At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun writes that the NHL is not ready to bring a mediator in to help get things moving in regards to a getting a new CBA done.
Bill Daly told LeBrun, “So far, I think we all have been in agreement that we didn’t think that the introduction of a mediator into the process was timely or that it would necessarily further the process. That may change at some point, but it hasn’t yet.”
George Cohen, who declined LeBrun’s interview request, was the mediator who worked with the NBA and NBAPA last year.
Cohen previously worked as a consultant for the NHLPA, NBAPA and MLBPA but the NY Times says that he takes a down the middle approach.
The NHL’s lead lawyer Bob Batterman dealt with Cohen during the NFL lockout when Batterman represented the NFL. Batterman said, “He has total credibility on both sides. He knows how to move the process, and he understands the politics on each side of the table.”
Cohen told the NY Post last year, “All labor disputes come to an end. And some day, there will be an agreement or otherwise there wouldn’t be an enterprise anymore. We are ready willing and able to assist parties in the future and hopefully they will do it and we can have a peaceful resolution of their dispute.”
The NHL and NHLPA went to mediation in 2004 and while it was in those sessions that the NHLPA finally decided to accept a salary cap, after three failed sessions, Gary Bettman canceled the season.
Bob Batterman also represented the NHL in 2004-05.