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When the NFL had trouble coming to terms on a new CBA agreement, a lockout loomed. A costly, stupid lockout that would’ve been unnecessary since they’d eventually reach some kind of deal, so you might as well get there before games are missed. Knowing that, they got a federal mediator involved.

The NBA also faced a serious lockout last season, and in fact missed games trying to come to terms. But they did end up with a successful 66 game season…after they contacted a federal mediator, got him involved, and got to work. In fact, they got the same guy involved that the NFL used (if I’m not mistaken, from the Fifth Circuit Court). Depressing as the fact may be, the league’s merchandise revenues actually increased that season, despite playing less games. They figured it out before it got ugly.

Today, here’s the news hockey’s best reporters are sharing:

What the fuck is happening here? Now they’re negotiating the terms of the negotiations? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here. You’re going the wrong direction.

When you can’t get things figured out on your own, sometimes you need help. A little guidance, from where I’m sitting, would go a long way for these two sides, which clearly loathe each other. Not getting a mediator says something scary to me: they’re not sincerely interested in getting a deal done quickly, they’re sincerely interested in getting more than they deserve. Both sides.

Both sides seem to believe they can out-think and out-maneuver the other one, and don’t seem aware of the reality: your opposition is also extremely smart, and also extremely willing to kill the season to get what they want.

So get a mediator. Get serious. Or lock the goddamn door when Fehr and Daly finally do enter that room.

Sand is still falling through the hourglass on the season, and it’s not too late plug that hole.