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NHLPA director facing challenge

Player representatives approved an investigation into Saskin’s hiring on Thursday.

NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin will face an independent probe into his hiring brought on by a vote from the 30 union representative Player’s Association.

AP PHOTO

TORONTO — Executive director Ted Saskin is facing another challenge to his leadership of the NHL Players’ Association, with a majority of the 30 union-player representatives approving an independent investigation into his hiring.

The action was announced Thursday in a statement from a New York public relations company, with players and officials scattered across the country after Wednesday night’s All-Star game.

“This is an informative investigation that we feel will preserve the integrity of our NHLPA constitution and leadership process,” Mathieu Schneider, a Detroit Red Wings defenseman and interim NHLPA executive committee member, said in the statement. “The purpose of the investigation is to clear the air, produce clarity on these questions and fortify a strong unified union.”

A conference call was scheduled Thursday night between Saskin and the executive board, which is made up of the NHLPA’s executive committee and the player-representatives from the 30 teams.

News of this latest challenge comes three days after a lawsuit against Saskin and others was dismissed by a U.S. federal court in Illinois. The judge agreed with the NHLPA position that Ontario rather than Illinois should host such a lawsuit, if indeed it was even warranted.

A group of about 70 players led by Chris Chelios, Dwayne Roloson and Trent Klatt has sought Saskin’s removal as the NHLPA’s executive director since he took over from Bob Goodenow following the lockout.

“We’d certainly like to end the bickering and get back to being a strong hockey union, which we were and should be,” Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco told The Canadian Press.

Added Phoenix forward Kevyn Adams: “I think a lot of the guys feel like, ‘Let’s get through this and move on.’ I don’t see a problem with getting answers because that’s good and healthy for everyone involved. But it has to be done the right way.”

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