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NHL And NHLPA Fail To Make Progress After Mediation

2012-13 NHL Season Closer To Being Cancelled
Gary Bettman (credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images) and Donald Fehr (credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Gary Bettman (credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images) and Donald Fehr (credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - The NHL and NHLPA’s non-binding meetings with federal mediators Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney broke off without any progress.  Discussions lasted six hours.

The two sides met with federal mediators for two days and haven’t come any closer to resolving the NHL lockout.  No further mediation meetings have been planned.  Mediators have told both sides they will be in touch with both parties.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released the following statement on Thursday evening:

“Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators and
representatives of the NHL Players’ Association.  After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution
could be made through further mediation at this point in time.  We are
disappointed that the mediation process was not successful.”

NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr released the following statement:

“Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS mediators
and representatives of the NHL Players’ Association. After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time. We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful.”

Multiple sources are reporting NHL commissioner Gary Bettman proposed to NHLPA chief Donald Fehr an owner-player meetings without NHL and NHLPA league staff present.  Fehr and the players are said to be considering this option.

Another option could be decertification or a disclaimer of interest by the players to force the owners’ hands by an filing an antitrust lawsuit.  Decertification could also trigger a response in which the NHL cancels the entire 2012-13 NHL season.

So far, 422 regular-season games as well as the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend have been cancelled by the league.

The NHL wants to increase eligibility for free agency to 28 years of age or eight seasons of service, up from 27 years or seven seasons. The league has also proposed adding a year of service for salary arbitration eligibility, hiking it from 1-4 to 2-5 years of service, depending on the age a player signs.

On Oct. 16, the NHL proposed a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue, down from the players’ 57 percent portion of $3.3 billion last season. With guaranteed contracts likely to push the players’ share over the halfway mark at the start of the next deal, management wants that money to come out of future years to bring the overall percentage down to an even split over the length of an agreement.

Players previously had proposed they receive a guaranteed amount of income each year.  The owners want a seven-year deal, which the union says is too long because less than half the current players will be active by the last season.

Are you expecting the entire 2012-13 NHL season to be scrapped?  Let us know…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)