Thursday, July 28, 2005

Goodenow resigns, Saskin promoted

Many expected this announcement to come sooner or later, but today, Executive Director of the NHLPA Bob Goodenow stepped down from his position, wishing the players "success under the new CBA". (Whether or not he was being snide is an assumption best left to the reader.) In his place, Senior Director Ted Saskin has been promoted.

It has been reported that Saskin was the lead executive pushing for a deal, whereas Goodenow was insisting the players wait longer for more concessions from the league. It would appear this was his major downfall; that is, his inability to gauge the attitude of his constituents and act accordingly. Many have wondered about this negotiation whether Goodenow was representing the players, as is his job description, or the players were working for Goodenow. As more and more evidence comes to light, the latter seems more and more plausible.

In this new era of goodwill and partnership between the league and its players, Goodenow is very much out of place; as an old-school hardliner of the school of thought that the players and the league must always be in opposition, he would be a poor choice to lead the players into the future. Goodenow did a fabulous job in the old paradigm where that was the case, and for his sake it is unfortunate he will be remembered as a conservative hardliner; public perception is always a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of atmosphere, and the defeated- and weary-looking Goodenow at the NHLPA press conference will forever be etched in the minds of hockey fans.

So long, Bob: hopefully the players remember you more fondly than hockey fans will.

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