A special committee created to investigate the firing of NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly has ruffled feathers within the organization and around the league, according to insiders on Hockey Night in Canada's Hotstove segment.
"The common theme through all these letters that we've received is they don't feel the four-man review committee headed by Chris Chelios is leading the players down right path," HNIC contributor Pierre LeBrun said Saturday night.
"Obviously there's some disagreement among the players about that."
It has been an eventful week at the NHL Players' Association.
First, the four-man investigative committee — Chelios, Niklas Lidstrom, Rob Blake and Mark Recchi — was formally announced. Then interim executive director Ian Penny was dismissed on Friday.
A mass exodus followed Saturday, with three members of the NHLPA's advisory board — Ron Pink, Ken Baumgartner and Steve Larmer — stepping down.
Larmer, in particular, was highly critical of his former teammate Chelios, questioning his motivations.
Players want answers
The investigative committee is at the heart of many of the players' concerns, said Glenn Healy, the NHLPA's former director of player affairs and current HNIC analyst.
"I think Ian Penny thought this got out of control, and I think the players want answers," Healy said. "It's very curious that the investigation goes forward, then four days later there are a lot of resignations."
Meanwhile, Kelly, who was fired in Aug., still awaits a settlement, opening the door for possible lawsuits, HNIC's Scott Morrison said. The resolution has been delayed because the NHLPA's lawyer, Paul Cavalluzzo, resigned unexpectedly.
"We're told he was leaving because of undescribed ethical considerations that developed over the past several weeks," Morrison said.
The NHLPA executive has said it wants a complete makeover — updating its constitution and improving its structure to avoid future problems.
This is also election time for all 30 teams as they vote for their player representatives.
An important conference call will take place next week, to decide who will be the next interim executive director of the NHLPA.
Despite all the resignations, there appear to be a few staff members choosing to remain.
"I could not confirm the rumour that the janitor has also resigned," LeBrun joked.