On the heels of an investigation into a number of alleged bias incidents within the Players Association, the NHLPA president has issued a stern warning to its members.
“I’m disappointed in the leadership at the Players’ Association and I think they need to stop,” Andrews said Tuesday at the League’s Board of Governors meeting.
“We need to start taking the issue of bias very seriously and making sure that the players and the players’ association are held accountable.”
The latest incident comes in the wake of a number that were reported over the past few days.
Players in the National Hockey League (NHL) Players’ Union voted on Monday to approve a new grievance procedure to address alleged bias in the way that the Players have handled allegations of discrimination and abuse.
The NHLPA was informed of the proposed grievance process on Tuesday.
The vote was taken by a majority of the Players on a 2-3 vote and was unanimous.
The issue was brought to the attention of the NHL and the union by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, which has been working with the NHL Players’ Players’ Federation (NPLF) to investigate the allegations and issues raised.
“There are issues with the way the players have handled this in the past,” Andrews told reporters.
“We need a leadership team to step up and do this right.”
The Players’ Associations grievance process was introduced after the O’Connor report was issued, which included a recommendation that the union “take immediate action” to address the issue.
“When I heard that the NHL was investigating a lot of allegations and complaints, I was disappointed in what I heard.
I’m disappointed that they didn’t take that action,” Andrews added.”
They’re making a recommendation on what the Players are doing and they’re going to have to take that advice.”
That’s not going to be easy, but I think we need to do it.
“Andrews went on to say that the new grievance process would require the Players to meet with the NPLF and other stakeholders to ensure that the league and the Players were taking the necessary steps to make sure that they “do not make the same mistakes again.””
We’ll have to have a meeting with all the stakeholders to find out exactly what’s going on, and I hope that we’ll have a chance to address this,” Andrews concluded.”
It’s not an easy issue.
We need to make it clear that the way we are doing things is going to continue.
“The players have to do a better job in the future of the players, and we have to make the players aware that we’re looking out for their interests.”
The NHL, which is currently in a lockout with players who want to return to play next season, has been in talks with the players union to resolve the issue and have the issue resolved before the start of the 2017-18 season.
The league has been unable to reach a deal with the union in recent months.
It has said that it would like to work with the Players union, but has had difficulty getting the two sides to agree on the issue as the union has not been able to provide the required documentation to the league.
The Players are due to return for their regular season opener on Jan. 12, but there are concerns that the start date could be pushed back by up to two weeks.
The issue could come into play when the league hosts the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.
The PTO is scheduled to release the full grievance procedure at the end of this month, but Andrews is adamant that the NHLPA must “get on board” with the process.
“What I’d like to see is the players step up to the plate and take the lead in doing this right, and that’s the only way we’re going in the right direction,” Andrews stated.
“They need to understand that the process needs to be streamlined and we need a strong leadership team.”