NHL Mediation Means ... Not Much

NHL Mediation Means ... Not Much

Good luck to you, Scot L. Beckenbaugh and John Sweeney. You’re going to need it.

Those are two of the men who got the call on Monday from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to try to help bring an end to the NHL lockout. While it is excellent news that the NHL and NHLPA have recognized that their negotiations are going nowhere, the involvement of the United States government does not guarantee that there will be a settlement in time to save the 2012-13 season, or a settlement at all.

According to the agency’s most recent annual report, the “percentage of mediated cases settled through FMCS” has ranged from 85-87 percent over the past four fiscal years. Encouraging, to be sure, but as Warren Zola, the assistant dean of graduate programs and an adjunct associate professor of business law at Boston College’s Carroll School of Mangement, asked, “how many of those were professional sports leagues?"

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