Facing one of the most important crossroads in the NHL’s recent history, one Flyer will have a big say in whether next hockey season starts on time.
After a three-day executive board meeting at the Peninsula hotel in Chicago, the NHL Players’ Association announced that 31 players, including Flyers forward Scott Hartnell, will be a part of the negotiating committee with executive director Donald Fehr.
Hartnell, 30, spent three seasons as the Flyers’ team representative for the NHLPA. Braydon Coburn is the Flyers’ current team representative, but not a member of the negotiating committee.
Soon-to-be free agent defenseman Matt Carle was also one of 56 players to attend the meetings in Chicago.
"It’s great to see that so many Players have chosen to participate in bargaining and get involved in the important work ahead for their Association,” Fehr said in a statement. “I’m certain this group of Players and all Players who will be attending bargaining sessions will do a great job.”
According to multiple reports, negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement – which expires on Sept. 15 – are set to begin on Friday.
Bargaining sessions will be open to all players. Other players may soon be added to the negotiating committee.
Currently, players earn a maximum of 57 percent of league revenues, and the NHL will surely try to push that number closer to the 50 percent that players in the NFL and NBA now receive after two separate lockouts.
The NHL, of course, lost an entire season in 2004-05 due to a lockout, making it the only year since 1919 that no Stanley Cup was awarded.
NHLPA Negotiating Committee:
Craig Adams (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Adrian Aucoin (Phoenix Coyotes)
Alex Auld (Ottawa Senators)
David Backes (St. Louis Blues)
Marty Biron (New York Rangers)
Brad Boyes (Buffalo Sabres)
Chris Campoli (Montreal Canadiens)
B.J. Crombeen (St. Louis Blues)
Mathieu Darche (Montreal Canadiens)
Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders)
Shane Doan (Phoenix Coyotes)
Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers)
Ruslan Fedotenko (New York Rangers)
Alex Goligoski (Dallas Stars)
Ron Hainsey (Winnipeg Jets)
Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia Flyers)
Jamie Langenbrunner (St. Louis Blues)
Manny Malhotra (Vancouver Canucks)
Steve Montador (Chicago Blackhawks)
Dominic Moore (San Jose Sharks)
Brendan Morrison (Chicago Blackhawks)
Douglas Murray (San Jose Sharks)
George Parros (Anaheim Ducks)
Chris Phillips (Ottawa Senators)
Cory Schneider (Vancouver Canucks)
John Tavares (New York Islanders)
Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)
Kevin Westgarth (Los Angeles Kings)
Dan Winnik (San Jose Sharks)
James Wisniewski (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings)
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers