Biggest assist goes to federal mediator

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: January 6, 2013 - 11:10 PM

The NHL owes a big thank you to Scot Beckenbaugh.

Beckenbaugh, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, was the unsung hero of the labor negotiations, helping resurrect a deal when talks staggered to a crawl last week. He shuttled back and forth to meet separately with each side, then kept them holed up together on an upper floor of the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan starting at about 1 p.m. Saturday.

In all, he worked more than 30 hours on Friday, Saturday and into the wee hours Sunday to bring the sides back together and keep them focused on the issues.

"I would be remiss if we didn't thank Scot Beckenbaugh for his assistance in the mediation process," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said during a brief news conference early Sunday morning.

Beckenbaugh, 59, has a lengthy history as a mediator. He also was part of the 2004-05 NHL talks, Major League Soccer's negotiations in 2010 and NFL and NBA talks the following year. In the late 1990s, he was the lead mediator in a dispute over how to resolve park issues at Voyageurs National Park in northeastern Minnesota.

Beckenbaugh couldn't bring the NHL sides to a deal in late November over two days of talks in New Jersey, and he left the process agreeing that the sides were far apart. But he returned last week.

At times during the final hours of talking, Beckenbaugh waited in the background while the sides continued to work. Negotiations kept going without him, but the bargaining was buoyed because the NHL and the union knew he was there if trouble arose again.

"Scot was great for a number of reasons," said Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ron Hainsey, a key member of the union's negotiating team. "When it got to points you didn't know what to do next, you could go to him and talk to him about it and there was a way to work your ideas through a third party who was really able to help the process."

'A lot of damage was done'

The e-mail sent from the NHL Players' Association early Sunday morning that informed players that a tentative agreement to end the lockout had been reached set off a whirlwind of activity -- and emotions.

"I'm excited to play hockey again, although it's bittersweet because a lot of damage was done to our game," Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said via text. "As players we need to keep showing our fans we care. We might have a long road ahead of us there, but for now it's great to know we'll be back on the ice very soon."

Added Toews: "I'm really happy this is over. A lot of credit goes to the players who were in the bargaining sessions and worked very hard to get a deal done."

The ugly numbers

The lockout was the third since Bettman became commissioner in 1993. The three lockouts together have led to the cancellation of about 2,400 regular-season games, about 10 percent of the games scheduled.

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Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 87 4th Qtr 2:43
Dallas 95
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 1 3rd Prd 8:11
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 1st Prd :47
San Jose 2
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 2nd Half 0:04
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 61 2nd Half 3:35
Alabama State 56
Oklahoma 56 2nd Half 5:38
Iowa State 61
Grambling St 60 2nd Half 0:59
Miss Valley St 59
Boston College 60 2nd Half 3:13
Virginia Tech 51
Jackson State 39 2nd Half 15:43
Ark-Pine Bluff 42
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
UCF 57 FINAL
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
SMU 60 FINAL
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
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