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Buzz Hargrove, above, union executive director Ian Penny and the rest of the NHLPA's advisory board have all stepped down in the last week and a half. ((Chris Young/Canadian Press))

Buzz Hargrove is the latest domino to fall in the fractured NHL Players' Association, stepping down Sunday as interim ombudsman.

The NHLPA announced the move in a release after Hargrove notified the executive board of his decision in an email.

"I have come to the conclusion that I cannot under the current situation be effective in the role of the ombudsman or assist the leadership in building unity and solidarity that is necessary to move the NHLPA into the future," Hargrove said in a statement.

"In spite of the fact I will no longer be with the NHLPA, I will cooperate fully with any review approved by the executive board of my conduct during my thirteen months with the NHLPA," he added.

Hargrove, the former president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, also defended the need for the union to have an ombudsman in his statement.

He replaced Eric Lindros as ombudsman in February when the former NHLer resigned himself from the position, which was created in 2007 as part of a rewritten constitution. Hargrove spent 13 months at the NHLPA, working first on the union's advisory board before replacing Lindros.

His resignation joins a list that includes executive director Ian Penny and advisory board members Ron Pink, Ian Troop, Ken Baumgartner, Steve Larmer and Dan O'Neill, who all stepped down from their posts in the last week and a half.

CBCSports.ca's Tim Wharnsby wrote recently that the six men resigned because they felt that their roles were extremely restricted by a newly created review committee, which consists of Chris Chelios, Rob Blake, Nicklas Lidstrom and Mark Recchi.

Hargrove's resignation came only a few hours before the committee was to hold a conference call with player reps to discuss plans for the union's rebuilding process.

The review committee was approved by the player executive three weeks ago to look into firing of former executive director Paul Kelly a couple months ago, along with the internal operations of the NHLPA office.

Kelly was fired during a late-night marathon union meeting that stretched into the early hours of Aug. 31.

With files from The Canadian Press