Lengthy mediation sessions end, more planned Saturday

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One way or another, it’s going to be difficult to blame the work stoppage on the mediation process – or at least mediator Scot Beckenbaugh.

Beckenbaugh became something of a folk hero on Twitter Friday, braving the weather to travel back and forth between NHL and NHLPA execs for about 12 hours (according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie). Multiple outlets report that those sessions are done for the day, but they’re likely to start them up again Saturday morning around 10:30 a.m. ET.

The New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard reports that neither side will release a statement. Many observers believe that the most promising negotiating moments come when there is media silence, so feel free to take that as a good sign.

(TSN’s Darren Dreger didn’t paint a pretty picture earlier on Friday, however.)

Beckenbaugh

Again, to some, the mediator’s diligent work was the story on a detail-sparse Friday.

Beckenbaugh (pictured to the right of another noteworthy mediator, George H. Cohen) helped end the notorious NFL referees strike and – just to temper your expectations a touch – was also involved in mediation before the last NHL lockout.

Not that anyone would reasonably blame the guy after hearing tales of his hard work, mind you.