The NHL gave its owners and general managers a 48-hour window last week to discuss the league's latest contract offer with locked-out players.
The union hierarchy wasn't informed about it at the time, and 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'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 tells The Associated Press in an email this is a "nonissue and a nonstory."