Report: NHLPA player reps must vote for or against Donald Fehr by Saturday

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for donald fehr.jpgFor 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.

[snip]

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.

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    Penguins thump the Ducks as Crosby’s hot streak continues

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    In a meeting between two clubs enjoying hot streaks and their own subsequent climbs through the standings, the Pittsburgh Penguins bested the Anaheim Ducks courtesy another dominant Sidney Crosby performance on Monday.

    After that slow start, Crosby has put together a growing number of dominant performances of late.

    The latest, a four-point night, helped the Penguins to a 6-2 final over the Ducks, stopping Anaheim’s winning streak at six games.

    — He extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games, and did so with two beauty goals versus the Ducks.

    — From Dec. 18 to Feb. 8, he’s appeared in 21 games. In that span, he’s recorded 34 points.

    — Crosby is now into the top five among NHL players in points, with 53 in 51 games this season.

    He wasn’t the only Pittsburgh player to have a big night. Keep in mind, Evgeni Malkin wasn’t even in the lineup due to a lower-body injury.

    Ten different Penguins players recorded points. In addition to Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang had multi-point efforts, and four players — Kunitz, Crosby, Olli Maatta and Patric Hornqvist — were plus-four.

    The Penguins now move into third in the Metropolitan Division, while the New York Islanders slip into the first Wild Card spot in the East. Pittsburgh’s lead over the Islanders, however, is only one point.

    The Islanders also have a game in hand.

    Panthers’ Barkov (upper-body injury) leaves game versus Red Wings

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    The Florida Panthers will be without Aleksander Barkov for the remainder of their game versus the Detroit Red Wings on Monday.

    As per multiple reports, Barkov will not return due to an upper-body injury suffered after a hit from Justin Abdelkader early in the second period.

    Abdelkader wasn’t given a penalty on the play. Barkov didn’t play another shift after that hit.

    In 42 games this season, the 20-year-old Barkov has 16 goals and 35 points.

     

    Video: Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to career best seven games

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    What is wrong with Sidney Crosby?

    His slow start to the season has been well documented. But, um, he’s been on one heck of a roll offensively for some time and the points continue to pile up.

    Crosby extended his scoring streak to a career best seven games on Monday, as he gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks in the second period.

    That was goal No. 23 on the season for Crosby. He added No. 24 later in the game on a spectacular individual effort.

    Oh, and here’s his second goal of the night. Not bad.

    Turris: Public trade requests can be ‘very difficult’ to go through, as Drouin saga drags on

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    When it comes to the pressures of trade requests that go public, Kyle Turris can relate to what Jonathan Drouin might be going through.

    Of course, Drouin’s request to be dealt from Tampa Bay made its way into the public via his agent, Allan Walsh, earlier this season.

    The talented 20-year-old forward and third overall pick in 2013 has since been suspended indefinitely without pay for failing to show up to an AHL game while down in the minors and hasn’t played since Jan. 18.

    It’s been a while now, but Turris found himself in a similar situation when, in October of 2011, his agent Curt Overhardt confirmed that the now 26-year-old center wanted to be traded out of Arizona.

    Back then, Turris, another third overall pick, was a restricted free agent and had been in contentious contract talks with the Coyotes. He eventually signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes and was acquired by Ottawa not long after.

    He’s been there ever since, with two 20-plus goal seasons.

    “It’s tough,” Turris told the Tampa Bay Times. “Everyone has mixed feelings, and especially not being an established player. Then people are doubting that you’re doing the right thing, you really have to have confidence in yourself and your ability to do it.

    “It was very difficult to do. You’re getting a lot of heat from the media and people, and people within the organization. It was a tough, tough go.”

    Speaking of heat from the media: In addition to the suspension, Drouin was ripped in a local newspaper column — He’s the kid who quit” was one particular line that stands outfor his request and the drama that ensued from that.

    For now, the trade deadline (Feb. 29) approaches and Drouin’s request has yet to be granted.

    The wait continues.