donald fehr

NHLPA Officially Hires Donald Fehr As Executive Director

Donald Fehr, the bombastic legal mind that led the MLBPA through the 1994 players strike, has been officially named the Executive Director of the NHLPA.

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Donald Fehr Officially Named Head Of NHLPA

After months of waiting, former MLBPA chief Donald Fehr was officially named the Executive Director of the NHL Players' Association on Saturday. So what took so long?

Here's Fehr, speaking on a conference call this weekend, via NHL.com:

"This process took a while because from the players' standpoint, they wanted to be sure and, from my standpoint, I wanted them to be sure that they had made a decision that they were comfortable with, that all the players had an opportunity to have their say and that this judgment represented a consensus view of the entire membership," Fehr said Saturday afternoon during a conference call. "It has. That's both quite an honor and it is also quite humbling."

Fehr, 62, will lead the Players into negotiations with the NHL when the current collective bargaining agreement expires following the 2011-2012 season. Talks won't begin on a new CBA for a few months, but Fehr pointed out his hope that the situation would not end in another work stoppage.

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One Step Closer: Full NHLPA Membership To Vote On Fehr After Executive Board Endorsement

The NHLPA's executive board has given Donald Fehr their endorsement, moving the bombastic former leader of the MLBPA one step closer to taking that same position with the NHL players' union.

Now, the PA's full membership -- 700-plus players -- will vote on whether or not to adopt Fehr as their leader, the final step in the process.

Here's a bit from the NHLPA's press release:

The recommendation to appoint Fehr as Executive Director will next be submitted to the full NHLPA membership for consideration, along with various amendments to the NHLPA Constitution that were approved by the Executive Board earlier this summer.  The Executive Director and Constitution membership votes are expected to conclude following individual team meetings that will take place during training camp and the first part of the regular season, and Fehr’s appointment will not become official until that time.  In the interim, Fehr will continue to assist the NHLPA as a consultant.

If Fehr becomes leader of the union, he'll give the players the leadership they've so desperately needed since the departure of Paul Kelly over a year ago -- and in some cases, since earlier than that.

Many hockey fans fear that Fehr's appointment could lead to another work stoppage, since he'll be in charge of negotiations with the league in 2012 when the two sides must agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

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Report: Fehr Gives Union Conditions For Becoming Leader

Donald Fehr is ready to become the next Executive Director of the NHLPA, reports Larry Brooks in the New York Post. He has a few conditions first, though.

From the Post:

- Salary of $3 million per year to run through completion of collective bargaining after the current CBA expires following the 2011-12 season.

- Salary of $1.5 million for the remainder of this year.

- Ability to hire his brother, Steve Fehr, currently special counsel to the MLBPA after 23 years as outside counsel to the baseball players' union, to an executive position.

- Autonomy relating to all personnel decisions within the union.

- Ability to live in New York.

- Permission to co-author a book about baseball with his brother, Steve.

- Permission to open a consulting firm, though with the express stipulation that his first priority at all times will be the NHLPA.

That's a lot of power and a lot of money for one dude.

Wanting to give his brother a job seems a little shady, but the rest of the demands seem about right, even if the money could be considered a little high. Player reps from each NHL team have to agree to these terms, and according to Brooks, some have already voiced concern over them.

The PA is basically lost without Don Fehr. He's been involved in the Ilya Kovalchuk mess as an advisor and he gives the union some stability and some much needed clout when negotiating with the League.

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