Harken back, if you will, to those dark days of summer 2005, when the CBA had just been negotiated and Bob Goodenow resigned in disgrace. Within a matter of days, Saskin was appointed interim head of the NHLPA, in a number of steps that bypassed the NHLPA's own rules. His permanent appointment a short time later was rushed through, and now he's working under a 5-year, $10 million contract. The bottom line here is that a professional organization with more than a billion dollars in revenue (NHL player salaries) should put more effort into hiring an executive director than the NHLPA showed that summer. Letting Saskin take the reins on an interim basis was understandable at the time, but if they had any semblance of professionalism at all, the NHLPA would have engaged a consulting firm to conduct a proper search for a permanent executive director. Saskin could have certainly been a candidate, but if you're looking for someone to lead this large of an enterprise, you don't just hand the keys to the guy who sat next to Bob Goodenow. You look for the best possible person for the job.
Trevor Linden and the rest of the player leadership who coronated Saskin may be "tired of talking about it," but Chelios is right not to let the issue drop. Linden and the other players showed no more sophistication than their predecessors in the 1950's who failed to follow the likes of Ted Lindsay and stand up for themselves in their professional careers. The appointment of Ted Saskin is yet another chapter in the sad history of hockey players getting taken for a ride, and Chris Chelios is one the few voices trying to speak out against it.