The union hierarchy wasn't informed about it at the time, and it isn't happy about it, either.
Union special counsel Steve Fehr says most owners are not allowed to attend bargaining meetings, and no owners are allowed to speak to the media about the bargaining. He adds that it's "interesting that they are secretly unleashed to talk to the players about the meetings the players can attend but the owners cannot."
The NHL countered Tuesday by saying there is nothing illegal about its actions to allow temporary contact between team officials and the players — with certain parameters regarding what can be discussed.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email that it is a "nonissue and a nonstory."