Read: What Can Be Expected From Mediation

At CBC, Dan Oldfield writes that a key to remember with mediation is that it is non-binding and used to help both sides find common ground on which to build a deal.

He says that the mediators will “attempt to uncover the real needs of the parties — as opposed to the wants — and bring them closer to satisfying those needs.”

Oldfield says that the mediators may never bring the two sides into the same room and that after meeting with both sides to understand what their issues are they will start exploring the different ways that the gap can be bridged.

At Henry Abbott, who writes True Hoop, wrote about mediator George Cohen who is the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director.

Cohen was a mediator during the NBA lockout last year.

On what can be expected, Abbott writes “The NBA had its longest days of mediation when Cohen got involved. There is a practical reason for that — the process calls for the the two sides to be separated much of the time, with Cohen shuttling back and forth between them. Progress is slow. However, Cohen is said to have a deliberate tactic of making the days long to make clear that everyone means business, to minimize distractions from interested parties not in the room and to wear down those opposing a deal. After bargaining until 3 a.m. repeatedly, people tend to soften.”

Chris Botta tweeted “Non-binding mediation for NHL and PA will be as useful as the union’s labor board challenges. Killing time til BoG meeting on Dec. 5.”