NBPA eyeing NHLPA's Donald Fehr?
|Executive Director of the NHL player's association Donald Fehr at a press conference in Toronto on Aug. 23, 2012. The labour talks will continue in New York next Tuesday. (Veronica Henri/QMI Agency)
In the sports world, getting three of a kind is called a hat trick.
NHL Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr has had his name floated around as a replacement for the National Basketball Players' Association's top post after their current union boss Billy Hunter was placed on indefinite leave Friday by an interim executive committee, organized by union president and NBA free agent Derek Fisher.
Fehr, who has also served as head of the MLB Players' Association, is an early candidate among agents who want to sway NBPA membership.
A source told CBSSports.com that Fehr is happy in his current position. However, his contract can be terminated within a 60-day notice.
In sports labour circles, Fehr has earned himself the moniker "Work-Stoppage Warrior" after going to bat for baseball players, challenging collusion among MLB owners in the 1980s and his wily tactics during the most recent NHL lockout.
WILD ROUGH IT WITH RUPP
The Minnesota Wild sent two of their players packing on Monday — just not to their minor league affiliate in Houston.
Forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri were traded to the New York Rangers for tough guy Mike Rupp.
Rupp, 33, has 53 goals and 41 assists in 565 NHL games. The trade reunites him with Minnesota coach Mike Yeo, who was an assistant for the Pittsburgh Penguins when Rupp played in Steeltown.
Powe has 28 goals and 28 assists in 294 games, while Palmieri has 13 goals and 12 assists in 87 games.
DETROIT'S BLUELINE WOES CONTINUE
The Detroit Red Wings have lost another defenceman due to injury.
This time it's 23-year-old Brendan Smith with a sprained shoulder.
The injury, sustained Saturday night during a collision with the Columbus Blue Jackets' Derek MacKenzie, will sideline Smith for three to four weeks, according to the Detroit News.
"It didn't really hurt right away but then I skated to the blueline and the shoulder felt a little weird," Smith said. "I don't even know how it happened. He's the one that actually fell. I couldn't believe it, one of those things that happen."
Since the beginning of the season, the Wings have lost three defencemen, including Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Ian White (leg laceration). Hockeytown's team also took a big hit in the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, and the departure of Brad Stuart due to a trade with the San Jose Sharks.
ERSKINE NOT HAPPY WITH SHANAHAN
Washington Capitals defenceman John Erskine responded to the classification and punishment he received for his hit on the Philadelphia Flyers' Wayne Simmonds.
Chief NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed Erskine a three-game suspension for his "reckless elbow" that put Simmonds out of the game and future games with a concussion.
"I don't think it was a reckless play or a reckless elbow," Erskine told the Washington Times. "I wasn't flying down the ice a hundred miles an hour with my elbow up in the air. That's what (Shanahan) called it, and I gotta live with it."
Erskine said he apologized to Simmonds via text message over the weekend.
BRIEFLY: Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ryan Whitney was a healthy scratch Monday night against the Vancouver Canucks. Point production from the Oilers' highest-paid blueliner has been low, with only three assists and a -5 rating through eight games ... Dallas Stars centre Derek Roy returned to the lineup Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche after missing five games with a groin injury ... The Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek was named the NHL's first star of the week. The Austrian-born left winger had 10 points in four games and now leads the league with 19 through eight games ... The Colorado Avalanche have lost their top defenceman Ryan Wilson indefinitely with an ankle injury. He was injured during the Avs 3-1 win over Edmonton on Saturday.