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Georges Laraque named executive director of junior hockey players union

Georges Laraque

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

A fledgling union for Canada's major junior hockey players has a face.

Georges Laraque, a former NHL forward, 35, was named executive director of the Canadian Hockey League Players Association on Tuesday.

The announcement was made via the new organization's Twitter account. Laraque also resorted to Twitter to acknowledge the appointment, saying he was "proud" to move into the new role.

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The CHLPA said it is working toward certifying itself as a union for the 1,500 major junior players in the Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League.

A CHLPA spokesperson said the union has the support of more than 60 per cent of the CHL players.

The union has yet to reveal much in the way of specifics on how it plans to operate, except to say that one of its mandates will be to seek improvements to the CHL's education policies.

CHL president Dave Branch could not be contacted on Tuesday to comment on the formation of the new union.

A rugged 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Laraque was primarily an enforcer during his NHL career, which started in the 1997-98 season when he suited up for the Edmonton Oilers for 11 games.

Laraque played the final two years in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, ending after the 2009-10 campaign.

Before the NHL, Laraque played in the QMJHL, where he scored 107 points to go along with 661 penalty minutes. He was a member of the 1996 Granby Prédateurs team that won the Memorial Cup.

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After he concluded his NHL career, Laraque did some television sports commentary in Montreal and was also named the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada.

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