Ted Saskin responds to a question during a news conference in Toronto, in this July 28, 2005 file photo. Saskin\'s reign at the helm of the NHL Players\' Association could soon come to an end, crashing and burning after beginning with such promise a year and a half ago. (CP PICTRE ARCHIVE/Adrian Wyld)
The 30 players reps on the Sunday night conference call also voted to put NHLPA senior director Ken Kim on a paid leave of absence. Saskin and Kim have been accused of monitoring NHLPA player e-mails, the explosive allegations that led to Sunday's executive board conference call.
"Ted is done," one player, who requested anonymity, said after the call.
Saskin was not on the conference call. A source told The Canadian Press that his e-mail account and blackberry were disconnected over the weekend.
The players also voted Sunday night to go ahead and look for independent counsel to help guide them through the next phase. The six-member interim executive committee, which did not vote Sunday night, will be responsible for recommending that independent lawyer.
Sunday's conference call began with NHLPA associate counsels Stu Grimson and Ian Penny and director of hockey affairs Mike Gartner updating the player reps and interim executive committee on the allegations that Saskin ordered the monitoring of NHLPA player e-mails, which he denied last week. The e-mail system the players use is administered by the union.
Grimson, Penny and Gartner then left the call and let the players vote to put Saskin and Kim on paid leaves as well as vote on getting outside counsel.
"It was actually pretty calm," said another player on the call who requested anonymity.
The players reps on the call included Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios, who has led the effort in trying to unseat Saskin.