Tifton Gazette

Local Sports

November 26, 2012

US federal mediators to join NHL labor talks


Federal mediators are entering the stalled NHL labor talks, 
with the season's first 2½ months already lost because of the lockout. 
George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, said 
Monday the parties had agreed to use the agency. He assigned three mediators to 
assist negotiations — deputy director Scot Beckenbaugh, director of mediation 
services John Sweeney and Commissioner Guy Serota. 
"While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we 
welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor 
dispute at the earliest possible date," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said. 
Cohen has worked with the players' associations for Major League Baseball, 
helping end the 1994-95 strike as an outside counsel, and the NBA. He was an 
adviser to the NHL players' union before joining FMCS three years ago. 
"We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an 
equitable agreement for both the players and the owners," said Donald Fehr, 
executive director of the NHL Players' Association. 
Cohen mediated during the 2010 negotiations in Major League Soccer and 2011 
talks in the NFL and NBA, along with this year's dispute between the NFL and its 
on-field officials. 
Hockey players and management have not negotiated since last Wednesday. The NHL 
has canceled more than one-third of its regular season, including all games 
through Dec. 14, the New Year's Day outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star 
weekend scheduled for Jan. 26-27 at Columbus, Ohio. 
"I have had separate, informal discussions with the key representatives of the 
National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association 
during the course of their negotiations for a successor collective bargaining 
agreement," Cohen said in a statement. 
"Due to the extreme sensitivity of these negotiations and consistent with the 
FMCS's longstanding practice, the agency will refrain from any public comment 
concerning the future schedule and/or the status of the negotiations until 
further notice." 

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