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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.

Comments (7)

  1. Mediators help when it is necessary to identify common interests. In this case both sides are well aware of what the common interests are. The owners are making a power move. Having a mediator won’t help if this is what they are truly doing.

    People go on and on about how the owners are negotiating in bad faith. I disagree entirely. They have leverage and they are using it. Driving a hard bargain when you have all of the negotiating power is not bad faith. People assume that you need to come to some middle ground in a negotiation. If both parties have the same negotiating power and similarly placed best alternatives to negotiation this happens. Not so if one party has the real power.

    Now the negotiation of the contracts this summer when they knew they were going to ask for some of the money back as part of this CBA was bad faith negotiation. The CBA talks are different though.

  2. “NHL announces the two sides have agreed on what should be served for lunch during the meeting. Although the two sides are still bickering over the potential toppings for the pizza.”

    • In fifteen minutes, if the players don’t make concessions on toppings, the owners will no longer find pizza acceptable.

  3. Thunderdome is the only answer.

  4. Bettman has cleary ruined the NHL and the current talks between Bettman/Owners vs Fehr/Players are going nowhere so maybe it’s time to bring in a 3rd party to do whats best for hockey because the current scenario’s(lockouts) playing out every 5-7 years is ruining the fans passion for NHL hockey.

    Why not try…

    Lets have an NHL commissioner that is paid 1/2 by the owners and 1/2 by the players and remains neutral to either party and makes his decisions based on whats good for the game of hockey period.

    I even have a someone to nominate for the job he was an amazing player and owner/coach how about Wayne Gretzky…

    I am just sick and tired of the same old retoric from the players/owners !!

    And Bettman needs to be fired !! And the players need to wise up and realise they make more money in one year than 90% of rest of the world make there whole lives so cry me a river players life must be tough on you… boo hooo

  5. And so I missed another game
    Because of greed by any name
    There really is no righteous reason
    For there to be no hockey season

    (Just cut the crap and make a deal
    Your posturing is so surreal
    Consider all the folks you’re hurting
    While the issues you are skirting)

    Gary Bettman’s a pompous ass
    Long on semblance but short on class
    Donald Fehr and his facile face
    Culpable too for this disgrace

    (Tangential jobs are on the line
    While you grimace grin and whine
    Not only fans but workers too
    Suffer from all that you don’t do

    So sit you down and bring about
    An end toot de suite to this lockout)
    I truly am so f.ing mad
    For by these a.holes we’ve been had

  6. They can lose two seasons for all I care as long as hockey comes back like this…..

    1. Profit sharing between all the clubs like the NFL does.
    2. No guaranteed money for players. They can be cut at any time.
    3. Reduction of teams by at least 8.

    I want game 1 of the season to have the intensity of the playoffs. More talented teams with players fighting for their jobs night in night out, in cities that care about hockey, where the owners always make their money and will spend to the cap.

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