Toronto:NHL players ratified a new constitution that significantly alters the way the union is governed, completing a lengthy review process that started with the dispute over the hiring of former executive director Ted Saskin.
The constitution, approved through a secret ballot and announced on Tuesday, eliminates the National Hockey League Players' Association's executive committee, which was comprised of a president and six vice presidents.
In its place, the 30 club-player representatives will serve as equal voting members of an executive board.
The positions of executive director and general counsel, which have traditionally been held by one person, will now be filled by two. Both will serve as nonvoting members of the executive board.
The new governing document comes about a week after the hiring of new executive director Paul Kelly, ending a process of renewal for the union.
A review of the old constitution began in March 2006 as union infighting raged over the process that led to the hiring of Saskin, who was fired on May 11 amid allegations he ordered the spying of NHLPA player e-mail.
"The events in recent years made it clear that it was time to revise a stale constitution that no longer represented the needs of our membership," said Eric Lindros, an unrestricted free agent who was a member of the constitution committee. "This new document ensures that the players have control over their union and have the full ability to govern themselves.
"The errors of the past will not be repeated."