THE MORNING SKATE — Federal Mediation Brings Glimmer of Hope, Absurdity to Lockout

Kevin Schultz

On Tuesday the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) announced that it would be joining the lockout negotiations, attempting to bring together two very prickly sides; the NHL and NHLPA. The FMCS is an independent government agency that helps mediate disputes, mostly when it comes to labor issues. It had been involved in last year’s NFL lockout, which lasted about six months and didn’t result in any cancelled regular season games.

The lockout doesn’t get much coverage on this site, aside from acknowledging its existence, since there isn’t really a “correct” side as far as I’m concerned. Both sides knew what they were getting into; a long dug out war to get what they want. One side may be less wrong than the other (*cough* players) but it’s hard for me to really give a damn about millionaires and billionaries monetary demands when half of the people I graduated college with don’t have a full-time job (among other issues in the world).

But regardless, it’s worth noting when the government gets involved, even though the mediation would be non-binding. It does at least get both sides to the table — a feat that at times has been tough — and gives the fighting couple professional assistance. News such as this is also worth nothing when Twitter users turn some of that government involvement and glimmer of hope into a comedic gag before the day is through.

One of the mediators was Guy Serota, who also worked on the NFL lockout. Serota had a rather hilarious Twitter feed and in the matter of a couple hours, was removed from the case. The whole Yahoo story is a better breakdown than I can give you, but it started with intrepid bloggers/twitterers finding Serota’s account and then laughing uncontrollably when they found a tweet with a picture of an “ass mode” t-shirt. So now all the kids are hash tagging that and Serota is saying he was hacked. Hacked of course being the default response for ‘darnit, I didn’t think anyone would see this out here on the internet.’

So all in all, great start to this whole mediation thing. If you’re keeping score at home it’s internet 1, Guy Serota 0, NHL negative a million.

One of the things that went unmentioned in yesterday’s Sound Tigers report was Jason Clark matching his point total from Wisconsin. Clark had two points in two years at Wisconsin and now has that many in four games in Bridgeport. He’s one of many interesting stories to watch in the AHL this year, as after two hip surgeries and the lack of production in college, he was a surprising signing to an ELC this summer. LHH caught up with Clark and got his thoughts on how things are going so far.

New York State is undertaking a pretty intense construction project to rebuild Ocean Parkway and the surrounding beaches in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. It also looks like they’ll be selecting an LI-based firm to keep the jobs local.