Donald Fehr To Be Replaced As Executive Director Of NHLPA

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Donald Fehr’s time as executive director of the National Hockey League Players’ Association is coming to an end.

The association announced Friday it had formed a search committee to replace the 74-year-old Fehr, who was under attack for poorly handling the sex assault allegations regarding Chicago’s Kyle Beach, as well as player unrest regarding some of the finer points of the collective agreement.

The league’s salary cap has essentially been flat for three seasons, meaning player salaries haven’t kept pace with those in other sports, and players aren’t always paid what they’re expecting to get paid. Players typically give about 10 per cent of their salaries back to owners in escrow payments as part of the revenue-sharing deal with the league. If the NHL fails to hit revenue targets, the players don’t get fully paid.

The players are also unhappy the league did not send players to the last two Winter Olympics. Though this year it was attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, many see the 2018 departure from the Games as Fehr being outmanouevered by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Seven players were named to the search committee: Ian Cole (Carolina Hurricanes), Justin Faulk (St. Louis Blues), Sam Gagner (Detroit Red Wings), Zach Hyman (Edmonton Oilers), Kyle Okposo (Buffalo Sabres), Nate Schmidt (Winnipeg Jets) and Kevin Shattenkirk (Anaheim Ducks). Additional members may be added over the summer.

Fehr has been the executive director of the NHLPA since 2010. He will continue in his role throughout the search. The executive board meets in Toronto from July 18 to 20.

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