Decertification, federal mediation and anti-trust litigation, oh my.
The NHL lockout has reached epic proportions and nobody is amused by this circus.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has been brought in to make recommendations as to how the players and the owners should proceed (via the New York Times), most likely because the players threatened decertification and the owners feared an anti-trust lawsuit.
Just when you thought things couldn't get any more jumbled, they have, and hockey fans have either tuned out or simply become frustrated with the whole situation, wondering if a solution will ever appear or if the season is lost for good.
This is nothing new to commissioner Gary Bettman, of course. The league has locked out its players three times since he took over in 1993. If there's anybody that can actually get used to lockouts, it's Bettman.
Of course, it's not all Bettman's fault (although, some fans would disagree). This is what you get when you have billionaires arguing with millionaires. Everybody wants more than what they have, and everybody feels as if their opinion is the truth.
It's too bad, too. The 2011-2012 season was fun to watch, with the Los Angeles Kings defying the odds and capturing their first Stanley Cup Trophy in franchise history. It wasn't supposed to be like this after such a magical year.
But, whether you believe the season will eventually get underway or be abandoned (it's anyone's guess at this point), one thing's for sure: The NHL has done gone messed up again.
The fans are irate and the sport we know and love has once again been hijacked, leaving us to reenact a season on the streets of our neighborhoods with makeshift nets and crumby equipment (well, for some people).
Perhaps one day we will finally realize that we are the stars for putting up with all this garbage.