The NHL and NHLPA were back this past Wednesday, this time with the help of professional mediation. The two sides haven’t met since last week when the NHL shot down the NHLPA’s latest collective bargaining agreement proposal. This led to the two sides eventually agreeing on mediation.
Although the location of the meeting was a secret as well as what was talked about, we can take solace in the fact that at least the two sides are meeting and are now accompanied by some outside voices and eyes. Hopefully it helps as roughly 35% of the NHL regular season has already been cancelled and we’re on day 74 of this unnecessary lockout.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr issued a statement (more like two sentences), “A small group of NHLPA staff and players met today with two experienced FMCS mediators. We expect that these discussions will resume on Thursday.”
NHL executive Bill Daly’s email to the Associated Press was even shorter, “No comments”.
Hopefully the meeting was longer than Bill Daly’s email but with the way these two sides negotiate who knows. Speaking of length, apparently the NHL is looking for a 7 year long CBA, but the NHLPA feels that is too long because they say half of the current players will not be playing in the league by the 7th and final year.
I say who cares. With their third work stoppage since 1994, who even knows if the NHL will still be around 7 years.