Nov 26, 2012, 3:44 PM EST
Enter the marriage counselors to the NHL’s labor dispute.
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service director George H. Cohen issued the following statement Monday:
“I have had separate, informal discussions with the key representatives of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association during the course of their negotiations for a successor collective bargaining agreement.
“At the invitation of the FMCS, and with the agreement of both parties, the ongoing negotiations will now be conducted under our auspices. I have assigned Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, Director of Mediation Services John Sweeney, and Commissioner Guy Serota to serve as the mediators.
“Due to the extreme sensitivity of these negotiations and consistent with the FMCS’s long-standing practice, the Agency will refrain from any public comment concerning the future schedule and/or the status of the negotiations until further notice.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the development to the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo.
“The FMCS reached out to both sides independently, and apparently we both agreed that we are prepared to explore the process,” said Daly.
“I have no level of expectation at this point. We’ll see how it goes and perhaps something good will come of it.”
The mediation will not be binding.
The NHL had previously questioned the usefulness of mediation in its dispute with the players, citing the belief that each side fully understood the other side’s position.
Update: NHLPA head Donald Fehr released this statement regarding mediation (via CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers):
“The NHLPA has agreed to the addition of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to our ongoing negotiations. We look forward to (mediators’) involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both players and owners.”
Mediators will meet with each side separately and familiarize themselves with issues, then look for potential compromises.—
Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) November 26, 2012
The mediation processes will start Wednesday.—
Renaud Lavoie (@RenLavoieRDS) November 26, 2012
The NHL and NHLPA met with federal mediators on Feb. 13, 2005. Three days later the season was cancelled.—
Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 26, 2012
- Firing Dallas Eakins ‘would be so unfair,’ says Taylor Hall 10
- ‘It sucks for us, it sucks for the fans’: Oilers losing skid hits six games 5
- Video: Milan Lucic calls Dalton Prout one-punch ‘gutless’ 39
- ‘We did not want to disrespect our fans’: Leafs salute supporters after beating Red Wings 3
- Video: Demers sends Stoll flying with massive open-ice hit 7
- Don Cherry on Leafs not saluting fans: ‘I couldn’t believe these guys would do something like this’ 14
- Report: Dan Hamhuis’ injury is significant, but not season-ending 5
- Been there, done that: Oilers lose five straight for second time this season 10
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ 86
- Video: Prout drops Lucic with one punch 43
- Prout drops Lucic: ‘As far as I was concerned we were engaged in a fight’ (86)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (78)
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (58)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)