The NHLPA held meetings this week to discuss the Block report among other items. Hockey blogger and Globe and Mail journalist James Mirtle had the opportunity to attend these meetings and talk to some of the players. He had a chance to interview Wings veteran defenseman Chris Chelios and former Wings defenseman Mathieu Schneider. Both pieces are a great read, but I'd like to highlight a couple interesting points.
Chelios has played a really important role over the last couple of years in regards to the NHLPA leading to the firing of former NHLPA executive director Ted Saskin. I was actually surprised to read that Chelios does not want to be the Red Wings' player representative this season and hopes that a younger player will take the position.
Now, with few veterans or stars on hand to offer input during three days of meetings in Toronto, Chelios is one of the leaders. He's hoping to pass the torch on to the NHL's young up-and-comers and has said he would like to see one of the Red Wings' youngsters take over the player rep duties this season.
Schneider also believes that a younger player should be a player rep and does not foresee him getting the position with his new team, the Anaheim Ducks.
Schneider said he hadn't talked with his teammates on the Ducks yet, but that he didn't plan on taking on player rep duties with his new team. Much like Chris Chelios, he hoped to see the role go to a youngster on the team, someone who could help reshape the union for years to come.
It was also interesting for Schneider to acknowledge that the CBA agreed upon in 2005 really wasn't that bad for the players (as they had originally foreseen). The 38 year old is actually making more money now than he ever has in his entire career.
Update: Mirtle uploaded another post about the meetings and noted that Chelios actually hopes Dan Cleary becomes the Wings' new player representative. I think Cleary would be a great guy for the role.
"I think, you know, Chris and I were talking about it, and you know he asked me if I wanted to be a player rep in Anaheim, and he said he’s not going to do it in Detroit, he’d like Dan Cleary to do it," Schneider said. "Guys that are going to be around for years and that can pass the torch down to the next generation of players. You know, there’s certainly a generation gap between guys like myself and Chris, and you know the 19- and 20-year-olds that come into the league. We’d like to think that there’s not but there absolutely is. And to have guys that have been in the league you know 15 years and guys that are going to be in the league another 10 to maintain that kind of continuity is going to be important going forward."