Friday, November 2, 2012
More major league sports mediation-- NHL?
This week, ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reached out to prominent U.S. federal mediator George Cohen to seek his opinion on the state of the NHL lockout, due to his participation in ending both the NBA and NFL lockouts last year. About a quarter of the NHL hockey season has already been cancelled due to the lockout. As expected, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) director declined the interview request. However, LeBrun says Cohen mentioned he'd been in contact with both parties in the NHL-NHLPA negotiations. Fans have inquired whether a mediator could help dislodge the stalemate over NHL labor talks. However, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly only commented the parties had been in touch with the FMCS and didn't think that the introduction of a mediator into the process would necessarily further the process. As for the players' union, the NHLPA reportedly hasn't been in contact with FMCS since July. So far, according to players, the union seems willing to stick together, believing that the league is trying to wait and see if players crack. Others want NHLPA leadership back negotiating with the NHL to explore flexibility from the league on key bargaining points. See: http://bitly.com/PJU2BG and http://bitly.com/TxmXYD