NHLPA votes to begin search for Don Fehr replacement

For the first time in the 55-year history of the NHL Players’ Association, it looks like a peaceful transition of power is in order for the hockey players’ union.

The NHLPA announced Friday night that the union’s executive board voted this week to appoint a search committee to begin finding a successor to executive director Don Fehr.

Fehr, 73, is in his 11th year with the NHLPA since joining in December 2010. After a 35-year run in baseball, Fehr guided NHL players through two rounds of collective bargaining in 2012-13 and 2020, which included a landlord lockout and a global pandemic.

But time was running out for Fehr’s tenure.

Advertising – Continue Reading Below

The temperature had risen internally in recent days and weeks for Fehr to adapt to a change in direction. It was unclear Friday what role, if any, Fehr played in the executive council’s decision to go ahead with a vote — which ended unanimously, multiple sources said.

The NHLPA said only that Fehr would continue to lead the NHLPA as executive director « throughout the research. »

It’s a win for NHL players, as the union has too often been thrown into chaos, as each of Fehr’s previous four permanent predecessors were fired from their positions.

On Friday, the executive board named seven current players to the search committee, including Ian Cole, Justin Faulk, Sam Gagner, Zach Hyman, Kyle Okposo, Nate Schmidt and Kevin Shattenkirk. The NHLPA said additional members may be added to the search committee up to and during the next in-person executive board meeting in July in Toronto.

Advertising – Continue Reading Below

The search for seven players also released a statement thanking Fehr for his service, highlighting one of the highlights of his tenure, which was the return of the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.

« The many players who have played in the NHL over the past eleven years greatly appreciate the significant accomplishments under Don Fehr’s leadership, » the statement read in part. « We look forward to continuing to work with Don throughout the succession process. »

It was also not immediately clear whether the search committee would seek to hire an independent executive search firm to organize and streamline the process. Nearly half of the search committee members are in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin on Monday.

With the increased chatter surrounding Fehr’s inevitable departure, a number of potential candidates to replace Fehr had appeared in the rumor mill, including but not limited to Mathieu Schneider (NHLPA Special Assistant), Mike Gillis (former Canucks general manager and current NHLPA consultant), Allan Walsh (player agent), Ian Pulver (former NHLPA employee and current player agent) and Glenn Healy (former NHL goaltender and current director of the NHL Alumni Association).

The successful candidate must have an intimate knowledge of the collective agreement and the inner workings of the NHLPA, new ideas for organic revenue generation, strong collaboration and communication skills, as well as an ability to commit to the union ideally for most of the next decade. .

Any nominee presented by the Search Committee will need to be approved by the full 32-member Board of Directors by vote.

Advertising – Continue Reading Below

The NHLPA did not offer a timeline for putting in place Fehr’s successor, saying the search committee will provide a progress report to the executive board at the next meeting scheduled for late July.

Laisser un commentaire