THIS IS BREAKING NEWS…
NHLPA Interim Ombudsman “Buzz” Hargrove has resigned effectively immediately. According to Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal via Twitter, Hargrove said, "Under current circumstances, I can not perform duties of Ombudsman."
There had been several reports, including this one from TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger via Twitter, that Hargrove was going to be voted out of the position and that Hargrove was going to resign before that time. Today may have well been that move, although Hargrove said, "I had no worry of being forced out."
Hargrove said surveillance by the NHLPA’s review committee made it impossible to carry out duties outlined in NHLPA constitution. That committee is comprised Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, former Wing, and current AHL Chicago Wolves Chris Chelios, Boston Bruins forward Mark Recchi, and San Jose Sharks captain Rob Blake. That committee is currently looking into the dismissal Paul Kelly, the former Executive Director of the NHLPA that was fired in late August.
Hargrove was announced as the NHLPA Interim Ombudsman on February 27, 2009, following a vote of the NHLPA Executive Board. Before being named Interim Ombudsman, Hargrove was a member of the NHLPA Advisory Board from September 2008 to February 2009.
Since Kelly’s firing, the NHLPA has fallen into almost complete disarray. The review committee was assembled to investigate the Kelly firing, but since its assembly, several key members of the NHLPA have resigned citing many of the same issues that Hargrove has mentioned, the highest ranking member being Ian Penny, the longtime NHLPA General Counsel who was voted in as interim Executive Director after Kelly’s firing.
At the end of October, the review committee installed Union Counsel Mike Ouellet as acting Executive Director, and that Roland Lee was named General Counsel to replace Ouellet on an interim basis. There have been repeated questions as to whether the review committee had the right to install Ouellet based upon the NHLPA’s constitution.
FOR A COMPLETE TIMELINE ON THE NHLPA'S RECENT ISSUES, ALONG WITH COMMENTARY, SEE:
The NHLPA Is Sports’ Dysfunctional Stepchild
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Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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