Union concerned about NHL allowing GMs to field player’ queries
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NHL Players’ Association has questioned league’s decision allowing 30 general managers to answer questions directly from players regarding its new labor proposal from Wednesday to Friday midnight.
“Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings,” NHLPA counsel Steve Fehr said, adding that the union was unaware of the NHL’s move. “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,” Fehr added.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed that the league allowed team executives to answer questions from players regarding the league’s newest proposal.
Daly said the players’ union should not make it a big deal as the NHL, in its legal memo, outlined guidelines as to what they could specifically talk about.
“I’m not sure why that’s a big story,” Daly said.
In the memo, the league strictly prohibits its general managers from negotiating with players, making coercive statements, undermining the NHLPA or soliciting feedback on “their sentiment about collective bargaining matters”.
The memo, however, allows general managers to answer certain inquiries from players.
According to a source, the memo includes a sample question-and-answer portion that gives executives suggestions on how to answer questions, such as, “What do you think we should do?”, “What happens if the union doesn’t accept this proposal?”and “Why did the league take so long to make this offer?”
The NHL and the players union have not formally scheduled any new labor talks after negotiations broke down last week. But a source told ESPN.com Monday that the sides likely will resume talks at some point this week.
Another source added that the NHLPA has scheduled a 5 p.m. ET internal conference call Tuesday to update collective bargaining matters with its negotiating committee and executive board.