Bringing the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service into the NHL-NHLPA labor negotiations has failed to make a dent in the league’s 75-day-old lockout.
Two days of meetings with third-party mediators uncovered no common ground and brought the NHL and NHLPA back to their existing labor stalemate.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly addressed the mediation process on behalf of the league:
“Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators and representatives of the NHL Players’ Association. After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time. We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful.”
Shortly after learning that mediation had not been a success, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reportedly suggested a players-owners meeting as a possible way to break the labor gridlock.
Not all owners would be included in this owner-player meeting. Hasn't been determined. Not sure why either side wouldn't welcome this.—
Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 29, 2012
The lack of mediation success may not immediately further shorten a season that’s already seen the cancellation of games through Dec. 14, the Winter Classic, and the All-Star weekend in Columbus, Ohio in January.