Ted Saskin (born c. 1959) is the former NHL Players Association executive director. He assumed the title after Bob Goodenow resigned on July 28, 2005, but was unanimously fired by the NHLPA on May 10, 2007, after a union-commissioned report concluded Saskin had quarterbacked a campaign to hack into player email accounts.
Saskin had previously served as NHLPA Senior Director of Business Affairs and Licensing since 1992, as one of Goodenow's new deputies when the latter assumed the role of executive director after the forced resignation of Alan Eagleson.
Saskin was credited with taking a more conciliatory approach to collective bargaining agreement negotiations, compared to the hard-line stance of Goodenow, which ended the 2004–05 NHL lockout. Saskin was widely seen as the heir apparent to Goodenow and initially touted as a successor due to his knowledge of the CBA, so he became NHLPA Executive Director in 2005 after Goodenow was forced to step down.
However, Saskin's hiring came under scrutiny from some players who felt that he was improperly elected and misrepresented salary figures during negotiations with players union president Trevor Linden, a forward with the Vancouver Canucks. On October 2, 2006, a group of NHL players, led by Chris Chelios filed a lawsuit in US Federal Court to remove Saskin and also millions of dollars in damages and punitive damages. Eventually the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge who ruled that because the NHLPA is based in Toronto, Ontario, that is the appropriate venue for the case.
In 2007, Saskin and other union executives came under fire for allegedly inappropriately accessing the private email accounts of players and agents who have challenged his hiring.
On March 11, 2007, Saskin was placed on a paid leave of absence from his position as NHLPA executive director, before being let go on May 10. Saskin, who was in the second year of a five-year contract reportedly worth $10 million US, reportedly received nearly $750,000 US in accrued vacation pay and union shares.
- "NHLPA fires Saskin", Toronto Star, May 10, 2007
- "N.H.L. Players Not All Happy With Leadership", The New York Times, September 17, 2005
- "NHLPA boss Ted Saskin says Chelios lawsuit has no merit", Associated Press, October 2, 2006
- "Email furor has NHL players on edge", Toronto Star, March 5, 2007
- "Saskin sent home on paid leave of absence", The Sports Network, March 11, 2007
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