Skip to content

Former NFL labor mediator on NHL lockout: “I’d volunteer to do it for free”

Nov 15, 2012, 11:35 AM EDT

Arthur Boylan

The U.S. Magistrate Judge that mediated NFL-NFLPA talks wants a crack at solving the NHL lockout.

“I’d volunteer to do it for free,” Arthur Boylan told ESPN New York. “I’d love to get this thing done.”

Boylan, who helped bridge the gap between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA boss DeMaurice Smith last year, also happens to be a huge hockey fan.

He recently received a refund for part of his Minnesota Wild season tickets and says that there’s too much at stake for more games to be lost.

“They know the future of the game is in their hands,” he said of the NHL and NHLPA. “They’d really be blowing this thing if it doesn’t get resolved, it being the second lockout in recent memory.

“That would be a real disaster for everybody.”

Here’s more, from ESPN’s Katie Strang:

Boylan said he feels mediation is always a wise choice when two sides hit this sort of impasse — the earlier, the better. The judge was tasked with bringing together the NFL and NFLPA after a failed round of mediation before the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service lockout in April 2011.

The first thing he did?

Huddled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith together for lunch, talking about everything but football. From his chambers, he slipped the two men out of a side door, evaded the press and found a quiet place for the three of them to grab a bite to eat.

Goodell and Smith had a D.C. connection, Boylan found, a small tie but not too trivial to work with.

“Part of the whole thing about mediation is finding common ground, even if it’s something unrelated. You can find camaraderie in anything,” Boylan said. “And boy, there sure are a lot of traditions in hockey and a love for the sport. One thing leads to another and that commonality, that sure goes a long way.”

The NFL lockout lasted from Mar. 11 to Jul. 25 — 136 days in total.

That said, the Pro Football Hall of Fame game was the only on-field cancelation of the work stoppage.

Related: Will the NHL, union seek a federal mediator soon?

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Duchene to miss at least first two games of Avalanche-Wild series

    Apr 15, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    “It puts a lot more pressure on everybody else,” says Nathan MacKinnon.

  2. Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    NHL2014Draft

    After losing the No. 1 pick to Colorado last year.

  3. Pressing question: Will Philly get the goaltending?

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Steve Mason, Ray Emery AP

    Heck, will Steve Mason even be available?

  4. NHL hit with third concussion lawsuit

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    bettmangetty Getty Images

    Just days after another group of ex-players filed last Thursday.

  5. PHT Extra: Can the Jackets upset the Penguins?

    Apr 15, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    What about the Stars over the Ducks?

  6. Boudreau won’t say who’s starting for Ducks, but the money’s on Andersen

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Jonas Hiller AP

    “I don’t think I can screw it up too bad whoever I choose.”

  7. Calgary’s AHL affiliate parts ways with Abbotsford

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    abbotsford heat logo

    The city has terminated the contract.

  8. Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    “That’s not been determined yet,” said head coach Craig Berube.

  9. Pressing question: Are the Avs for real?

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Even if they beat Minnesota, that question won’t be put to bed.

  10. Flyers sign Frozen Four MVP Gostisbehere

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT

    Shayne Gostisbehere Getty Images

    Union College standout was a third-round pick in ’12.

  11. Coyotes say Smith won’t need MCL surgery

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Mike Smith Getty Images

    “We have no qualms whatsoever about a long-term problem with it.”

  12. Welcome Jason Spezza to the trade rumor mill

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 03: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on February 3, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

    “I’m not naive to the talk. I’ve been asked the question lots.”

Featured video

Are Penguins vulnerable vs. Columbus?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4128)
  2. M. Brodeur (3055)
  3. T. Oshie (3006)
  4. D. Backes (2777)
  5. H. Zetterberg (2773)
  1. M. Duchene (2770)
  2. B. Bishop (2561)
  3. V. Tarasenko (2503)
  4. P. Bergeron (2265)
  5. S. Crosby (2110)