Growing up in Boston ignited a passion for hockey and, more importantly, the Bruins for new NHL Players Association executive director Marty Walsh.
“Becoming the executive director of the NHLPA allows me to join two passions I have,” Walsh said during his introductory press conference on Thursday. “One is hockey, and the other is fighting for working people.”
The former Boston Mayor explained that in his household, the Bruins were always on the television, and as he got older, he grew to love the game. However, being from Boston doesn’t mean Walsh will allow the Bruins or their owners to influence his role.
“I know all the owners of the teams in the city. And it’s a good relationship,” Walsh said. “I know your next question is probably, ‘They supported my campaign.’ They did.
“But in my entire career as a legislator or as a mayor, supporting my campaign is one thing and using that as a way to leverage me is never gonna happen. It never has happened. It won’t happen.”
Walsh added that the relationships with the owners are good to have, but his priority is, first and foremost, the players.
“The players deserve a leader who knows who they are, who knows their families,” Walsh said. “It’s really about understanding each other and knowing each other.”
Walsh mentioned his priority is talking to the players across the league and getting to know them and what is important to them and their families.
When asked about Pride Nights across the NHL, Walsh explained there is work to do on that subject.
“I think it’s really important as a league, and in locker rooms, that we’re inclusive and that we support all people?s rights that support the game,” Walsh said. “Again, we probably have some work to do there, too as well.?