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NHL CBA Talks: Mediation Fails After 2 Days

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For those who held a glimmer of hope that federal mediators might be able to help resolve NHL Lockout 2012, at least the end came quickly.

Bruce Bennett

(SB Nation News) -- The first attempt at the NHL and NHL Players' Association to find common ground with the held of mediation has come and gone within a period of two days. After each side met separately with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on Wednesday, Thursday's meeting between both sides and the FMCS resulted in closed negotiations, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

LeBrun added that no more meetings were planned between the two sides, and a statement released by NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly echoed that stance:

"After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart, and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time. We are disappointed that the mediation process was not successful."

LeBrun reports that after the negotiations closed on Thursday, the NHL opened the possibility of the league owners and players meeting without any league officials present.

According to ESPN, the mediation didn't help with the lingering issue of the NHL and union being far apart in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Sources told ESPN that the meetings were held in Woodbridge, N.J.

The FMCS, who reached out to both sides to set up the meetings, was also involved in the NBA and NFL lockouts in 2011, though its presence did little to help resolve those situations.