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Marty Walsh Expected to Be Next NHLPA Executive Director

  • Walsh — currently Labor Secretary — will be the first member of President Joe Biden's cabinet to leave.
  • The current CBA between the NHL and NHLPA expires after the 2025-26 season.
Mike De Sisti / The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The NHL Players’ Association is going to the public sector for its next leader.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is in line to become the NHLPA’s next executive director, per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

Walsh — appointed to his current position by President Joe Biden — could not leave his government post until after the president’s annual join-session speech in Congress. Walsh will be the first member of Biden’s cabinet to leave.

The former Boston mayor was presented to the union’s 32-member executive board recently and is expected to be unanimously voted into the position after a formal vote in the coming days.

Walsh is expected to make in the range of $3 million per year and live in Boston — with no expectation that he will have to move to Toronto, where the NHLPA is headquartered.

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The NHLPA has spent the last several months searching for a replacement for Don Fehr, who had come under fire for his handling of the sexual assault investigation after allegations made by Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach surfaced.

Fehr declined to comment when reached by Front Office Sports on Tuesday. An NHLPA spokesperson said there was nothing publicly to share about a new executive director.

Fehr has spent the last 12 years as the NHLPA’s executive director, a position he also held when he led the MLBPA from 1985 through 2009.

Fehr is the only person to lead two U.S. pro sports unions through work stoppages: the 1994 MLB strike that resulted in the cancellation of that postseason and the 2012–13 NHL lockout that led the regular season to be nearly halved.

The current CBA between the NHL and NHLPA expires after the 2025-26 season.

Walsh isn’t the first former Massachusetts politician to take the plunge into sports leadership: Former governor Charlie Baker was named the next president of the NCAA in December.

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