NHL Players’ Association nominates Kelly for executive director position

The Canadian
Press
– The NHL
Players’ Association officially nominated former

U.S. assistant district attorney
Paul Kelly on Monday for its executive director position.

The
nomination was made during a conference call Monday night with the union’s 30
player reps, who will conduct a secret ballot vote amongst themselves over the
next week. A majority vote is required for Kelly to be elected.

The
five-player search committee, which consists of Eric Lindros, Chris Chelios,
Mike Cammalleri, Shawn Horcoff and Robyn Regehr, got help from Chicago search
firm Reilly Partners and interviewed a long list of candidates before getting
down to three. NFL Players Association lawyer Richard Berthelsen, and Bill
Gregson, president and CEO of sports store chain Forzani Group, were the other
two along with Kelly.

“We’ve
got a way to see what happens, but he’s been recommended,” Chelios said
Monday night in
Anaheim after

Detroit’s 6-3 loss. “Obviously the
word’s out, so it just remains to be seen what the board thinks and what the
players think, and we’ll go from there.”

Kelly is a
partner at Kelly, Libby & Hoopes, a

Boston
law firm that specializes in internal investigations and complex civil and
administrative litigation. He previously served as an assistant

U.S. attorney
for the District of Massachusetts, and was involved in the investigation of
former NHLPA leader Alan Eagleson.

Kelly was
also Marty McSorley’s lawyer when the former NHL defenceman was charged for his
assault on former Vancouver Canucks tough guy Donald Brashear.

Ted Saskin
was fired as executive director union last May amid allegations he ordered the
spying of NHLPA player emails in the midst of a player uprising against his
leadership.

“A
lot of it had to do with where we are now,” Chelios said. “We’ll
discuss it at length with the players and inform them about why we came to this
decision. And we all believe we made the right decision.

“He
obviously knows the law, and he’s been in pressure situations, legal
situations, and we’re stuck with the CBA for the next two years at least –
maybe five – and I think we have to learn the CBA first, and then make sure
that everybody’s held accountable for that. And if anybody tries to cheat now
or do anything wrong, we’ve got the right guy now.”