Mathieu Schneider joins NHLPA staff

TORONTO -- Former NHL defenseman Mathieu Schneider has joined the NHLPA as special assistant to the executive director.

"I am pleased to have Mathieu join the NHLPA's staff," executive director Don Fehr said in a news release. "His vast experience as an NHL player and as an active member in his Association will make Mathieu a great addition to the staff and an exceptional asset for the players."

In his newly created position with the union, Schneider will work on a number of on- and off-ice matters, as well as assist Fehr in future collective bargaining.

The league's CBA expires after the 2011-12 season.

Schneider, 41, appeared in a total of 1,289 NHL games, 18th all-time among defensemen, posting 743 points (223 goals, 520 assists) with 10 different clubs, including Montreal's 1993 Stanley Cup team.

He retired after last season, during which he played just 17 games with Vancouver and eight games with Phoenix.

Schneider served eight times as a player rep during his career, was a member of the competition committee in 2006-07 and was a member of the executive director search committee (2009-2010) that hired Fehr.

"Now that my playing career is over, I'm very excited to have the opportunity to continue to work on behalf of the players," Schneider said in a release. "I plan on drawing from my own understanding of the NHLPA and the game to help ensure that the players are educated on all matters relating to the Association and the Collective Bargaining Agreement."