Marty Walsh, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, is expected to become the next executive director of the NHL Players Association, per a report from ESPN. Walsh has served as the Secretary of Labor since President Biden appointed him to the role in March of 2021.
According to Daily Faceoff, a "formal executive board vote" will take place soon, but it will be "a formality" as Walsh is expected to be approved "unanimously." Prior to joining President Biden's cabinet, Walsh was the mayor of Boston from 2014 to 2021.
Walsh has extensive experience with labor unions, having joined the Laborers' Union Local 223 at 21. He was eventually named the union's president. In 2011, Walsh became the head of the Boston Building Trades, but resigned when he began his mayoral campaign.
According to ESPN's report, the players were seeking an executive director who didn't have any prior experience in hockey labor negotiations and could bring a fresh perspective to the union. As CBS Boston pointed out, Walsh would be the first NHLPA executive director without a legal background.
Although Walsh is a big hockey fan and has been a Boston Bruins season-ticket holder, he doesn't have any prior connections to the NHL. Walsh did meet commissioner Gary Bettman while he was mayor of Boston.
He will replace Donald Fehr, who has served as the NHLPA executive director since 2010. That will culminate a 10-month search for Donald Fehr's replacement and represent the first peaceful transition of power in the union's 56-year history
In his tenure with the NHLPA, Fehr negotiated two collective bargaining agreements. His most intense negotiation occurred in 2012, when the league missed half of the 2012-13 season due to a lockout.