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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    Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

    Alex Ovechkin
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    Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

    He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

    Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

    That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

    This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

    No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

    Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

    Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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    Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

    CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

    With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

    Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

    Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

    Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

    The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?