Mediators Conclude There’s No Hope

After a second straight day of federal mediators presiding over CBA discussions, we're no closer to a deal getting done than we were in August. In fact the mediators seem to have thrown their hands up the way fans have.

Here's NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly…

"Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators and representatives of the NHL Players' Association. After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time. We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful."

NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr added…

"Today, players and NHLPA staff, along with representatives of the League, concluded a second day of mediation under the auspices of the FMCS. This afternoon, the mediators informed the parties that they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today. The mediators indicated that they would stay in contact with the League and the NHLPA, and would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right."

This lockout has taught hockey fans a whole mess of new terms including "hockey related revenue," "decertification," and "mediation." And now after the latest breakdown, we'll get to learn the meaning of "Disclaimer of Interest" which is apparently the next step for the NHLPA…

Or they can go with Gary Bettman's idea…

For my thoughts on these latest developments continue reading.

…every time I write a post about the CBA talks I get a bunch of readers asking why I'm so negative all the time. I dare someone to give me a single reason to be positive right now. It's almost December and there is literally no hope of a season at this point. But hey, at least Nash is tearing it up in Switzerland. Oh wait, no he's not he's injured again.

…does anyone really think putting the owners and players in a room will get this done? Bettman gets his marching orders from the owners. He is nothing more than a puppet in the negotiations, so I'm not sure how taking him out of the equation helps. And as far as the potential absence of Fehr, the players brought him in to make sure their side wouldn't cave. So why would they now?

…whatever, wake me up in September for training camp. If there is one.

Having said all that, there's still plenty of time for a deal to get done as Elliotte Friedman at CBC Sports tells us…

"The 2004-05 NHL season was cancelled in February, but it probably won't be that late this time. A few executives believe the true "red alert" is between January 1st and 15th."

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