About the NHLPA
The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is the labour union for the professional hockey players in the National Hockey League. Established in 1967, and with headquarters in Toronto, the NHLPA’s principal role is to represent the players of the National Hockey League and to guarantee that their rights as players are upheld under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the management of daily operations is the responsibility of NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr and the NHLPA staff of approximately 40 employees, the ultimate control over all NHLPA activities resides with the players, who each year elect representatives from the thirty teams in the league in order to form an Executive Board.
Provides guidance and assistance to NHLPA members on charitable and environmental initiatives, while managing and overseeing the function of the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund; the players’ direct contribution to grassroots hockey programs around the world
Provides leadership and management in marketing and licensing of the players, their name and likeness in all areas, including trading cards, video games and apparel.
Assists retired players via the NHL Alumni Association in various areas, such as the BreakAway Program
Helps current players cultivate their careers
Other Player Services:
Ted Lindsay Award
The Ted Lindsay Award is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association.
Since the 1970-71 season, the members of the NHLPA have selected and recognized whom they consider the “Most Outstanding Player” for that season, by way of secret ballot. Known from 1970-71 until 2008-09 as the Lester B. Pearson Award, the honour was presented to 22 different players over 38 seasons. On April 29, 2010, the NHLPA’s “Most Outstanding Player” award was reintroduced as the Ted Lindsay Award. The Award is named in honour of Ted Lindsay, an All-Star forward known for his skill, tenacity, leadership, and for his role in establishing the original Players’ Association. The Ted Lindsay Award is the only award voted on by the players themselves, carrying on the tradition established by the Lester B. Pearson Award.
For years, the NHLPA has been an important resource for ex-NHLers, beginning in 1994 when it helped a group of former players create the NHLPA Alumni Association. In November 1998, the NHL Alumni Association was established as an independent association, by amalgamating two Alumni groups formed by the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League. Today, more than 3,000 former players – each with at least one game played in the NHL – belong to the Alumni Association.
Off the rink, the NHLPA is active in providing players on-going assistance in their daily lives. One such area of support involves a program that the NHLPA and the NHL set up in September 1996 to assist players and their families in the treatment of health problems, including substance abuse. Funded jointly by the NHLPA and the NHL, the program is the first of its kind in NHL history.