NHL lockout 2012: League irks union by allowing owners to speak with players

Christian Petersen

The NHL allowed its constituency to contact their players during a 48 hour grace period last week. However, they failed to notify the NHLPA, which has left them displeased.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed on Tuesday that the league allowed its owners and general managers to answer questions directly from their players regarding the NHL's most recent collective bargaining proposal that was presented to the union last week.

Normally, the owners and general managers are not permitted to be in contact with players during a labor stoppage but the league granted a 48-hour grace period last week for discussions on CBA topics. The league even supplied its constituency with a memo setting strict guidelines for the talks, which included a sample question-and-answer portion that suggested ways for executives to answer players' questions.

Although the league informed the owners of the grace period, it failed to notify the NHLPA, which has left the union displeased. Steve Fehr, who acts as special counsel to the players association, questioned why the owners are unable to attend negotiations or talk to media but are suddenly permitted to talk to the players in secret.

Daly shrugged off the notion and stated that it was a non-issue.

As of this time, the NHL has a deadline set for Thursday to come to terms on a new CBA so that a condensed 82-game schedule could begin on Nov. 2. However, no future meetings are scheduled between the two sides.

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