Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber will go from the blue line to the boardroom.
The veteran defenseman was one of 31 players from around the league named Wednesday to the National Hockey League Players' Association negotiating committee. The announcement of the group was made following three days of executive board meetings in Chicago.
According to the release, those named to the committee “will be closely involved in the collective bargaining process between the NHLPA and the NHL. Various members of the Committee will attend bargaining sessions and regular correspondence will be conducted throughout the bargaining process as a means of keeping the entire Committee updated. While the members of the Negotiating Committee are taking a very active role on behalf of their fellow Players, bargaining sessions will be open for all Players to attend.”
The group also includes former Predators’ first-round pick Scott Hartnell and such notable players as Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg, New York Islanders forward John Tavares and Phoenix captain Shane Doan.
The formation of the committee is an important step as the NHLPA prepares to begin negotiations with league owners on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
The current CBA, which was negotiated following the lockout that canceled the entire 2004-05 season, is set to expire on Sept. 15. Numerous reports indicate the owners are prepared to institute another lockout unless they can slow the growth of, or even reduce player salaries.
“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,” said Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director. “I’m certain this group of players and all players who will be attending bargaining sessions will do a great job.”