Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

All Donald Fehr

06/21/2016 at 10:59am EDT

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Donald Fehr, the executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association, doesn't seek the media spotlight. But, at the beginning of what promises to be a monumental week for the NHL, he agreed to talk with ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun about a variety of topics facing the NHL and its players, including expansion, future Olympic participation, 3-on-3 overtime, drug testing and labor peace. Here's an edited version of that conversation:

ESPN.com: During your fall tour of all 30 teams, which has become more of a fall/winter tour now, outside of escrow, what would you say has become the next most popular topic amongst the players?

Fehr: That's a hard one, because it really varies depending on the team you're with, whether it's a veteran team or a young team. The other issue that commands a fair amount of discussion at virtually all meetings is what we hope will be significant growth in international hockey; or games outside the normal North American format in various venues and various kinds of tournament play. I think the guys recognize that that's the next step. And it's the next step that you pretty well have to take in order to move hockey to the forefront of international team sports which is where everybody thinks it should be. It has to become much more of an ongoing, regularized high-visibility international product as distinct from a North American one. Now, I don't mean to suggest by that, that I would ever expect that to overtake the regular season and the playoffs and so on in terms of what they mean for players. But that's where the growth is, or a big aspect of where the growth is.


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