Brad Richards

Richards doubtful mediation can solve lockout


The news that federal mediators have been brought in to help solve the NHL lockout hasn’t been met with a ton of optimism.

On Monday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly gave it a less-than-ringing endorsement, saying only, “We’ll see how it goes and perhaps something good will come of it.”

While the NHLPA seemed more open to the idea of third-party intervention as the work stoppage dragged on, Rangers forward Brad Richards is doubtful it will lead anywhere good.

On Tuesday, Richards told the Daily News that if the NHL has indeed made its best and final offer to the players, “I don’t know what a mediator’s going to do.”

The NHL had previously questioned the usefulness of mediation, citing the belief that each side fully understood the other side’s position.

And that, according to Gary R. Roberts, dean and professor of law at Indiana University, is why mediators may have trouble bridging the gap between the league and union.

“My guess is just based on past history and the tone of the way things are going right now is that this is probably not going to produce a settlement,” Roberts told the Washington Times. “This isn’t like a hysterical couple doing divorces or a commercial dispute where one side or the other is just being totally unrealistic. These are two very sophisticated and experienced groups. I just don’t see how much a mediator can bring to the table other than to remind them of what’s at stake periodically.”

The NHL’s dispute with the players isn’t a particularly complicated one. At this point, it appears more a game of chicken than one side trying to convince the other to see its point of view, and vice-versa.

But hey, maybe mediation will help.

Beats sitting around wondering about it.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.

Leafs claim Corrado from Canucks, waive Panik

Frank Corrado
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.

Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.

Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.

With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.

Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.

In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.