The Tribune-Review obtained excerpts of an NHL memo sent last week to owners and managers, allowing interaction with players during the league-imposed lockout.
“We understand that some of you are being contacted by one or more of your Players and that your inability to respond substantively is creating some awkwardness in your relationships. Accordingly, and only between now and
11:59 pm (local time) on Friday night (10/19), the NHL By-Law 17.17 prohibition will not be applied to conversations that result from you being contacted by your Players — PROVIDED, THAT ANY SUCH CONVERSATIONS ARE STRICTLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RESTRICTIONS SET FORTH IN THIS MEMORANDUM.
A failure to follow these rules can both set us back in our effort to resolve this work stoppage and cause serious legal problems and will be deemed a violation of NHL By-Law 17.17 (subject to appropriate penalties).
Therefore, please read these rules carefully and be certain that you adhere to them without exception. They have been designed in light of the fact that the NHLPA is, in fact and in law, the sole collective bargaining representative of the Players and that any effort to motivate the Players must be to have them act through their union, not instead of or in opposition to it.
As a matter of labor law you are permitted to express the views and opinions of the Club and the League concerning the proposal currently on the table.
“ 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. If he volunteers what he has in mind you should not respond positively or negatively or ask any questions but instead refer him to the NHLPA. Likewise, you may not suggest hypothetical proposals that the League might make in the future or that the League might entertain from the Union.”
Penguiuns union rep Craig Adams said he was not aware of any teammates speaking either with team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, CEO/governor David Morehouse or general manager Ray Shero.
Penguins officials declined comment. Team personnel are not permitted to publicly address the labor situation, and locked-out players are not permitted to use team facilities or speak with team officials during the work stoppage.
The NHL lockout is in its 38th day. The NHL and NHLPA each made new proposals last week, but talks broke last Thursday after the NHL rejected three offers from the union.
The NHL said a new labor agreement must be in place for camps to open Friday. A full, 82-game season cannot be played if games begin after Nov. 2, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said.
Be sure to participate in the Trib’s NHL Lockout chat Wednesday at 11 a.m. Details here: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/2819641-85/chat-rob-questions-readers-rossi-wednesday-begin-beginning-click-labor#axzz2A92TWIYC