The league canceled more games Friday, wiping out the NHL All-Star weekend plus all games through Dec. 14.
The NHL’s stalled labor impasse has gone a new route, with the league and NHL Players’ Association agreeing to meet with a mediator. The NHL and union confirmed to ESPN.com they had accepted an invitation from federal mediators to meet with them. A source said the first meeting will be Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service director George Cohen broke the news Monday.
“While we have no particular level of expectation going into this process, we welcome a new approach in trying to reach a resolution of the ongoing labor dispute at the earliest possible date,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We have no further comment on the upcoming meetings at the current time.”
“We look forward to their involvement as we continue working to reach an equitable agreement for both the players and the owners,” NHLPA executive director Don Fehr said in a statement.
ESPN reports the two sides haven’t met in a bargaining session since last Wednesday, when the NHLPA offered a new proposal that was rejected by the league.
“At the invitation of the FMCS, and with the agreement of both parties, the ongoing negotiations will now be conducted under our auspices,” Cohen said in a statement. “I have assigned deputy director Scot L. Beckenbaugh, director of mediation services John Sweeney, and commissioner Guy Serota to serve as the mediators.”
The mediation announcement was just a few hours old before the FMCS sent out another statement Monday evening saying Serota would no longer be working the case.