Fehr downplays possibility of rejoining baseball union

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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.

Blues name Larry Robinson as new senior consultant to hockey operations

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Larry Robinson has joined the St. Louis Blues.

The Blues made the announcement Thursday, revealing that Robinson has joined the organization as a senior consultant to hockey operations.

Based on the comments of Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, it sounds like Robinson will work closely at times with head coach Mike Yeo. It could also further help the development of an already impressive defenseman in Colton Parayko.

“Bringing someone like Larry in, I just think, helps our hockey operations from top to bottom,” said Armstrong, per the Blues website.

“His ability to talk to Mike Yeo about coaching — that’s one area that we don’t have on our staff is a former head coach. You can think you know what Mike’s going through but I don’t know what Mike’s going through. Larry does. So he’s going to be able to relate to him on a lot of the things that he’s going to go through.

“He’s coming in as a consultant. I can learn a lot from him, our assistant coaches can, Parayko can. There’s not an area of our hockey operations he can’t touch to make us a better group.”

Robinson was most recently the director of player development with the San Jose Sharks, however it was reported in May that he would not return to that organization for this season.

Looks like Matt Duchene will make preseason debut tonight vs. Stars

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According to reports, there is substantial interest from other teams in Matt Duchene. That said, he remains with the Colorado Avalanche for now and will, it appears, make his preseason debut Thursday against the Dallas Stars.

Earlier this week, Darren Dreger reported on TSN that as many as eight teams have interest in Duchene, with the Senators aggressively pursuing the 26-year-old forward.

According to Mike Chambers of The Denver Post, Duchene will be in the lineup tonight versus the Stars.

Trade speculation has been swirling around Duchene for months now. He reported to training camp last week, and has since said his status with the Avalanche is a “day-by-day” situation.

“I love playing hockey. I want to win,” Duchene told The Denver Post. “That’s the biggest thing on my mind. I’m trying to get better every time I touch the ice right now.”

Habs prospect Juulsen out six weeks with fractured foot

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Tough news for the Montreal Canadiens and prospect defenseman Noah Juulsen on Thursday.

The Habs have announced that the 2015 first-round pick is expected to be sidelined six weeks after suffering a fractured foot on Monday.

The Habs selected Juulsen with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft following his 52-point regular season with the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League.

This past spring, Juulsen appeared in two playoff games for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps. He turned 20 years old in April and it seemed like the Habs were going to give him a serious look to make the NHL club out of training camp.  

“We like the way he skates and his transition game,” said head coach Claude Julien earlier this week, before the injury was revealed. “He’s going to get a chance to make this team and if he doesn’t he’s not going to be too far away.”

Fight Video: Lappin, Puempel land some good shots in preseason tilt

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Who says players don’t care about preseason hockey?

Matt Puempel and Nick Lappin are trying to earn spots on their respective clubs, so they know they may have to do the little things others aren’t willing to do to stick around in the NHL.

On Wednesday night, that involved dropping the gloves against each other. These two seemed to be in mid-season form when it came to throwing punches.

Neither player is considered a tough guy. Lappin had 17 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Devils last season, while Puempel has 28 penalty minutes in 79 career NHL games.

Here’s the video footage of the scrap:

By the way, the Rangers won 4-3 in overtime.