“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.”
That line came from Bill Daly, the # 2 guy over at the NHL’s office. Once again, the league is sad and frustrated that the players won’t just fork over another quarter of their paychecks to the owners. I don’t really want to dump on Daly. He is the closest thing the players union has to a friendly voice on that side of the trench. A lot of the progress that has been made towards the middle has been spearheaded by Bill Daly and the NHLPA’s #2, Steve Fehr.
So, what do we do now? A lot of us have no choice but to sit and stew and wait till December 5th. That is the day when all the owners will come together and have their meeting. Would I like to see Jacobs ousted as the head of the Board of Governors? Yes! Do I expect that to happen? Probably not. However, that series of meetings will determining whether or not there is hockey this year. It could get rather contentious this year. It is obvious there are two factions of owners going into this year’s meeting. The big market and profitable teams (save Boston) who are losing money and want this season to start on one side, and Jacobs and the teams that are losing cash on the other.
The agenda for this meeting will be pretty short. Will there be a hockey season? At this point, the teams that signed the insane contracts may actually say no. On the bright side, they are the minority. I can’t see the Leafs(which are now valued at a billion dollars.),Rangers, Blackhawks, and the Canadiens asking for this lockout to continue. Since those four teams generate a tad over eighty percent of the profit for the league, they have the financial clout to make Bettman negotiate fairly and make Jacobs shut up. Then again, this lockout has been full of twists, turns, and the occasional gut wrenching surprise.
I’m still holding out for the 2012-13 NHL season. I doubt the entirety of the ownership have the ‘B’s’ to cancel hockey this year.