Five NHL players join Fehr on search committee for new NHLPA leader

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TORONTO - The search for the next leader of the NHL Players' Association has officially begun.

The union announced Wednesday that Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Rafalski, Brian Rolston and Mathieu Schneider will comprise the committee in charge of selecting a new executive director. That group of players will work closely with Donald Fehr, the former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

"We look forward to beginning the process to select a new executive director to lead the NHLPA," the committee members said in a statement. "We appreciate the significance of the responsibility that the executive board has entrusted us with. We are determined to recommend a person as the next NHLPA executive director who understands the challenges the union will face, is committed to building the unity that the task requires, understands that the job is to represent all players throughout the membership and who can secure and maintain the trust and confidence of the entire membership."

The NHLPA has gone through a turbulent period since former executive director Paul Kelly was fired in August. Several others left the organization in the wake of that move, including interim executive director Ian Penny.

Fehr believes the union can get back on track.

"These players recognize that this is a critical process, the outcome of which will affect all current and future NHLPA members," he said. "I am confident that they will discharge this responsibility in the thoughtful, careful and deliberate manner that the circumstances require."

No specific timetable for the search was announced.

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