The National Hockey League Owners and National Hockey League's Players' Association met on both Wednesday and Thursday of this week with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services Deputy Director Scot L. Beckenbaugh and Director of Mediation Services John Sweeney in hopes to come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that would end the current work stoppage that has already caused the National Hockey League to cancel all regular-season games through December 14 (422 total games which amounts to 34.3 percent of season), the Bridgestone Winter Classic (scheduled to be played in Ann Arbor, Michigan on January 1, 2013 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Redwings) and finally All-Star weekend scheduled for January 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio.
After two consecutive days of meetings between both sides, mediators made the decision to table talk between the two sides until they felt the time was right and that they would contact both parties when they believed the time was right. With no future talks scheduled between the NHL owners and NHL Players' Association to end this current work stoppage, the hopes of even a shortened season (similar to what the NBA did after ending their work stoppage last season and beginning on Christmas Day) grow more and more bleak for fans and players alike.
If this work stoppage causes the entire 2012-2013 NHL season to be canceled, it will be the second season canceled due to work stoppage under Gary Bettman's tenure as National Hockey League Commissioner although this is his third work stoppage (the 1994 NHL lockout ended on January 11, 1995 and a shortened season of 48 games was played). With any hopes this work stoppage will be like the 1994-1995 work stoppage and end with enough time for fans to get at least a shortened regular season, unlike the 2004-2005 work stoppage that caused the entire season to be lost.
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