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NHL gave owners/GMs specific guidelines to answer player inquiries

Oct 23, 2012, 12:56 PM EDT

Gary Bettman; Bill Daly AP

Much to the NHLPA’s chagrin, the NHL granted owners and general managers a 48-hour window to speak to players last week after the league tabled its 50-50 offer to the union.

The window was clearly an attempt by the league to convince players that the offer was a good one. But until now, we didn’t know any specifics.

According to an source, the league sent a legal memo to owners and GMs outlining what could and couldn’t be discussed.

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,” a source that received the document told

It does allow, however, for general managers to answer certain inquiries from players.

According to the 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?”

Sounds like a scene from Boiler Room.

Even if the 48-hour window was opened with the genuine goal of striking a deal, the move has the potential to backfire for the NHL.

NHLPA leaders clearly feel the league went behind the union’s back in this case, and that probably won’t alleviate the trust issues many players have with the owners.

  1. jaybertx - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Blah, blah, blah, blah. The more stories like this, the less I care and the more annoyed I become with the whole thing.

  2. paledevil - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Called Objections….. Cant memorize them your fired…. Hang up without doing three your fired…. lol wow….

  3. ballistictrajectory - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    [yawns; looks at clock; thinks about supper; goes back to work]

  4. troyny - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I honestly don’t care what happens at this point if they have a season great if not shame on the league all together. They will eventually come to an agreement, this year or next. All will eventually be well until the next CBA comes to an end in 6 years or whatever they agree to and then we will be back right where we Are now. Players locked out, fans pi$$ed off blaming player, owners, Bettman and Fehr. Fact of the matter is the owners have zero respect for the game and the fans when their number strategy is to lock the players and most importantly us out of the sport. They are like little kids. Yes I check this site to see updates but its just more out of spite. The whole thing is a joke and that is why the NHL will always be irrelevant here in the states and never be more than the “4th major” sport here.

    • sunderlanding - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      Good. I hope it falls below even 4th and soccer becomes more popular in the States, and any other sport you can think of. It’s trying to impress the American audience that got us in this mess in the first place. If we got rid of all the stupid American markets that don’t care the players and owners could get what they want. It’s not the Canadian teams that are loosing money.

      • jtrain1966 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        Being American, I agree with you ! I’m a ginormous hockey fan & don’t believe they should keep a team in Phoenix at all ! You can split revenue 50-50, create a revenue sharing program that’s designed to help these teams that lose money, but it’s not going to work unless you have fan support for each individual team ! It’s my understanding that the Phoenix Coyotes have a horrible attendance record, & that’s sad because they have a good team ! Maybe they should move that team to a market like Seattle, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Hamilton, Ont., Quebec City, PQ. at least the teams, & owners would have a fighting chance to make money & eliviate the financial burden on the league ! As for the comment on the ” 4th biggest sport ” if they keep it up I doubt it would be ahead of golf, & that’s pathetic !

  5. bjbeliever - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Everything upsets the NHLPA, I think Fehr is really a woman

  6. gc19 - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    it’s a good thing football goes til february, baseball goes til november, college football goes til january, college basketball goes til march, pro basketball goes til june, NASCAR goes til november, WWE, boxing, MMA and european soccer are never ending. goodbye casual fans. goodbye stanley cup. from now on the hardest trophy to win in all of sports is the WWE championship belt.

  7. buffalomafia - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Like both sides aren’t making enough money! Greed, greed & greed!

    • id4joey - Oct 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      We cannot let our emotions get the best of us. We need to stay objective and look at the impasse as business issue. Hockey is coming. No one wants to lose all that money. It is part of all labor negotiations.

  8. tmoore4075 - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    I don’t care anymore. I just want hockey.

  9. blomfeld - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    It’s called “playing for time” people … look for a deal to be “magically” reached during the week of November 5 -10 … all will be well …

  10. troyny - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    And Bettman is responsible for putting teams in garbage markets. He won’t admit he failed he just try’s to get money back from the players to line the owners pockets.

    • blomfeld - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      there I agree with you friend, as Gary is wrong for trying to continually prop up his failed “sunbelt” enterprise … and I hope he comes to see that sooner rather than later, God willing …

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