Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: WWCD?

Early on Monday morning, the NHLPA’s executive board, made up of 30 player representatives, fired executive director Paul Kelly.

Put on your sports journalist hat for a second and tell me, what’s the story here?

Whoa, the Players Association has ousted its second boss in about as many years! What an outrage, why did the players do that? What will the PA do now? Who is going to be their new boss?

If you guessed any of those, you’re not Craig Custance of The Sporting News.

When the story broke on Monday, Custance talked about what Kelly's downfall might have been (his perceived close relationship with the league), but that isn’t what caught my eye.

On Friday, he roasted the NHLPA for…not consulting Sidney Crosby before making the move?

Are you kidding me?

“The biggest name in the sport should have been a serious part of the biggest decision by its players’ union in years,” Custance writes. “Even if he isn’t Pittsburgh’s union representative.

Okay, two things:

The biggest name in the sport? Yes and no. Where’s the outrage that Alex Ovechkin (back to back Hart/Pearson/Richard trophies) wasn’t consulted? Is this Evgeni Malkin getting overshadowed again?

The second thing is – “the biggest decision by its players’ union in years,” you say? Even bigger than the last time they fired their boss, way back in…2007?

The best parts of this article are the quotes from Crosby himself, who doesn’t seem to be even a fraction as outraged as Custance about this situation.

“No, no. Honestly, if they found something they felt was reason for change, there must have been,” said Crosby. “Those guys are the ones in charges of making those decisions.”

The article goes on to say that Crosby wasn’t angry at the executive board at all, and in fact, “respected the job it has to do and the decisions it has to make.”

Sounds kind of like he would be against the idea of someone writing an article criticizing the PA’s elected representatives for not dropping everything and asking the question: What Would Crosby Do?

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a personal attack on Craig Custance – he’s a great writer for a great publication. I just disagree, but respect, his opinion that a young superstar’s opinion should matter more than the rest of the guys in the union.

I'm pretty sure that's not how unions work.

Also, comparing Crosby to Wayne Gretzky is one thing, but saying Crosby has earned the union as much as Gretzky did “with his promotion of the game” is a little much.

Would there be 23 (23.5 if you count the Phoenix Coyotes) NHL teams in the US without the contributions Wayne Gretzky made to the game of hockey?

I’m all for pumping a guy’s tires, and Sidney Crosby is an amazing hockey player and ambassador for the game, but take it easy!

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