Even with mediation, NHL talks go nowhere
On Wednesday, the NHL and some of its players worked with a federal mediator for six-and-a-half hours. The talks, however, did not move the sides any closer to ending the lockout, which has now spanned 89 days and could put the entire season at risk, according to USA Today.
“Today was more a feeling-out process with the mediator trying to understand what went on last week and how the process broke down,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in an email with USA Today Sports. “While I’m sure there was a ‘what if?’ process with both sides, neither side tabled a new proposal.”
The NHL had wanted to continue negotiations without having media interference, however, some reporters figured out the location of the meeting and spoke with players as they left the building.
“There’s not much you can do when it’s take it or leave it,” said Chicago Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers to the New York Daily News.
After the meeting, players left to speak with their representatives. It remains unclear, however, when the sides will once again meet.
According to Daly, neither side was in the same room as the other during the day.
“As I understand it, no changes to either party’s respective positions from last week,” Daly said.
Talks ended last week after the owners rejected the players’ response to the owners’ offer. The owners had continued to push that they wanted individual contracts capped at five years, except for players re-signing with the same team, and asked for a collective bargaining agreement for 10 years instead of six. The owners took changes to arbitration and unrestricted free agency away, as well as added $89 million to their “make whole” clause.
The players responded with a proposal that included an eight-year CBA and an eight year cap on contracts.
It was the players who asked for the mediators, who met with players and owners in November, to return. This time, however, the owners were not present.
“I think it is safe to say that our owners were not pleased with how last week ended,” Daly said.
The owners may not be pleased, but fans are just as, if not more, angry about the situation. Check out this video made by Just Drop It! You might recognize a few of the people from the movie Miracle.