NHLPA could take first official steps toward making Donald Fehr their leader today

From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like any move to impede Donald Fehr’s quest to become the head of the NHLPA would just delay the inevitable, but the process still hasn’t technically begun.

Ken Campbell reports that Fehr may finally become an “official” candidate for the job today, though, as the players association is holding another Wednesday conference call.

The coronation of Donald Fehr as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association could receive a significant boost during a conference call this afternoon.

It would mean Fehr, who has been an unpaid advisor with the NHLPA for months and has been coy about his intentions for the top job, could become an official candidate and the frontrunner for the job as early as today.

It’s possible during the call the search committee will formally submit Fehr’s name for the vacant executive director’s job and recommend that he be hired. The executive committee, which is comprised of the 30 player representatives, would then hold a vote on whether or not to put the matter to a ratification vote of the full membership during training camp.

In order for the vote to go to all the players, two-thirds of the player reps on the conference call would have to approve, something that is expected to happen. It’s also expected the players will discuss how the votes among members will be counted, whether or not each player’s vote will count individually or whether each team will vote on Fehr’s candidacy based on the results of the vote among its players.

Campbell wrote that it’s possible that the union could vote on his candidacy during training camp so Fehr would be the head of the players association by the beginning of the 2010-11 season.

James Mirtle followed up on the story and shared his findings on Twitter.

Told there will not necessarily be decision/vote on Fehr today. Definitely a discussion taking place, though.

It might seem like the process is moving along at a glacial place, but it’s all about getting things in order before the Collective Bargaining Agreement runs out after the 2011-12 campaign. Just about everyone outside of the fray is rooting against a lockout or strike at all costs, so Fehr’s name does strike some fear into the hearts of many considering his association with the damaging 1994 Major League Baseball strike.

Still, Fehr has been a part of negotiations that didn’t involve a work stoppage, so it’s probably a bit hasty to play “Taps” for the 2012-13 season. Hopefully everyone involved will be wise enough to realize how crippling another work stoppage would be for anyone associated with the league.

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    Report: Sabres interested in Pens director of amateur scouting Randy Sexton

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    New Sabres GM Jason Botterill has been on the job for less than a month, but with the draft around the corner, he’s got to start filling some holes in his front office.

    Botterill, who came over from Pittsburgh, is allowed to bring former Pens colleagues of his over to Buffalo, but only if they’re given promotions by the Sabres (no lateral moves).

    According to a report by Chuck Gormley, one person who could move from Pittsburgh to Buffalo is Randy Sexton, who currently serves as the Penguins’ directer of amateur scouting.

    Sexton would bring plenty of experience to the Sabres’ front office, as he’s been a general manager with both the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers.

    Having someone with that kind of experience could be beneficial for a rookie GM like Botterill, so the move would make a lot of sense from that point of view.

    Related:

    Botterill has “no problem” with Lehner as No. 1

    Botterill to use Pens’ NHL-AHL relationship as model for Sabres

    PHT Morning Skate: How good has Subban been during Nashville’s run?

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    –Prior to last night’s game between Ottawa and Pittsburgh, the Senators held a moment of silence for those affected by the attacks in Manchester. A very touching moment. (The Score)

    –Speaking of that game, the Senators managed to win it 2-1 thanks to some incredible goaltending from Craig Anderson. You can check out the highlights from the game by clicking the video at the top of the page.

    –Sportsnet’s Andrew Berkshire takes a deeper look at P.K. Subban‘s contribution to Nashville’s run to the Stanley Cup Final. Despite dealing with a herniated disc, Subban has really been a key part of the Predators’ success both offensively and defensively. (Sportsnet)

    –Many hockey fans thought Pekka Rinne‘s better days were behind him after he struggled during the regular season, but his playoff numbers have been incredible. From the start of his career, Rinne has always been underrated, so being underestimated is nothing new to him. (Yahoo)

    –The Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs made a couple of trades last offseason. First, the Leafs got Frederik Andersen from the Ducks. Then, it was Toronto that shipped Jonathan Bernier to Anaheim. Could the two clubs make another huge deal this summer? The Leafs need a right-handed defenseman, and with the expansion draft coming up, the Ducks may have some blue liners to move. (The Hockey News)

    –Former NHLer Manny Maholtra held a part time role with the Canucks last season, and he’s hoping for a larger one next year. “We’ve started discussions and it’s something I would definitely like to do. Obviously, a lot has to do with how (Travis) Green feels and how he wants to build his staff.” (Vancouver Province)

    –We know that Brendan Smith wants to re-sign with the New York Rangers, but what will it take to get him under contract? According to the New York Post, Smith will likely fetch a four or five-year deal worth north of $4 million. (New York Post)

    Crosby: Penguins ‘probably deserved better’ vs. Senators in Game 6

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    If you didn’t know that the Stanley Cup Playoffs can be awfully cruel, then the last week or so of action should make it pretty clear.

    The Nashville Predators lost top center Ryan Johansen to a scary ailment few would have seen coming. The Anaheim Ducks fell in both games to the Johansen-less Predators, even after dominating significant chunks of Game 6. At least one Ducks player wondered if the better team won.

    Much like in life, “fair” and “deserve” only matter so much. Sports have a scoreboard to serve as the ultimate deciding factor.

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have similar thoughts after falling 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators tonight, extending the Eastern Conference Final to a decisive Game 7. You can nitpick questionable penalties and missed chances, but really, how negative can you be after Craig Anderson puts forth a blazing 45-save performance (with no overtime)?

    Mike Sullivan and others echoed such thoughts.

    ” … Obviously, we’re disappointed in the result, but I don’t think we can get discouraged by that,” Sullivan said. “I think we’ve got to take the positives from it, and we’ve got to build on it, and we’ve got to become a more determined team for Game 7.

    That’s not the sort of take that’s going to make the Senators angry in Game 7. The tone of the Senators’ discussions was likely very different after they lost Game 5 by a 7-0 score, yet maybe there was similar self belief.

    Anderson puzzles Penguins as Senators force Game 7

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    Who could blame fans for chanting “Andy” tonight?

    The Ottawa Senators said they would choose to fight in Game 6, and Craig Anderson truly battled in this one, refusing to allow this unlikely run to an end on Tuesday. They wouldn’t roll over, even after a 7-0 humiliation in Game 5.

    The underrated goalie continued his memorable (and emotional) 2016-17 season with a brilliant performance, making 45 saves to help Ottawa manage a gutsy 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    With that, hockey fans get a true treat: the Eastern Conference will go to a Game 7 on Thursday.

    The Senators opted for a “bend but don’t break” strategy for much of the contest, possibly to Guy Boucher’s preference. Even so, the Penguins managed to grind their way to a 1-0 win thanks to another hard-work goal from Evgeni Malkin.

    Mistakes would come back to haunt the Penguins, however, as Bobby Ryan broke Ottawa’s lengthy power-play drought to tie things up on a 5-on-3.

    With their season in question thanks to a 1-1 tie in the third period, Mike Hoffman sent a booming shot by Matt Murray, and that ended up being all the Senators needed to tie the series 3-3.

    Anderson was the standout, but Erik Karlsson was a hero in the way his detractors might not expect.

    You can watch Game 7 on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. The game is also available to stream via the NBC Sports App.