What’s been rumored for months seems like it’s on the verge of being officially true: the NHL Players Association is reportedly “very likely” to name Donald Fehr its new head in the next 24 hours.
In case you didn’t follow the 1994-95 Major League Baseball strike, Fehr was the leader of baseball’s union at time. The strike disgusted many, but eventually, Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games streak and the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run chase helped hardball bounce back.
That being said, Fehr’s name evokes fear for an obvious reason: his name is associated with that strike.
Considering the highly damaging effects of the NHL lockout which erased the 2004-05 season, it’s understandable that many in the hockey world cringed when they learned that Fehr might run the NHLPA.
It’s hard to fault the players, though, as they haven’t had a firmly entrenched leader since Bob Goodenow. For better or worse – for the game and for themselves – the players got just that. We’ll just have to wait and see if this ends up being good news or not.