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August 29, 2010 3:09 AM

NHLPA Looks to Hire Donald Fehr

The NHL Player's Union took quite a beating in the last lockout that saw the 2004-2005 season canceled. The resulting collective bargaining agreement gave power to the owners and has resulted in a better product on the ice.

It appears the union wants to make sure they do not lose again. No player's union has more power than that of Major League Baseball, and Donald Fehr is a major reason why. Nevermind that because of his strong-arm tactics, the game does not have the competitive balance of other sports and became a league of steroid-induced behemoths whose privacy to cheat was protected over the rest of the players' rights to compete fairly.2619221981_871c1c1afe_z.jpg

If Fehr could take advantage of the worst commissioner baseball has ever seen (and he owned my childhood team, so I began with a pro-Bud Selig bias), what might he do to the worst commissioner sports has ever seen? Gary Bettman is in trouble, and the future of the sport is out of focus.

Despite all that he has done miserably, he did score a victory for the sport against the players. That will change when he faces Fehr.

I am a typical progressive San Franciscan, and am more on the side of players in the NFL squabble than I am owners. But it seems strange to me that baseball has the greatest gap between the rich and poor teams and it is the league that has the most player power; football has the least in both.

Hockey is a troubled sport with almost as much of a have/have-not issue as baseball, and the more power that goes to the players, the worse that will be. Donald Fehr's appointment may mean the end of teams like Nashville and Phoenix (perhaps forcing Bettman to let them move to where they are going to be more followed and better-funded, however) and a return to dominance from the Red Wings and Rangers of the hockey world...well, maybe not the Rangers--money is not a guarantee of success, but lack of it will guarantee failure in the Bettman-Fehr world.

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