Last night on twitter, Aaron Ward said that the federal mediator that has been part of talks all week was brought in at the request of the NHL.
Kevin Allen wrote that if nothing else, the mediation process has allowed some of the anger and “heat” between the two sides to subside a bit.
Pierre LeBrun writes at ESPN.com that both sides told the mediator that there is a little “wiggle room” on the key issues.
John Shannon of Sportsnet writes “Mediation only works if sides feel they are close. He cannot arbitrate issues, he only creates possibilities and lines of communication”
At CBC, Elliotte Friedman writes:
The more you read about how mediators actually do their work, the more you realize how careful everyone needs to be about measuring their success. He’s not going to keep the process going if he sees no willingness to make a deal, which explains why previous attempts were such spectacular failures.
Friedman notes that the mediator isn’t allowed to reveal what one side is thinking to the other side. He adds that when the mediator asks a question the person answering doesn’t know whether the idea comes from the other side or from the mediator himself.
Darren Dreger said that the mediation process is creating enough traction to keep things moving and is painting a “general view of positivity.”
Damien Cox tweeted “People will truly buy anything. Now we’re to believe mediation, useless a few days ago, is working wonderfully. Oy.”
Chris Botta wrote that it is all well and good that mediation is reportedly going well, but at some point the two sides will need to look at each other and be in the same room.
Bruce Garrioch agreed with Botta in saying that the key will be when both sides return to the same room. He calls the situation “toxic” when both sides are together.