Arlo Goodwin to be Recognized at 50th PHPA Annual Meeting

Author: Darryl Dionne, PHPA Director of Communications and Business Development
Date: Jun 8, 2017

The Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) will be honoring various members from the hockey community during the 50th PHPA Annual Meeting of Player Representatives in Orlando, Florida, including Arlo Goodwin, who played a significant role during the Association’s formative years and beyond on behalf of the players.

Goodwin was the 2010 recipient of the PHPA Curt Leichner Distinguished Member Award, the Association’s highest honor.  He became involved with the PHPA in 1967, when he, along with a number of his Portland Buckaroos teammates, including Doug Messier, had a vision to create an Association (similar to the NHLPA which was forming at the same time) which would provide assistance, or at least a solution to the problem of Canadian-born players’ wives having to go back to Canada to give birth to their babies, while the men played hockey in the US.  Goodwin became one of the PHPA’s first player representatives before retiring from hockey in 1968.

“In 1967, players were very skeptical of the PHPA, especially when they were asked to pay union dues.  They had no idea where this money was going or what was in it for them.  Some thought of it as a scam,” recounts Goodwin.  “However, once the Association got the insurance program set up, players loved the idea.  At the time, the Canadian Government was not sympathetic to players who were playing hockey in the US, living in Canada for only 90 days, and then wanting the Canadian healthcare system to take care of them.  The PHPA found a way to take care this issue, and soon thereafter the players really took to the idea of a players’ union.”

In 1970, upon demonstrating a solid understanding of Canada’s socialized health care system which he was able to integrate with a US Insurance program, Goodwin became the Insurance Agent for the PHPA, a position which he held for over 25 years.

Another of Goodwin’s significant accomplishments was his involvement with the PHPA becoming the collective bargaining representative for players in the (now defunct) International Hockey League (IHL). 

During this initiative, Goodwin made trips to every IHL arena, even sneaking around dressing rooms and motels where the players were staying before and after games, in an attempt to get players to sign a formal petition stating that they wanted to be represented by the PHPA, which was a requirement of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

“At the time, Curt Leichner (former PHPA Executive Director), representing the union, was not welcome in any IHL arena.  The PHPA needed enough signatures to demonstrate that players wanted to be unionized before the Association could officially file the appropriate paperwork with the NLRB,” said Goodwin.  Goodwin eventually secured close to 100% of all player signatures.

Goodwin will be recognized during the 50th PHPA Annual Meeting of Player Representatives, taking place June 12-17 in Orlando, Florida when the Association officially launches it’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.




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