NHLPA reacts to 'secret' talk with general managers, owners

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NHLPA reacts to 'secret' talk with general managers, owners

The NHL and NHLPA would appear to have the beginning framework for a deal in place that would save the full NHL regular season.

But appearances can sometimes be deceiving, and the actions from both parties are keeping them distant and silently unbending. The latest development was unearthed this week when NHLPA lead counsel Steve Fehr revealed that the NHL reached out to its players, and gave them a 48-hour amnesty window over the weekend to discuss the leagues latest offer with owners and GMs. Normally NHL owners and GMs have been barred from speaking with players during the lockout, and the owners have essentially been bound by a gag order not to discuss the lockout with the media.

The league reached out to the players without informing NHLPA execs that they were performing an end-around on the entire collective bargaining process. There was no rule in place stating they couldnt attempt to communicate with the locked out players, but it still begs the question of whether each side is practicing good faith in the bargaining sessions.

In other words: Thats pretty sneak, sis.

"Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings," NHLPA Special Counsel Steve Fehr said in a statement. "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."

Meanwhile no formal negotiation meetings have been set up for this week with Thursday as the NHL-mandated deadline for an agreement that would allow an 82-game regular season to begin on Nov. 2. So both sides engage in a PR battle to break the other side rather than actually hammering out an agreement when theyre now just a few hundred million dollars apart a small amount in the grand scheme of things for a league that raked in 3.3 billion in revenue last season.

The 48-hour discussion window with NHL GMs and owners was first brought to the attention of CSNNE.com in a report by RDS's Renaud Lavoie.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.