When tensions grew high during the last stage of collective bargaining negotiations between the NHL and the players union and the two sides couldn’t sit in the same room, federal mediator Scot L. Beckenbaugh kept the talks alive.
Beckenbaugh, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, shuttled back and forth between the offices of the league and the union, helping broker the tentative deal they reached early Sunday morning. Some grateful fans suggested Beckenbaugh be named the league’s MVP this season . . . and one Anaheim Ducks season ticket holder from Silver Lake, Calif. took it a step further.
William Simpson used Twitter to post a photo of himself wearing a Ducks jersey he had bought and personalized with Beckenbaugh’s name on the back. To Simpson, it made perfect sense.
“I was so impressed with the tireless work put in by mediator Scot Beckenbaugh to end the NHL lockout that I decided to pay tribute to him,” Simpson said via email.
“When the sides refused to even meet in person, he persisted and found a way to get them together — and STAY together — until they hammered out a deal. Mr. Beckenbaugh gets my vote as this season’s MVP!”