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NHL Players Union Executive Director Donald Fehr, on the eve of his contract expiring, announced he will leave the union as of the start of the 2018-19 season.
The union president said the move comes with a lot of uncertainty in regards to the future of the union and the future prospects of players who have not signed a new collective bargaining agreement.
The NHLPA will need to work together in the coming weeks to try to come up with a new CBA that is acceptable to both sides, Fehr said.
“The players have expressed their frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations,” Fehr wrote on Twitter.
“Our goal is to get this done by the end of the month.”
The players have not yet made a final decision on what to do about Fehr’s future, but the union president wrote that he is not sure what the future holds for the union.
Fehr is scheduled to make a decision on his future in mid-December.
The players are still negotiating on a new contract for the 2017-18 season.
Fehrs contract expired on March 8, 2018, and his salary for the next two seasons is $2.8 million, a salary he has not been paid since the end, according to the NHLPA.
The number of years of the current deal, which expires at the end a year from now, is not known.
The current CBA provides for a four-year extension of the CBA.
However, the players have said they want to extend the deal beyond that time, with the players being allowed to choose between two options, including a fifth year.
The five-year option would give the union bargaining unit a chance to negotiate a contract extension that would be worth at least $6 million annually.
Fehl, who has been with the union for more than two decades, has been a vocal advocate for a collective bargaining deal, and in the past has called for players to be paid more.
He has said he will remain in the union to try and achieve a new agreement.
Players are divided on how much longer they can continue their strike.
One player group, the American Hockey League Players Association, has suggested the union can still strike until March 8.
That could lead to the union agreeing to a new deal.
The American Hockey Association is an umbrella group for the NHL players.
Fehler, who is also a member of the NHL Players Association and the NHL’s board of governors, is one of the top executive officers of the league’s executive committee.