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.
It’s been one development after another in goal for Ottawa this season, and that narrative continued on Monday.
The Sens announced that third-stringer Andrew Hammond, who’s only appeared in six games this year, will require surgery to fix a torn labrum in his hip and miss the next three months of action. It’ll be a season-ending procedure.
It’s been a tumultuous season for Hammond, to say the least.
Two years removed from being the darling of Ottawa’s miraculous playoff push, Hammond was soundly beaten out for the No. 2 gig by Mike Condon, who arrived via trade from Pittsburgh early in the season. There were minutes up for grabs after No. 1 Craig Anderson took a leave while his wife went through cancer treatment, but Hammond was unable to provide consistent netminding and, as a result, Condon got a lion’s share of the playing time.
At that point, Hammond’s future with the organization seemed in doubt. There were rumblings Ottawa was trying to trade him before waiving him in November (and again in February).
Around the same time of that second waiving, it was learned the Sens had began contract extension talks with Condon.
Hammond, 29, has one year left on the three-year, $4.05 million extension signed back in ’15. He carries a $1.35M cap hit.
This morning on Buffalo radio, former Sabres tough guy Andrew Peters offered a mea culpa of sorts regarding his role in a youth hockey brawl on Saturday.
Peters admitted that he did “not do a good job this weekend communicating” with his team that fighting is “unacceptable” in youth sports.
“I can’t discuss anything in regard to the altercation,” Peters added, per the Buffalo News. “I have to move on from that.”
From the Associated Press’ story on the brawl:
Former NHL enforcer Andrew Peters has been suspended indefinitely as coach of a youth hockey team pending a Buffalo police investigation into his role in an on-ice brawl.
Buffalo Junior Sabres president Kevyn Adams announced the suspension Sunday, a day after the melee occurred during a game between the Peters-coached 15-and-Under team and the Ontario-based Hamilton Junior Bulldogs.
A video posted on YouTube shows the fight escalating into the Sabres’ bench, when Peters becomes involved in attempting to separate the players. At one point, the 36-year-old appears to shove a Hamilton player backward onto the ice.
According to a person familiar with the situation, Peters told Junior Sabres officials that he slipped while attempting to get one of the Hamilton players away from Buffalo’s bench. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conversation was to remain private.
Peters played 229 NHL games for the Sabres and Devils, racking up 650 PIM with just four goals and three assists.
With back-to-back hat tricks, plus two more goals to boot, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg was today named the NHL’s first star of the week.
Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau were the second and third stars, respectively.
But Forsberg was a slam dunk for the top honor. After getting off to a slow start this season, the 22-year-old winger now has 24 goals — and, more importantly, his Predators have a seven-point playoff cushion.
The Preds went 3-0-1 last week, which included back-to-back wins over two tough opponents, Washington and Edmonton, over the weekend.
With three goals Thursday against Colorado, Forsberg became the first player since Alex Burrows in 2010 to register back-to-back hat tricks.
A pair of forwards were scooped off waivers on Monday morning.
The Lightning snared Greg McKegg from in-state rival Florida, while the Blue Jackets picked up journeyman Zac Dalpe from Minnesota, per ESPN.
McKegg, 24, was originally a Maple Leafs draftee (third round, ’10) that Florida acquired via trade two years ago. He appeared in 31 games for the Panthers this year, scoring six points, but also spent time with the club’s AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Dalpe, 27, has bounced around the league throughout his professional career, though he has spent the last two campaigns with the Wild organization. He’s appeared in more games for Iowa than Minnesota, scoring a goal and three points in nine NHL games this year.
There is a connection between Dalpe and Columbus. The former had a career year under Jackets head coach John Tortorella in Vancouver during the ’13-14 campaign — that season, Dalpe played 55 games and finished with four goals and seven points.