SBD/Issue 245/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Fehr's Reported Demands For NHLPA Post Could Jeopardize A Deal

Fehr's Reported Demands Include Freedom To
Write A Baseball Book, Open A Consulting Firm

The NHLPA "remains without an executive director" after an Exec Board conference call earlier this week "adjourned without taking a vote on installing Donald Fehr to the position," according to Larry Brooks of the N.Y POST. Fehr, who told the union's search committee last month that he "would accept the position of executive director, has given the executive board his conditions for employment," including:

  • A salary of $3M per year "to run through completion of collective bargaining after the current CBA expires" following the '11-12 season.
  • Salary of $1.5M for the remainder of '10.
  • Ability to hire his brother, MLBPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr.
  • Autonomy relating to all personnel decisions within the union.
  • Ability to live in N.Y.
  • Permission to co-author a book with Steve about baseball.
  • Permission to open a consulting firm.

Sources said that "several player reps expressed concern over the compensation to hire Don and Steve Fehr." Flames D and player rep Robyn Regehr told the board that he "would have to confer with his teammates before casting a vote" (NYPOST.com, 9/2). In N.Y., Mark Everson reports an NHLPA vote on Fehr is "slated on-or-about Sept. 8" (N.Y. POST, 9/3). Maple Leafs D and player rep Mike Komisarek said, "It looks like it’s going to happen, but it still needs approval from the membership." He added, "There’s no one better for the job than Don. He’s going to go in there and get his house in order and get us going in the right direction" (TORONTO STAR, 9/3).

A PAWN IN THEIR GAME? Sources said that Ilya Kovalchuk's proposed contract with the Devils "has become 'a pawn' in the league’s bid to ensure that no more salary-cap-bending deals are signed" before the CBA expires in '12. A source said, "They came to them with certain things, and the league said, well, okay, we don’t like this. Then they came with different things (and were again turned down). … After a while, it just became next to impossible." The GLOBE & MAIL's James Mirtle reports the situation "has agents worried about the NHL’s future interference in contract negotiations, a process that’s supposed to take place between agents and teams using the terms of the collective agreement" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/3). YAHOO SPORTS' Nicholas Cotsonika wrote the "difference between salary cap management and salary cap circumvention" is not clear in the CBA, and "teams, agents and players all need to know the rules of the game so they can go all-out as they do their jobs." CAA Sports Hockey co-Head J.P. Barry said, "All of a sudden you’ve got these threats of fines to everybody involved -- the teams, the agents, the players -- for circumvention. It just seems like a really poison environment with no clarity. ... It’s a ridiculous situation because teams are trying to chart the future -- we are, too -- and we don’t know. …We’re all flying blind" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/2).

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