Lightning player rep Dominic Moore: Donald Fehr a "good choice" to lead NHLPA
Tampa Bay Lightning center Dominic Moore, the team's player rep to the NHL Players Association, applauded what the union said was overwhelming approval of former baseball players union chief Donald Fehr as the NHLPA's new executive director. Moore got to know Fehr during the writing of the union's new constitution. Moore and Fehr were in on the work.
"We've all been very impressed with the help he's given us, and his record speaks for itself," Moore said. "He's pretty well-qualified for the job. He's not a hockey guy, but there are other qualities that he has that makes him a good choice. Guys on the search committee did a good job of getting him on board."
Hiring Fehr also would seem to put to bed years of turmoil at the union, which in July 2005 lost executive director Bob Goodenow to resignation for his part in the negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. His successor Ted Saskin was a disaster and was ousted in 2007 after reading confidential e-mails. His replacement, Paul Kelly could not function amidst back-biting and side-taking within the union. Which brings us to Fehr, 62, who was the baseball players union boss from 1983 to 2009 and is best known for leading the union during the 1994 strike that canceled the World Series.
Fehr will be a big part of the negotiations on a new CBA for the NHL and its players. The current agreement expires in September 2012. Is another lockout for the NHL on the horizon?
"His reputation is that he doesn't mess around," Moore said of Fehr. "But I don't think anybody wants to see that happen. Just in regards to the constitution, he's been very thorough. He's a bright guy and he just gets it, and we appreciate the help he gave us on that, so, hopefully, he's just as good with his new task."
As for things finally being settled at the union, Moore said, "That's a big thing. It's had a history of flux, for lack of a better term. Everyone involved wants to see things back on the right track and getting our ducks in a row."
Other stuff from the morning: Mike Smith gets his second straight start in goal. ... Defenseman Victor Hedman turned 20 today. He said he and his girlfriend had a quiet dinner in St. Petersburg Friday night. ... Remember how badly officiated Wednesday night's game was with the Thrashers (see previous post), well the same dynamic duo of referees (Paul Devorski and Frederick L'Ecuyer) are scheduled to do Saturday's game with the Sabres. ... Center Nate Thompson (knee) sounded like he is ready to play. ... Left wing Mattias Ritola saw a doctor on Friday. Seems as if the new medication he is taking for Meniere's disease has, for now, stopped his attacks of dizziness and ringing in his right ear. The real test will be when he gets on a plane as the pressure from flying seems to exacerbate his symptoms. He also said he took a blood test. Results are expected in a week and a half. ... Very quietly, defenseman Randy Jones is on a four-game points streak with a goal and three assists. The streak ties his career best.