Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/27/12 at 04:55 PM ET
from Lester Munson of ESPN,
The logical and reasonable way to end the NHL lockout is mediation. It is a process that is private, efficient, conciliatory and inexpensive. And it's already underway.
The other way to end it is public, explosive, confrontational and expensive. It is called decertification and litigation. And it may be the next step if mediation does not work.
The fact that mediation, decertification and litigation are at the center of the NHL lockout shows clearly that the owners and the players are staring into the abyss of the loss of another season.
There may be some hope that results from the mediation attempts this week in Washington, D.C. But the real reason the owners and the players are participating in the mediation is that they could not possibly have refused to participate.
Mediation is one of those things that you cannot refuse. Neither NHL commissioner Gary Bettman nor NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr could afford the scorn and obloquy that would have resulted instantly from a refusal to enter into mediation with the experts at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. There is no quicker way to become the bad guy in a dispute than to refuse to participate in mediation.
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