saskin as Executive Director and General Counsel on May 10, 2007, following alleged acts of misconduct. Toronto employment lawyer Chris Paliare concluded Saskin and executive Ken Kim, beginning in September 2005 through January 2007, covertly accessed player email accounts.

As a result of this, the NHLPA under its current administration has put in place strict guidelines that require the highest degree of competence and integrity among employees and player agents.

Paul Kelly era (2007–2009)

On June 28, 2007, the NHLPA's Executive Board selected Michael Cammalleri (Montreal Canadiens), Chris Chelios (Detroit Red Wings), Shawn Horcoff (Edmonton Oilers), Eric Lindros (retired) and Robyn Regehr (Calgary Flames) to form a search committee for a new Executive Director. With the assistance of Reilly Partners, an executive search firm from Chicago, the search committee would review the resumes of hundreds of candidates.

The committee would ultimately recommend that Paul V. Kelly, a founding partner of Kelly, Libby and Hoopes law firm in Boston, become the fourth Executive Director since the NHLPA’s inception in 1967. Through a secret ballot system, the Player Representatives voted in favour of the committee’s recommendation, and Kelly would be introduced at a media conference on October 24, 2007.

On December 7, 2007, the NHLPA and the David Suzuki Foundation decided to create a pact, led by Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference, which had over 500 NHL players signed up to donate $290 annually to purchase carbon credits in order to offset their regular season travel.

On August 31, 2009, Paul Kelly was fired from the NHLPA.[2]

On October 30, 2009, interim Executive Director Ian Penny resigned.[3]


While the management of daily operations is the responsibility of the NHLPA Executive Director, the ultimate control over all NHLPA activities resides with the players, who each year elect representatives in order to form an Executive Board. Each of the 30 teams has one representative on the Board.

Executive Directors

  • Alan Eagleson, 1967–91
  • vacant (due to Eagleson's resignation), 1991–92
  • Bob Goodenow, 1992–2005
  • Ted Saskin, 2005–07
  • Paul Kelly, 2007-August 31, 2009
  • Ian Penny (Interim), August 31, 2009-October 30, 2009
  • Mike Ouellet (Interim), October 31, 2009-


2009-10 Player Representatives

External links


  1. ^ "Dreger: Review committee outlines how NHLPA office will run". TSN.ca. 2009-10-31. http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/darren_dreger/?id=296741. 
  2. ^ "Kelly ousted as head of NHLPA". ESPN.com. 2009-08-31. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4433555. 
  3. ^ "Ian Penny Resigns From NHLPA". FAN590.com. 2009-10-30. http://www.fan590.com/more.jsp?content=20091030_125114_10196. 
  4. ^ "Chris Chelios remains as team's union rep". Freep.com. 2009-10-19. http://www.freep.com/article/20091019/SPORTS05/910190380/1356/SPORTS/Chris-Chelios-remains-as-team-s-union-rep. 


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