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. In pitching free agents, honesty is best policy for Coyotes

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Don Maloney AP

    “You basically say, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s a great place to play and we have great fans and a great stadium.'”

  2. Blues add depth on D, sign Benoit

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:02 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    Played 59 games for the Sabres last season.

  3. Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:23 AM EDT

    Nazem Kadri Getty Images

    “He gets to come in and have a heck of a year and put the screws to us.”

  4. No expansion bid expected from Kansas City

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:52 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

    They have the arena, but not the potential owner.

  5. Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million

    Jul 6, 2015, 10:12 AM EDT

    Tuukka Rask, Shawn Matthias, Dennis Seidenberg AP

    Finished with a career-high 18 goals last season in Vancouver.

  6. Report: Caps, Kuznetsov working on a 2-3 year extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    The 23-year-old could be in line for a significant raise.

  7. Jackets’ prospect Oscar Dansk loaned to Swedish club

    Jul 5, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    He struggled in his first year pro split between the AHL and ECHL.

  8. Report: Bolts sign Mike Angelidis to a one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    He’ll make $650,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 in the AHL.

  9. Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA

    Jul 5, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Braden Holtby Braden Holtby

    Hearings will take place in Toronto from July 20 to August 4

  10. Leafs sign Kadri to a one-year contract extension

    Jul 5, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT

    Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs gets set for a faceoff against the Boston Bruins in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 6, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs 5-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.
(May 5, 2013 - Source: Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    The deal will reportedly pay him $4.1 million next season.

  11. Report: Mikkel Boedker files for salary arbitration

    Jul 5, 2015, 3:08 PM EDT

    Mikkel Boedker AP

    His peak came in 2013-14: 19 goals, 51 points.

  12. Teacher-pest: Blue Jackets add Jarkko Ruutu to staff

    Jul 5, 2015, 2:20 PM EDT

    ruutugetty Getty Images

    Perhaps Blue Jackets prospects can learn from his scrappy ways.

  13. Clune is set to attend Leafs camp after signing with AHL’s Marlies

    Jul 5, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

    Rich Clune AP

    He shared his story (and struggles) this past week.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2738)
  2. B. Saad (2698)
  3. B. Richards (2466)
  4. Z. Kassian (2457)
  5. R. O'Reilly (2380)
  1. P. Kessel (2318)
  2. M. Green (2311)
  3. M. St. Louis (2292)
  4. M. Richards (1898)
  5. J. Eichel (1753)