Former NHLPA executive Ian Penny joins MLB players union as senior lawyer

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Former NHL Players’ Association executive Ian Penny is joining the Major League Baseball Players Association as a senior labour lawyer.

He joins the staff of executive director Michael Weiner, who took over from longtime leader Donald Fehr last year.

Fehr is poised to take over the top spot at the NHLPA after being recommended for the job by a committee over the weekend.

Penny, 46, had spent the past 10 years with the NHLPA, most recently serving as interim executive director.

He stepped down Oct. 31, 2009, some two months after he replaced the fired Paul Kelly as part of the union infighting that led them to Fehr.

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Penny also worked with the National Labor Relations Board from 1988-2000.

“I’ve known Ian for more than 15 years, and have worked closely with him when he was with the National Labor Relations Board and the National Hockey League Players Association,” Weiner said in a release. “The players are fortunate that we’re able to add someone of such high calibre to the staff as we prepare for the next round of collective bargaining.”

The current CBA in baseball expires in December 2011.