Just when the NHL and NHLPA seem to get closer and the is some semblance of optimism that there might be a deal in the near future, someone comes out saying “not so fast”. After four days of relatively secluded negotiations where most on the outside though some positive progress must be being made. Then Friday, both sides state that there is still a big gap and they weren’t sure when the next meetings were going to be held.
So goes the lockout shuffle. Pick your partners and dance along. Follow Bettman and Fehr’s lead. One step forward, two steps back. Dosey-do and twirl around. Get nothing accomplished and leave everyone else standing on the outside like the nerds at the high school dance.
Maybe it’s time for some mediation in the room. Bringing in a neutral third party with no stake in the outcome to just bring negotiations along can only help matters. Frustrations are increasing on both sides of the table, and those feelings are superseded by those on the outside looking in.