I've stopped counting the days and number of games lost due to the NHL lockout, but the third work stoppage the NHL has dealt with over the past two decades and the second work stoppage in eight years continues to roll along.
Federal mediation accomplished absolutely nothing, via ESPN's Katie Strang:
#CBA NHL Dep. Commissioner Bill Daly said presiding mediators "concluded that the parties remained far apart." Said he's "disappointed."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) November 29, 2012
What to do next?
According to Strang, bumbling NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has another "brilliant idea":
#CBA According to multiple sources Bettman proposed to D. Fehr a meeting between owners and players only, w/ no league or PA staff present.— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) November 29, 2012
All this is is an attempt by the league to get Donald Fehr out of the way, and Fehr has yet to get back to the league on this:
#CBA NHLPA held internal conference call today to discuss some issues. No decision yet on players/owners-only mtg. May not come until tmrw— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) December 1, 2012
The fact that the player's association is even considering this I find laughable, because what exactly do they think is going to happen?
It's going to be a handful of players who have virtually zero business experience trying to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with a handful of owners who have gotten to where they are by being savvy businessmen.
It's the equivalent of putting one of us in net to face an All-Star team—without pads.
Without the players association there to tell the players what is fiction and what is fact, the owners can—and will—tell tales and spin stories that have only one ultimate goal—to make the players believe that Fehr is the problem.
The NHL is petrified of Fehr, a protege of the late Marvin Miller and the man who built the MLB Players Association into the most powerful union in professional sports over a 30-year period.
Ownership knows that in a staring contest, Fehr won't blink.
Nothing will change if the owners and players meet—at least nothing that brings us any closer to getting the game out of boardrooms and back onto the ice.
If anything, it will only widen the gap between the two sides.
My tweets hit harder than a Zdeno Chara crosscheck: