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Call Me, Maybe

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

With pressure mounting to get a season-saving deal done, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman secretly allowed owners and general managers to be in contact with players for a 48-hour period last week.

Owners and GMs were afforded a chance to promote Bettman’s proposal of a 50-50 division of hockey related revenue. The window for conversations ended Friday.

The report initially came from Quebec-based TVA.

“Propaganda,” one NHL unidentified player told TVA Sports.

“Players were calling to ask about the offer,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Star in an email. “We let clubs answer their questions. . . . We did authorize club executives to respond substantively to player inquiries.”

The union did not believe that players phoned owners and GMs, and was not impressed with the owners’ action.

“Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings. No owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining,” Steve Fehr, Donald Fehr’s chief legal counsel, said in a statement.

“Interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend but the owners cannot.”


added 12:13pm,

Even more on the memo at Puck Daddy.

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Paul's avatar

Nick Cotsonika is tweeting the memo from the NHL to GMs advising them how to handle the above situation.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/23/12 at 10:36 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

This is shocking to me.  Does this lockout not function like the other sport’s lockouts?  Ie. during the NFL lockout players were barred from contact with team, could not work out at team facilities, could not communicate with coaches, could not even rehab with their normal doctor because they were team employed (see:  Manning, Peyton).

Assuming the same rules apply… It is utterly shameful that Bettman is willing to allow contact solely in a case where the clear goal is to create dissection amongst NHLPA.  According to the ESPN article, they didnt een notify the PA.  This can’t be excusable, can it?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/23/12 at 12:33 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

What are you people reading? The memo clearly states no contact could be initiated by the owners/GMs, however, if a player reached out to them to ask a question or something, they were given guidelines on how to respond for the time period in question. I think it’s being overblown. Apparently there was enough contact leading up to Thursday’s meeting and just after that the NHL felt they needed to loosen the reigns a little bit so that there wasn’t some kind of awkwardness being created between GMs/owners and players.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/23/12 at 01:45 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

No, apparently some owners or GMs were complaining that players were attempting to contact them and wanted clarification on what they could/could not say. That’s all the memo did was clarify a little more leeway for a certain period of time around the dueling offers on the table. That’s the gist of this, I don’t see why the media, or more likely, the NHLPA is raising a huge stink over it. If, and yes, I know that’s a big if, a player had called a GM and started asking questions about the proposal and all he could say back prior to the memo is “You know I can’t talk to you” it could get frustrating if they keep calling.

My guess in all of this, and it’s just my guess, is the whole start on November 2nd probably had a crap ton of questions players wanted answered like when would training camp start, where would we have to report, what date, time, etc., so the NHL said, hey, if that’s what they’re calling about, give them what you think you’re team will do but as far as the CBA items go, you can only do what this memo says you can do, which when I read it wasn’t a whole lot.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/23/12 at 02:43 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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