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Report: NHLPA eyeing U.S. labor secretary for executive director role

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The NHLPA's next leader may come from outside the sports world.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh is the leading candidate to succeed Donald Fehr as the executive director of the NHLPA, reports ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

The union's executive board plans to meet later this week in Florida to address Walsh's potential appointment, adds Kaplan. If the board - which includes two players each from 26 teams and one each from the remaining six - moves forward with the search committee's recommendation, it'll be put to a full membership vote.

The NHLPA reportedly wants to have a new leader by the end of this regular season. Former Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis is also a finalist, according to Kaplan.

Walsh was the mayor of Boston from January 2014 until March 2021, when he stepped down to join President Joe Biden's cabinet following his confirmation. Walsh has a union background. The 55-year-old was the president of the Laborers' International Union of North America while serving in the Massachusetts state legislature before he was elected mayor.

Fehr is departing as the head of the NHLPA after 12 years.

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