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.
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.