Kelly to remain on board of directors

Former NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly has accepted an invitation from the board of directors of the Hockey Hall of Fame to remain with the hockey body, ESPN.com has learned.

The group had extended the invitation for Kelly to remain as a member of the Hall of Fame's board in the days after Kelly's surprise firing at a union meeting in Chicago late last month.

"I am grateful that the board believes that I have contributed in a meaningful way over the past 21 months and that my continued presence and participation is welcomed," Kelly wrote in accepting the board's invitation.

Kelly was dismissed after a controversial internal office review produced criticism of his managerial skills and after Kelly told players he had read parts of a transcript of an in-camera meeting from which he was excluded during players' meetings in Las Vegas in June. Kelly told players he had asked to see the transcript after a number of players expressed concern to him that the union's constitution may have been breached by union officials including general counsel Ian Penny, members of the NHLPA's advisory board and some player representatives.

The player representatives voted 22-5 to dismiss Kelly.

The union hopes to have a replacement for Kelly by early in 2010, Penny told ESPN.com last week.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for ESPN.com.