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Richards doubtful mediation can solve lockout

Nov 27, 2012, 4:27 PM EDT

Brad Richards AP

The news that federal mediators have been brought in to help solve the NHL lockout hasn’t been met with a ton of optimism.

On Monday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly gave it a less-than-ringing endorsement, saying only, “We’ll see how it goes and perhaps something good will come of it.”

While the NHLPA seemed more open to the idea of third-party intervention as the work stoppage dragged on, Rangers forward Brad Richards is doubtful it will lead anywhere good.

On Tuesday, Richards told the Daily News that if the NHL has indeed made its best and final offer to the players, “I don’t know what a mediator’s going to do.”

The NHL had previously questioned the usefulness of mediation, citing the belief that each side fully understood the other side’s position.

And that, according to Gary R. Roberts, dean and professor of law at Indiana University, is why mediators may have trouble bridging the gap between the league and union.

“My guess is just based on past history and the tone of the way things are going right now is that this is probably not going to produce a settlement,” Roberts told the Washington Times. “This isn’t like a hysterical couple doing divorces or a commercial dispute where one side or the other is just being totally unrealistic. These are two very sophisticated and experienced groups. I just don’t see how much a mediator can bring to the table other than to remind them of what’s at stake periodically.”

The NHL’s dispute with the players isn’t a particularly complicated one. At this point, it appears more a game of chicken than one side trying to convince the other to see its point of view, and vice-versa.

But hey, maybe mediation will help.

Beats sitting around wondering about it.

  1. sippindasyzurp - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    World Juniors start Dec. 26th… Should be a great tournament, I can’t wait!

  2. matt8204 - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Both sides are to blame. They’re too stubbron and bull-headed and a lot of parties are taking this way too personally. There need to be repurcussions from this because there is no excuse this time.

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Any possible “repercussions” are entirely in the fans’ hands. Rushing back to the arenas when/if they have a season this year will be rewarding them for having yet another stoppage.

      • matt8204 - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        Agreed. I wouldn’t go back, at least not right away. Make them sweat a bit if nothing else. Make Bettman explain massive attendance drops in radio interviews all over North America. Spin that, Gary. I’m fine without the NHL. Besides, we all know that this will happen again when the next CBA expires. There will be a permanent stench hanging over the league. I’m just at a point where I have a morbid curiosity about whether they’ll actually pull the plug on ANOTHER season.

  3. id4joey - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    It’s a “take it or leave deal”, players. Can someone explain to the grown men what this means?

  4. joshuakorr - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Here is a good solution for fans who are pissed off at the lockout – lets agree that when the NHL comes back we will only follow free NHL events. I.E. stay home and watch your team – just don’t spend a single dollar on the league. Sure the league’s TV ratings benefit when we watch games, but if we all spend the minimum amount of money, their revenue will drop. So, don’t go to live games, don’t buy jerseys, don’t buy NHL web content, etc . . .

    We need some real fan action!!!

    • matt8204 - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      Agreed, although I wouldn’t even watch games. Maybe the sponsors will leave also. An unmistakable message needs to be sent this time.

    • ron05342 - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      I and about 18,817 of my friends want to see the SC banner raised at Staples.

      Bottom line, I have paid for season tickets already. Like I am going to stay away.

      Let’s get real.

      • noisetheorem - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM

        I hope those tickets came with a bottle of lube and invitation to dinner…

      • matt8204 - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM

        That’s your choice. No one can tell you what to do with your money. I just think it’s a mistake to go back so quickly and easily.

      • joshuakorr - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:50 AM

        Thats fine, a Stanley Cup is definitely worth celebrating with the players who won it, and it was a great playoffs for the Kings. I think every fan can find a way to send a message to ownership, and that includes you. You could make a difference by limiting future expenditures, particularly by spending less money on other NHL merchandise and products, and/or concessions at the arena.

        My point was meant to suggest that we can still watch hockey and be involved with our teams but still send a message to the league. Thats a good middle ground for die hard hockey fans who are legitimately pissed but could never forego the game completely.

  5. 8man - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    The owners aren’t budging. As I mentioned, they’ve already lost one third of the schedule, perhaps the greatest Winter Classic and the All-Star Game. The players can have what the owners offer or they can have nothing. The owners are enduring the pain and now have a chance to crush the union and Fehr.

    And come on, who doesn’t want to crush Fehr. In another month, the players may do it for the owners.

  6. whatthepuck2012 - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Ron I agree with you…I was on the season ticket waiting list for 5 years and I finally got them THIS SEASON. I’m not gonna fool myself by saying I’ll boycott hockey. I hope a lot of people do…maybe my ticket prices will drop for a bit before everyone jumps back on the ol’ wagon.

  7. shotzongoal - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    I feel certain there will be hockey this season and I think the deal will be ratified at the Dec 5 meeting by the owners. But I will be at the game whenever it’s back whenever that is. I was in Philly for the birth of the Flyer in 1967 and marched on Broad Street when they beat Boston in ’74. I lobbied along side Mr. Esposito to get the expansion Lightning in 1992 and celebrated on Channelside Drive when they won the cup in 2004 (I know most of you don’t believe we even should have a team here in TB but who the hell cares what you think (j/k). We have dedicated fans and a great GM & owner. I may boo the players when they first get on the ice but I’ll cheer like hell when they score a goal. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  8. whatthepuck2012 - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Us chicks thrive on going back to emotionally abusive men. No lube necessary.

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