Mediators fail to help in NHL labor fight

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 30, 2012 at 3:19 am •  Published: November 30, 2012
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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman offered the union a meeting that would consist of only owners and players — without the presence of leaders on both sides of the dispute — Daly told The Associated Press in an email. He added that the union was considering the proposal and would get back to the league.

"We will be discussing all matters regarding the last two days of mediation as well as potential next steps with the executive board and negotiating committee," NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said.

After agreeing to help from mediators Monday, the league and the union returned to the bargaining table Wednesday for their first face-to-face talks in a week. Those discussions lasted for about six hours.

They met again Thursday morning until late afternoon before breaking off.

The next sure thing on the hockey calendar is the NHL board of governors, scheduled next Wednesday in New York. Meanwhile, the players could seek to decertify the union and challenge the lockout in court.

Either way, the sides are getting close to losing another season to labor strife. The NHL is already the only major North American sports league to cancel a season because of such a dispute — when the 2004-05 schedule was wiped out.

Mediation didn't work back then, either, though the collective bargaining agreement that recently expired was ultimately hammered out. Mediators were summoned in February, shortly before the season was canceled.



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