NEW YORK — While negotiators for the NHL and union kept conversations to a minimum, club officials had a brief window last week to discuss the league's latest proposal with its locked-out players.
So far, those discussions haven't produced any breakthrough, but they have inflamed an already unsettled atmosphere. The union hierarchy wasn't informed about the window then, and isn't happy about it, either.
Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings, players' association special counsel Steve Fehr said. No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. It is interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend, but the owners cannot.
The NHL said Tuesday that team officials may have temporary contact with players, although there are parameters regarding what can be discussed.
From our perspective, this is a nonissue and a nonstory, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email.