SBD/Issue 19/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NHLPA Looks To MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr For Consultation

Fehr Has Been Consulting With NHLPA
Since Kelly's Firing In August
MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr “agreed to take part in a portion” of the NHLPA’s six-hour conference call on Sunday, during which he was “asked about constitutional issues as the executive board decided to form a committee to review its organizational structure and bylaws,” according to Allan Maki of the GLOBE & MAIL. Fehr “has often spoken” with NHLPA interim Exec Dir Ian Penny and has advised the 30-member Exec Board since the firing of Exec Dir Paul Kelly on August 31. Because of his involvement with the NHLPA, there has been “growing speculation” that Fehr “may be asked to take over as the players prepare” for CBA talks. Sources “doubted that would happen but acknowledged Fehr will continue to be used in an advisory capacity” (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/8).

FILLING THE LEADERSHIP VOID: In Toronto, Damien Cox noted NHLPA Ombudsman Buzz Hargrove has “risen to the top and become the voice of the union.” Cox: “He says whether it was right or wrong to fire Paul Kelly. He calls Kelly a liar on the airwaves. … This is an ombudsman we’re talking about!!! Where in the world is Ian Penny, the orchestrator of all this chaos?” (THESTAR.com, 10/7). Meanwhile, Bruins Ds Mark Stuart and Dennis Wideman yesterday confirmed that they will be the club’s “new leadership duo in all things related” to the NHLPA after D Andrew Ference notified teammates earlier this week that he has “lost his desire to continue as the player representative” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/8). Maple Leafs C and player rep Matt Stajan said that “players on the Maple Leafs are solidly behind the NHL Players’ Association and its firing” of Kelly. Stajan: “All of us want what’s best for the players. We’re all on the same page, we want to move forward” (TORONTO STAR, 10/8).

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