The union and NHL met briefly on Tuesday and the results weren’t encouraging. The start of the regular season is in danger and close to $100 million has already been lost.
At this point, would the process benefit from the involvement of a federal mediator?
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wouldn’t rule out the possibility and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr isn’t “averse” to the idea, according to ESPN. In fact, Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman have already talked about that possibility.
“A mediator can only be helpful if both sides are willing to embrace it and compromise,” Daly cautioned before adding, “We certainly haven’t ruled out that possibility.”
Right now the divisions seem to be so deep that the two sides can’t even agree on how the talks are going. Daly asserted that “no progress” was made on Tuesday, but Fehr had a different outlook.
“One of the things I think that everybody needs to understand is that the definition of ‘no progress’ that comes out of the NHL offices seems to be ‘they didn’t give us what they want yet’,” Fehr said. “Progress is giving them what they want. It’s not finding a way to come to a mutually-acceptable understanding.”
So at this point, fans would probably be happy with anything that has the potential to shake up these talks.