Whatever, at least it's not a picture of Fehr or Bettman.

UPDATE: Holy crap. Because he, apparently, really, really wanted to talk to Sarah Silverman, Guy Serota has been removed from the process. Seriously.

Because these negotiations weren’t already a total joke. This is what has become of the sport we love, people, even when we finally get a mediator we don’t entirely get a mediator. Because of Twitter. The internet is a scary beast, folks. I mean, this probably won’t have any real affect on the negotiations, as Serota will likely be replaced by someone who doesn’t feel the need to share his deep ruminations about the band Paramore, but seriously, guys.

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For the first time in as long as I can remember, something approaching sanity has occurred in the NHL labor negotiations. According to all of Twitter (so it must be true), the NHL and NHLPA have hired a federal mediator to help them find common ground and let us watch some hockey. This is potentially good news as having literally anyone not named Gary Bettman or Don Fehr taking the reins in negotiations is almost certainly a good thing. Unfortunately for all of us, Fehr and Bettman are still very much involved. Still, any news that doesn’t involve news of the two sides being far apart is good news, I think. I’m honestly pretty shocked that mediation is actually happening. I thought for sure that both sides’ heels were dug in so deep that even the idea of hiring a mediator wouldn’t have come to fruition for at least another month or so, especially after all of the NHL’s talk about “mediation not being a valid path to a deal.” But, I mean, it’s something. Maybe it leads to a deal, maybe not, but at least it’s not just another round of childish nonsense followed by news that the two sides have locked themselves in their rooms and won’t come out until someone agrees to their deal. Other people think things too:

 

 


Interesting, yet not entirely surprising, little tidbit here:

Of course, there was plenty of Twitter reaction to temper anything resembling optimism because the NHL lockout is where optimism goes to die:

Perhaps the strangest development of this whole thing is the budding Twitter celebrity of one of our mediators, one Mr. Guy Serota. Seems Serota’s Twitter feed (which, when I first started following today, was at only 34 followers) was made up mostly of random, nonsensical thoughts about pop-culture and replies to celebrities’ Tweets (no, they did not answer). This, because it’s Twitter, led to a retweet rampage which led to Serota pulling the rarely seen Chris Brown/Jeff O’Neill hybrid move and not only deactivating his account but also claiming that his account had been hacked. So impressively hacked that, apparently, he had not been in control of his account since he joined Twitter. Of course, this is the Internet, so no one is safe:

So there that is. That whole thing seems weirdly appropriate for these negotiations, doesn’t it? God, I hate this lockout.