May 26, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Andrew Ladd doesn’t have his fingers and toes crossed a pair of mediators will be able to bridge the gap between the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association.
But, like a lot of fans of the game, the Winnipeg Jets’ captain believes getting some new eyes and ears involved in the process falls under the ‘might not help, but sure as heck can’t hurt’ category.
"We all hope it can help out," said Ladd today after an off-ice workout at MTS Iceplex. "But at the end of the day it’s one of those things where it’s still not going to work unless you have two parties that are willing to negotiate and try and get a deal done, which we haven’t had so far.
"You hope it can lead to something, but we’ll have to wait and see."
With the lockout now into its 74th day, the two sides are to meet with mediators this afternoon. It will be the first get together since last Wednesday, when the NHLPA’s newest proposal was given the thumbs down by the league.
Last Friday the league cancelled games up until Dec. 14th as well as the NHL All-Star weekend in Columbus on Jan. 26-27.
"(Mediation) is something we’ve been open to right from the get-go," said Ladd. "Hopefully it leads to something and I guess it’s good both parties have decided to take another step to try and get it done."
Asked if his frustration level is mounting, Ladd added:
"I’m still in the same spot – it’s been frustrating for awhile. It’s all part of negotiations. Obviously they (the NHL) have some sort of idea as to how they want to negotiate and don’t seem too eager to get something done right away.
"As players there’s not much you can do about that and you learn that pretty quickly. It’s the process and it’s something that takes time."