According to voting results released Tuesday, 86 per cent of the board supported Ted Saskin's hiring as executive director of the NHL Players' Association.

Twenty-eight of 37 voters (30 player representatives, seven executive committee members) returned ballots and 24 chose Saskin to head up the union.

"The vast majority of players are satisfied with what we have done, and what Ted has done, and his appointment as the head of the union," said Vincent Damphousse, an executive committee member until retiring in September.

"I think it is clear now that he is the right man for the job."

Some of the nine ballots not returned were presumably from teams opposed to Saskin's hiring, reportedly the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Said Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios last month: "This entire secret ballot vote was a joke and the Detroit Red Wings will not vote and validate Saskin's phony secret ballot election. If our team were to vote, the vote is No."

Chelios remains one of several dissidents so intent on unseating Saskin as union boss that, led by Trent Klatt, they've filed complaints to the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor in the United States.

"While I had hoped every member of the executive board would have submitted a vote," NHLPA president Trevor Linden stated, "I have spoken with a few teams during this process that said they were going to wait to find out what happens with certain claims filed before the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor.

"We are confident that these claims are without merit and will be withdrawn or dismissed in the near future."

with files from CP Online