Less than a week after commissioner Gary Bettman said mediation was “of no value” to CBA talks to end the NHL lockout, the league and NHLPA are set to meet Wednesday with federal mediators.
The resumption of negotiations is noteworthy enough given that the sides broke off talks amid some strong rhetoric Thursday. The talks will happen at an undisclosed location that is not in New York City, according to multiple reports.
Thursday night, Bettman had this to say about the last time the owners and players met with representatives from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and the idea of bringing them back:
“We’re not interested in mediation. We went through it a week and a half ago; it was of no value because of the position of the parties. When the mediators weren’t available this week we did what we felt was our own informal mediation in terms of trying to move the process forward, giving where we could.”
So what changed to allow the league to accept mediation at the invitation of the NHL Players’ Association?
“It was our position that they would not have been of value at that particular part of the process,” Daly said in an email. “We are in a different place now than we were a week ago today.”
It remains to be seen whether that place is closer to a deal and the 2012-13 NHL season taking place.