The National Hockey League Players Association is a labor union that represents the players of the NHL. The headquarters are in Toronto, Canada and consists of about 50 employees. These employees work with such things as labor laws, product licensing, and community relations.
While the management of daily operations is the responsibility of what they call an "Executive Director", the real power is with the players, who each year elect representatives from their respective NHL teams in order to form an Executive Board. Overseeing the board is an Executive Committee with representatives from each team.
In 1967, The NHLPA was founded when representative players from each of the original six NHL clubs met to elect a president and draft a constitution. The representatives were:
Bob Pulford became the first president of the NHLPA. Pulford stated in a meeting with team owners that if they refused to accept the new organization, the players would seek recognition through the Canadian Labour Relations Board. The NHLPA also appointed an Executive Director, Alan Eagleson, who stayed in the position until 1991. Later that year, he was replaced by Robert W. Goodenow, who is the current Executive Director.
Eagleson, however, did face charges for his actions during his time in the position. On January 6, 1998, he pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud in a Boston court and was required to pay a fine of $1,000,000 (Canadian). In a Toronto court the next day, Eagleson pleaded guilty to three additional counts of fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHLPA and NHL was ratified on July 22, 2005 after a season -long lockout. It is set to expire on September 15, 2011.
http://www.nhlpa.com and http://www.nhl.com