More NHLPA execs bite the dust

Ron Pink is the latest casualty in what has become a dysfunctional NHL Players' Association, stepping down from the union's advisory board Saturday.

First it was Ian Penny, now it's Ron Pink, Ken Baumgartner and Steve Larmer.

Pink, Baumgartner and Larmer are the latest casualties in what has become a dysfunctional NHL Players' Association, stepping down from the union's eight-person advisory board Saturday.

Pink and interim ombudsman Buzz Hargrove were key figures who helped oust former executive director Paul Kelly in August.

Penny, who had been the NHLPA's interim executive director, announced Friday that he was leaving the union, saying he had been dismissed.

Mike Ouelett, director of business affairs, will fill the role of executive director until the executive holds a conference call over the next week. 

A four-person committee — Rob Blake, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Recchi and Chris Chelios — have assumed the task of investigating why Kelly was fired.

Pink, Baumgartner and Larmer were appointed to the NHLPA's advisory board of directors in September 2008. Pink is the managing partner of the Halifax-based law firm Pink Breen Larkin and an expert in labour law.

Baumgartner is a former NHLPA vice-president and had a lengthy NHL career with six teams — Buffalo, Los Angeles, New York Islanders, Toronto, Anaheim and Boston. After retiring, he completed his MBA at Harvard University.

Larmer had a succesful career with the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1980s. After retiring from the game, he became the NHLPA's head of player relations, serving in that position from 1998-2005.

He has been highly critical of former Blackhawk teammate Chelios in his recent dealings with the players' union.