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Federal Mediators Join NHL Labor Talks

November 26th, 2012 at 6:48 PM
By Frank Vajcner

With the NHL and NHLPA in a deadlock on a new collective bargaining agreement, both sides have resorted to bringing in U.S.. Federal Mediators.

"While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor dispute at the earliest possible date," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

To be clear, both sides will not be forced to go along with suggestions or recommendations by the mediators. While a similar measure failed in 2005, mediators were not involved until the lockout had reached into January. Neither commissioner Gary Bettman nor then-NHLPA boss Bob Goodenow were involved much with the mediation sessions then.

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr is optimistic about the process.

"The NHLPA has agreed to the addition of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service [FMCS] to our ongoing negotiations," Fehr said. "We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both the players and the owners."

The people assigned to the case are FMCS deputy director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, director of mediation services John Sweeney, and FMCS Director George H. Cohen.

The NHL lockout has reached 72 days. Both sides have not met since last week, but Daly said that he expects negotiations to resume this week.

Tags: Bill Daly, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Donald Fehr, Gary Bettman, Hockey, NHL, NHLPA

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