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NHLPA finds NHL's secret window to speak with players 'interesting'

The only two members of the NHL who are allowed to speak about the lockout are Commissioner Gary Bettman and his deputy, Bill Daly. The league temporarily halted that rule last week, a move the NHL Players' Association finds "interesting."

The NHL proposed a 50-50 revenue split with the players last Tuesday, and the league followed by giving its owners and general managers the green light to speak with players Wednesday through Friday to clear up any misconceptions about the offer.

The NHL did not inform NHLPA leadership.

"Most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings," Steve Fehr, the NHLPA's special counsel, said in a statement today. "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."

Yahoo! Sports obtained a copy the memo, part of which reads: "YOU MAY NOT: "Negotiate" with a Player.  This means you may not explore alternatives or variations to the proposals on the table from either side because that would be prohibited "direct dealing".  You may not ask "What do you want?" or "What do the Players want?"  or "What should the League propose?"  If a Player tells you that he or others are trying to find a different approach, he should be told that all ideas and suggestions should be presented to the Union and not directly to you or anyone else in the League except through the Union.  You may not ask him what he or others have in mind."

There are no talks scheduled to end the lockout.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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