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12-19-2010, 10:10 PM
joshjull's Avatar
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Fehr selected to lead NHLPA into next negotiations

Donald Fehr made his name in baseball. He negotiated five collective agreements, successfully sued the owners three times for collusion and had the unwavering support of his players through good times and bad including three work stoppages. It's a record the NHLPA couldn't resist despite his lack of experience in hockey.
The union was divided; it turned to Fehr for guidance. Then asked the 62-year-old to put off retirement and lead them into the next round of collective bargaining in 2012.

Back in the mid-1990's baseball was trying to prop up struggling markets, but Fehr has an unshakeable belief in survival of the fittest. Now that hockey's his game, that tough position could be hard news in places where hockey is a hard sell such as Phoenix, Nashville, South Florida and Atlanta, and give hope to relocation hungry markets like Quebec City and Winnipeg.
The current agreement between hockey players and owners expires after the 2011-2012 season. So does a new union head with a free market ideology and tough negotiating history mean a nasty showdown is coming with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman?

"Obviously we can't shut the game down, but who knows. We're not the only person with that decision. It's a decision that comes from two sides, it's not one side or the other, but it's definitely a possibility." admitted Rafalski.


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