For fans, hockey writers and anyone outside of the process, the thought of Donald Fehr becoming the head of the NHL Players Association is a bit scary. If you ask Jim Kelley of Sports Illustrated, he’d probably tell you that the league’s players are just as frightened by the mere task of making a decision. Kelley backed up my feelings that the union is dragging its feet on the matter after a year (or, really, years) of turmoil.
Memo to members of the NHL Players Association 30-man executive committee:
Gentlemen, for the record, accepting a position of responsibility means doing something. Accepting a motion to bail on the opportunity to vote on whether to extend a contract offer to Donald Fehr as your designated leader is ducking the leadership issue.
There are plenty of $3 million-plus players in the NHL whose exploits on the ice don’t even begin to compare with the accomplishments the former head of the MLBPA has on his resume. If the players want the best available leader — and history shows that they need exactly that — they must make a decision and live with it.
Do they think someone else is going to do it for them?
It sounds like the 30 player representatives will have to bite the bullet before the weekend is over, though, at least if Larry Brooks of the New York Post is correct. Brooks posted an update on the union’s negotiations today on Twitter.
Post has learned that NHLPA ExecBoard is in process of voting on Don Fehr for ExecDir. Votes from plyr reps must be cast by 5 pm Saturday.
Then again, the players association has been such a mess that you almost have to take that deadline with a grain of salt.
Still, it’s a promising sign that the long dormant NHLPA is at least working its way out of a lengthy hibernation. If their goal is indeed to install Fehr as their executive director by the beginning of the 2010-11 season, then I think they’ll be in decent shape for the looming Collective Bargaining Agreement discussions. It hasn’t been a smooth process, though, that’s for certain.
There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.
This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.
Carr has no prior NHL experience.
The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.
In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.
This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.
Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.
Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.
It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.
Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.
The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.
Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.
They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.
You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.
With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.
Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).
In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:
Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.
Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.
So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.
The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.
No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.
He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.