With the CBA and now the Olympic negotiations behind him, there’s been speculation that NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr will step back from his current job so he can accept a new post. Specifically, there’s been reports that Fehr might resume his old job as leader of the MLBPA.
When talking about it though, Fehr made it sound like a return to baseball in the near future was unlikely.
“I haven’t commented about baseball since I left,” Fehr said, according to Toronto Sun. “That’s (executive director) Mike Weiner’s job and the other people who are there. I continue to have enormous confidence in Mike and his judgements. And they just named Tony Clark (No. 2 man), an extraordinary individual who was on my bargaining committee.
“If I can give somebody advice or something like that … if they need it, they’ll (ask). Marvin Miller did that for me a long time and I’m happy to do that. I have an enormous amount of affection for those guys, but I have a job and I really like it.
“When you go through what we went through (the four month NHL lockout), it’s a rite of passage, a trial by fire. You get to know guys on good days and bad. I said at the beginning that I took this job because I really like the players. And I feel more strongly about that every day.”
It seems like Fehr is more focused on the growing the sport of hockey.
“This is an extraordinary product,” Fehr said. “It has cross-ocean appeal and I think it has worldwide appeal. You see things in this game you don’t see anywhere else, because the players are moving so much faster in a much smaller defined area. It requires the kind of athletic performance you just don’t see other places.
“What I’m hopeful is that we’re going to be able to demonstrate that to people who don’t follow hockey and it will be the next big thing.”
The Olympics are an opportunity to show off hockey to those that wouldn’t normally watch it, but last year Fehr also spoke about his desire to see the World Cup of Hockey return. More recently, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the NHL has been talking about the possibility of a World Cup with the players’ union.