Former NHLPA president Trevor Linden says he still supports Ted Saskin

“I’m a big supporter of Ted,” Linden said Monday after the Vancouver Canucks skated at their Burnaby, B.C., practice facility. “I think he’s a quality individual and can do a very good job for our group. I thought that all along.

“I think the executive committee that recommended him to the board felt strongly in that and that’s why we did what we did.”

The NHL player representatives voted Sunday evening to have Saskin and senior director Ken Kim placed on paid leaves of absence effective immediately.

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During their leave, the NHLPA executive board will retain outside counsel to address the allegations made against Saskin and Kim and determine whether they have grounds to dismiss both Saskin and Kim from future compensation.

The players vote was prompted by allegations that Saskin ordered the monitoring of NHLPA player e-mails. The e-mail system the players use is administered by the union.

Linden seemed caught off guard by the allegations against Saskin.

“I didn’t expect this and I don’t know much about it,” he said.