Given how messy the collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA have been so far, I guess it should come as no surprise that even the involvement of federal mediators couldn't go smoothly.
And once again, the mess involves Twitter.
The NHL and PA agreed to have the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service provide mediators for their meetings starting later this week. The mediators were originally set to be deputy director Scot Beckenbaugh, director of mediation services John Sweeney and Commissioner Guy Serota.
However, a politically and ethnically charged Twitter account attributed to Serota was found shortly after the mediators were announced, which led to FMCS director George Cohen to issue this statement:
"Within one hour after I issued a press release announcing that further negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA would be conducted under the auspices of the FMCS, it has been called to my attention that there are issues involving an allegedly hacked Twitter account associated with Commissioner Guy Serota, one of the mediators I assigned. Accordingly, in order to immediately dispel any cloud on the mediation process, and without regard to the merits of the allegations, I have determined to take immediate action, namely to remove Commissioner Serota from this assignment."
Serota claimed his feed was hacked, though that seems to be the defacto answer for anyone with any inappropriate Tweets these days. Regardless, it's just another (albeit minor) twist in a process that has had far too many already.
Also in today's links, what the players and owners should be thinking about the lockout, a quick guide to decertification and the biggest turkeys in Dallas Stars history.
- With the holiday weekend that included copious amounts of wonderful protein consumed by yours truly, we've fallen a little behind on the links front. So let's start with a trip in the wayback machine to last Tuesday when Mike Heika updated his insightful columns about how he believes the owners and players should view the NHL lockout. [DallasNews.com/DallasNews.com]
- Also late last week was this brief interview with Vernon Fiddler, who has apparently headed out to Arizona for some training during the lockout. [AZCentral.com]
- Along those lockout lines, four players who are going through their third work stoppage have direct ties to the Stars. [Sportsnet.ca]
- Before the introduction of mediators got the lion's share of attention on Monday, the lockout talking point was decertification after Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller said he was in favor of it. Here's a quick and dirty look at how the process would work. [New York Times]
- With so much attention on the NHL prospects at the moment, this is a timely look at the development curve of different position, at least relative to ice time, to see if there really is a significantly longer development phase for defensemen or goalies. [Backhand Shelf]
- Brad Richards was no stranger to doing awesome things for charity while in Dallas and before that with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he's continued that tradition with the New York Rangers. [ESPN]
- I know Todd's weekly column from last Friday is based around a holiday that has already passed, but it's still amusing to read his take on the five biggest turkey's in Stars history and remember so many high expectations with so little fulfillment. [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- Yes, I am blatantly stealing the idea to post a Teddy Bear Toss video from Puck Daddy. But you can never have too much holiday cheer (and stuffed-animal projectile danger) while trying to deal with a case of lockout depression. Just trust me on this one and take a look.