Waltzing Around The Truth
If the first casualty of war is truth, there is surely the sniff of cannon fire around the business of professional hockey these days.
The two issues are not un-related.
But the union has no say.
With Kelly, meanwhile, the union at least had some potential to improve their working relationship with the league, although after putting the union in a stranglehold in the last CBA negotiations, the NHL, quite naturally, feels it can do whatever it wants without consulting a fractured, dis-spirited and dysfunctional union.
Now the players are clearly looking to go more hardline, although they won't say that, hiding behind bureaucratic doubletalk and pretending that Kelly wasn't undone by an internal coup.
If that's the direction in which the players go, any possibility of forging a better working relationship with the league, and possibly getting a bigger say in issues like the Coyotes, will go out the window.
The union seems to want a second Bob Goodenow. The league successfully separated Goodenow from the union in 2005 - some would argue the lockout was really about that and nothing more - and would be only too happy to do it again in the next round of labour talks.
The players, with no unity or collective backbone, are in no position to stand up to the league, but they may be driving themselves to the edge of that cliff again.
But they won't be honest with their plans, and the skullduggery which unseated Kelly is an ominous sign of the civil war that is still being waged within that organization.
The league, meanwhile, keeps trying to pretend that Phoenix is salvageable. Only enormous concessions from the City of Glendale can make that work, and local politicians are saying they won't be giving away anything significant to make the Coyotes stay.
So nobody's dealing in truth these days in the hockey industry, perhaps a sign of a bigger war lying ahead in the near future.