NHLPA on Campbell, McCabe and, ummm Sundin?

Editors note, Kypreos was on the fan this am and he cited a an article in the Sun today which provides:

” Whatever the case, a source close to McCabe said last night the veteran defenceman would not change addresses for at least another couple of weeks.

“(Bryan) isn’t going anywhere until Sept. 1, at the earliest,” the source said. “That’s the date (he) gets his $2-million US signing bonus from Toronto.

“Why would a team deal for (him) before that and be on the hook for that extra money? They’ll just wait until (he) gets paid, then see what happens.”

And there you have it folks, the reason why this is on hold. As stated previously, everyone is too positive this will happen, but not for another 2-3 weeks. Any suitors are waiting for the Leafs to pay McCabe this bonus and then he will be dealt. The proverbial other shoe may have just dropped.

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Relatively new NHLPA gran poobah Paul Kelly was on the morning show with Gord Stellick and Damien Cox. It was a pretty interesting interview. The Guy certainly is bright and doesn’t come across nearly as snively as Ted Saskin nor as big an egomaniac as Bob Goodenow. The interview can best be described as The Good, the Bad and the HUH…

The Good: On McCabe, Kelly didn’t say anything when it was suggested to him that the Leafs threatened to keep McCabe away should he not waive his NMC. To be clear, it was part of a long question that went a little something like this, Here locally fans are interested in the Bryan McCabe situation were originally the Leafs were telling Bryan he wouldn’t be welcome at training camp and now it seems like there has been some positive developments, how involved are you in the situation?

Kelly’s response was, more or less, I am not directly involved, however I am heartened by the things I hear from Cliff Fletcher and am pleased where things are headed and that is a credit to both sides and it looks like this will be resolved amicably.

Again I am more convinced that the other shoe just needs to drop on this one. All the parties seem to be saying the same thing. This is a good sign. Let me make it clear that I think McCabe isn’t the Alexander Karpotsev he appears to be. I think, however, there is no way he can perform to his ability here in Toronto. That doesn’t mean he won’t go to another team and become a top level player again. Nor does it mean that dealing him is a mistake. I truly believe that sometimes it really is in everyone’s best interest that a player move on. This is one of those cases.

Interesting to note that Kyrepos is reporting McCabe has waived his no trade clause to a limited number of teams. One is apparently the Florida Panthers as Hanky reported (e3, I believe). Florida Panthers writer George Richards is speculating it will be a package of Mike Van Ryn and a prospect coming north in exchange for McCabe. KuklasKorner has good comentary on this too here.

The Bad: Kelly was asked about his relationship with the Commish and the NHL in general as compared with Saskin who seemed to be in bed with the league and Goodenow whom no matter what the issue was, Bob was always in conflict with the league. Kelly said that he has respect for everyone. That when he was a trial lawyer he fought hard battles in the court room but always tried to respect his opponents and treat them as people. He said that he was trying to establish a relationship that was somewhere between the Saskin love in and the Goodenow scortched earth. He then said that he speaks to Bill Daily or Bettman numerous times a week and he speaks to the business guys a lot.

Where’s the bad, well, Kelly then said that he speaks to Clarence Campbell about on ice issues! So either Kelly is Cole Sear or he meant Colin Campbell. I am impressed that he even knew the name Clarence Campbell, but its not too great either that he mixed him up with Bettman’s on-ice guru either…

The huh: Ok, so the boyz were trying to be funny, but they did ask Kelly about Mats Sundin. It’s interesting that he said he isn’t directly involved in the McCabe situation (which must be pissing of Hanky to no end) but he talks about the Sundin issue as if he IS directly involved in it. While he says he doesn’t know what Sundin is going to do, he does say that he knows Sundin is working out and is in great shape (um, you trying to sell something Paul?) He continued that Sundin is skating and re-emphasized that he doesn’t know what is going to happen but that he think we will hear from Mats shortly.

One of the alleged complaints from several agents about Goodenow was that he constantly meddled in player business that wereclearly issues as between player and agent. Those agents represented the players and that specific players best interests, where Goodenow was allegedly always trying to get what was best for the union. Sometimes those two interests were not aligned. The amount of pressure Goodenow allegedly put on the agents was at times immense. One has to wonder if that is continuing in the Kelly era already.

If you listen to the interview, it is also interesting when Kelly says, when asked whether the infighting and apathy within the PA is diminishing, that he is trying to keep the players abreast on all the issues in case something creeps up in two years the players won’t be caught by surprise. Remember, this is a VERY experienced trial lawyer. The Clarence/Colin Campbell is a slip up, a mistake, making comments like a reference to issues appearing in 2 years is not anecdotal, you have to believe he says that for a very specific reason. It will be interesting to learn over time what that purpose was.

you can listen to the interview here:

Kelly on the morning show

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