NHL= No Hope Left

Meaningless Meeting: It was more of the same this week, as the NHL and NHLPA failed once again to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. The two sides did not meet with one another, but rather met separately with federal mediators. Despite discussions lasting a total of six hours, no progress was made and no future talks are planned for now, according to sources.

At this point, the only thing that is getting accomplished is the cancellation of regular season games. All games through December 30th have been nixed. That’s almost half of the season gone (roughly 43 percent according to ESPN Stats).

Final Thoughts: Unless something can be done, and soon, I don’t foresee this lockout ending. With nearly half the season wiped out, and neither side budging (with federal mediators help mind you), I fear this season is all but lost. My advice to Boston fans: Watch pre-recorded Bruins games from last season, focus on the Celtics, and start a calendar countdown to opening day at Fenway (116 days by the way), because hockey isn’t being played anytime soon at the Garden.

2012 NHL Lockout Update: Mediation Might Not Work

ImageThe Bad News: At first, the NHL and NHLPA agreeing to bring in federal mediators to help negotiate the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, actually sounded like good news. Then the two sides met up for the first time in over a week this Wednesday, and after two days of lengthy discussion, (with federal mediators mind you) they still couldn’t come to terms on anything.

Here’s a friendly reminder of what’s on the table during these seemingly fruitless meetings: elimination of salary arbitration, free agency rule changes, limits to player contract terms, and of course shared revenue.

The Worse News:  As if it isn’t bad enough to see federal mediation failing to help, more cancellations have been made. All games through December 14th have been axed. This includes the NHL All-Star weekend festivities, which have also been wiped out.

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Salvage This Season: Boston Bruins fans and hockey fans alike can only hope that mediation brings an end to this lockout and allows a long awaited season to finally begin. Mediation has helped other sports end lockouts before, so there’s a chance this could work. However, the two sides ultimately still have to come to agreeable terms in order for anything to be salvaged. Hopefully they can cut a deal soon.

The players want to be back out on the ice playing, the owners want to be in their cozy executive chairs making profits, and the fans just want to see some hard-nosed, in your face hockey. Can’t we all just get along???