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NHL and NHLPA to meet with mediators today

Nov 28, 2012, 11:15 AM EDT

Bettman and Fehr Getty Images

The NHL and NHLPA are set to resume collective bargaining this afternoon, this time with federal mediators joining them the table.

Only time will tell if third-party intervention has any positive effect on negotiations. There hasn’t been a whole lot of optimism that mediators will be able to bridge the gap between owners and players.

Two issues remain at the forefront of the dispute. The first is money. The NHLPA claims the two sides are just $182 million apart over the life of the players’ five-year offer.

The second is contract rights. The league wants to end back-diving deals, cap contract lengths at five years and for players to become eligible for unrestricted free agency a year later than under the last CBA. The union, meanwhile, wants things to stay more or less the same, though it did propose a way to punish teams that front-load deals in order to subvert the spirit of the salary cap.

Related:

A look at NHL-NHLPA mediators…and the one that got removed because of his weird Twitter account

Richards doubtful mediation can solve lockout

Crosby: “The whole process is frustrating”

  1. Stiller43 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    GET IT DONE

  2. coreydm80 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Let’s go

  3. kotteintheslot - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    please let this be it.

  4. bills4 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    What is the point!

    • mississippimudslinger - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Exactly! … having a half season would make this Gong Show even easier to LOL at

  5. ewoods6 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Just another way to depress and anger NHL fans even more. Bring in the mediator that won’t change a thing because Gary Bettman still holds his position.

    The only thing that will save the league now and in the future is Gary Bettman no longer being the commish……PERIOD!! He must be removed ASAP.

    • spydey629 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      You realize he is arguing for the people that pay his salary to keep more of a $3.3 billion pie? Why would they fire him? Especially since that pie has grown about 100x since they hired him.

      Bear in mind, I’m only playing Devil’s Advocate here. I’ve defended Gary in the past, but this lastest round of idiocracy (on both sides) has me in a constant state of just being livid.

      • tmoore4075 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        I’m not a fan of Bettman but you’re right, he’s not going anywhere. The owners are the ones that fire him and they (overall) are making more money than they have ever made. And he’s working to get a better deal for them. No matter what happens in this deal the NHL owners will be getting a bigger share of the pie than they were going in so why would they want to get rid of him? They care about making money in this business and that’s what he’s helping them to do.

      • matt8204 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM

        Really? The owners are making more than they ever have? I thought at least 18 teams were losing money…

      • ewoods6 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        Well, his contract is up in 2015 and right now, he will lose the owners way more $ than he could of ever gotten out of this deal due to the loss in revnue that the league will have whenever they do come back.

        I still believe that the support for Bettman among the owners is all that great currently. Devil’s Advocate or no, why in the hell keep a guy around that has had 3 lockouts out of a possible 4 since he has been in his position?? His first lockout was after his first year as as commish. He has lost the league and owners BILLIONS of dollars since 1994. And they set a revenue mark in 2011-2012…only took them almost 20 years.

      • ion4014 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Well the owners COULD fire him as a PR move. He is the visual representation of the NHL. After this is over (soon I hope) owners could fire him to appease angry fans; fire him and all MAY be forgiven.

  6. islesjb - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    I’ve been so optimistic in the past but could only bend so far before I broke. I believed a deal would be done after the first NHLPA counter offer. I believed a deal would be done after the second. I do not believe that the mediators will bring about any kind of deal.

    I’ve heard ominous reports from people in the legal world that getting mediators is just the last step before de-certifying and taking legal action. Both sides agree to let the mediators come in so they can say to the judges once this process moves into the courtroom- “look, we did everything we could do. We even got mediators!”

    I’m not a lawyer and I hope I’m wrong but- Fk both the NHLPA and the NHL for doing this to this fans. Despicable

  7. bcjim - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    My first and last prediction…

    I think its over…no hockey this year.

    I now think the owners just dont want it unless the players accept radical changes. Which they will, but not this season.

    • matt8204 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      So they’ll lose a season of their careers (and a year’s salary), risk losing a significant amount of fans and agree to a deal that could have been made months prior just to prove a petty point? What am I missing here?

      • islesjb - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        short answer: yes

      • bcjim - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        Wish I knew. If I was told I;d make 800K instead of 1.1M (or whatever)…or nothing, I’d take the 800K pretty fast. The attitude of the players is just bizarre.

  8. coreydm80 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Never mind bettman what about Jacobs?

  9. steelhammer92 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    LOL.. This is the worst run professional sports league in the country. Nobody can talk sense into these jokers. Nobody.

    • chrisvegas - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM

      Very true. It really is pathetic that this league is in a lockout again. I don’t even have the words to describe how much I despise the league for this. I wish hockey wasn’t my favorite sport, that way I wouldn’t have to suffer every 7 years.

      • matt8204 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Keep loving hockey, just support local teams (high school and college) and discover any minor league teams that may be in your area.

      • islesjb - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        matt you know that’s just not the same and it has a lot to do with the coverage. For ex- say I wanted to start closely following the Isles AHL affiliate in Bridgeport Connecticut. The only way I know of to watch the games is to find a feed online and watch it on my laptop in a crappy broadcast with no production values.

        Additionally, in any other league, the talent and the excitement is diminished ten-fold. NHL is all there is for me.

        Having said that, I’m in no way against supporting local college and high school teams- it just doesn’t scratch my itch

  10. jernster21 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    I’d like to think all involved are too stupid to lose an entire season but I wouldn’t be surprised either. With that said, mediation is pretty much pointless – as Bettman already pointed out, both sides already understand each others position – they aren’t confused as to what each is asking for, they know exactly what they want. The problem is they are just posturing and not negotiating until what seems to be a pre-determined date or event occurs in which triggers the eventual agreement. So far, everyone has been wrong as to when or what that event is exactly. I thought it was Dec. 1st, but that wasn’t it, now it seems to be Dec. 15th. It’s hard not to believe that the owners went into this whole thing planning to lock out the players and trying to get everything they want and continue to squeeze everything out of the players until they’re ready to make an agreement, then finally “compromise” on a couple contracting rights to make the players happy, eat a little bit of the cost to get to 50/50 and call it a day.

  11. chrisvegas - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Hockey is the best sport out there, but the NHL is the worst ran league in the world.

  12. LoyalFan34yrsGoKings - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I can’t make a accurate prediction. Ive come to the conclusion… I’m Hockey Wooped. And after last season that was a “hummer” like a mo***** fkr. I’m still light headed because of it. Go kings

  13. LoyalFan34yrsGoKings - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    …face it. we are all Wooped. We come to this site 3-4 times a day just to see what’s up.. Then we voice our opinion. Which eventually turns into a verbal conflict. See hockey is life

  14. mmchugh619 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    The article doesn’t say if Fehr and Bettman will be there, which is a cause of concern. This better not be something they send their lackeys to. This needs to get done NOW!!!!!!!

    • jernster21 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      How do you figure? Seems more progress had been made when those two stay out of it and leave it to Daly and Steve Fehr.

  15. jessejames182 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I hope the season does start so I can go to a game and throw change at the players.

    • valoisvipers - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      After paying for your ticket you won’t have any money left to throw. The NHL doesn’t give you change like McDonalds.

  16. irokkit - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I swore I would stop posting (some of you probably wis I would) lol it’s okay…
    But if only two issues are keeping it from happening, I think the players should concede to the contract (back diving) clause and the owners should concede (50/50) and let em play.
    I am not a fan if 15 year deals. And I may be wrong, but I think the NHL is the ONLY league where contacts are guaranteed.
    Ie: if a player gets cut or sent to the minors or is injured and can’t play…he still gets his money
    In the NFL if you get cut, your done. If a new team picks you up, you sign a new contract, right?

    • chrisvegas - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      That kind of thinking is exactly what has been lacking in these negotiations, but I agree with you. I am not for the 15 year deals either, though why can’t they just make it say 6-7 years rather then 5? Compromise! It is all about compromising and unfortunately the NHL would rather miss a season then to not get exactly what they want.

    • woodstakes - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      @irokkit.. I believe in the NFL if you release/cut a player; if no one picks up that player you are responsible for paying them for that season. So if you sign Joe Shmo to a 3 yr contract and let him go in his 1st year.. if he signs with someone your off the hook, if he doesn’t you are responsible to pay him for the rest of that year. However the other 2 years you are not responsible and the player goes into free agency. Now in the NHL most of the players have a 2-way contract so if they do get sent down they don’t get paid the same as if they are up (i’m not exactly sure how this works, i’m sure there are more knowledgeable here to correct me). Now, if they are injured while they are up they get that pay not the lower minor’s pay. As for guarantee pay.. the NHL is not the only league that has guarantee pay.. the NBA and MLB do this too. The NFL has certain portion of the money guaranteed to them. However, the NHL is by far the most physical league to guarantee money.

  17. paledevil - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Contrary to belief and of course eating crow on any past pro player posts.. I do believe the arbitrator will act in good faith and hope they accept a third partys opinion of fair and equitable…Owners are 50/50
    In my opinion a short season is a go hard veteran sucess season… So i do think it would/should count in the immortal books…
    In horse racing most big races are run at a mile and a half… However there is a breeders cup sprint race thats less than a mile…
    Apply the thought to the last few seasons and certain teams really up their chances.. The regular season is about highlights The playoffs is when it gets good….

  18. tfaltin - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I hope that the next time the Stanley Cup is awarded (hopefully not Spring 2014), the captain of the winning team skates right by Bettman, and lifts the cup. No handshake, no pictures. That kind of public embarassment would be a clear symbol to the owners that he is not an effective figure in the eyes of the players, and needs to be removed to save their franchises future criticism. Don’t think for a minute that the fans wouldn’t love it either. Bettman is booed lustily wherever he goes as it is, and a symbolic middle finger from a player who achieved the greatest victory would be the equivalent to Russel Crowe’s “Are you not entertained?!” in the middle of the Colosseum in Gladiator. I do not intend to liken NHL players to slaves in any way, shape or form, just to illustrate the point of what exciting the mob can do.

    • ron05342 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Didn’t Scott Niedermayer already do that in 2007? He pretty much snubbed Bettman during both the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup presentations…Bettman had to reach over to shake Niedermayer’s hand, and Niedermayer did so, reluctantly.

  19. scionofflame - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    No offense to Bruins fans, but god I wish Jeremy Jacobs would get the hell out of negotiations. People are scared of him and I don’t know why, but the negotiation process seems to go straight to hell whenever he’s in the room. Those three days of marathon progress we had? Jacobs wasn’t there. The day he returned, negotiations stopped.

    GET JACOBS OUT OF THE ROOM.

  20. acieu - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Screw the nHLPA stomp them into the ground Gary.

  21. mississippimudslinger - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Ed Snider is the most intimidating GM

    • mississippimudslinger - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      My mistake Paul Homlgren is the GM…. Ed Snider is the most intimidating Owner in the NHL

      • valoisvipers - Nov 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        mud You were your parents worst mistake.

  22. jollyjoker2 - Nov 28, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    don fehr is taking the players over the cliff just like he did in baseball. I would hang as the players will fire him after he loses them a year or more in salary.

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