A federal judge in Minnesota has denied the NHL's latest attempt to throw out a class-action lawsuit filed by former players over head injuries.
The league had argued that the suit should be tossed because the issues raised were covered under the collective bargaining agreement with the players union. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wrote in a 47-page opinion released Wednesday that the union contract does not pre-empt legal action, in part because the people who filed the suit are retired players and no longer subject to the CBA. Nelson also wrote that the subjects of the complaint are not spelled out in the CBA.
Dan LaCouture, Michael Peluso, Gary Leeman, Bernie Nicholls, David Christian and Reed Larson represent former players who say the league didn't sufficiently protect or inform players of the dangers when it came to head injuries they suffered when they played.
A lawyer for the players, Stuart Davidson, called the order a "historic decision in American sports and labor law."
The league said in a statement it "respectfully disagree(s)" with the ruling.
Power play drives Sharks: Improved depth and 5-on-5 play helped get San Jose back to the postseason after missing it a year ago, but in the playoffs, the power play has been an impressive weapon and a barometer for its success.
One game after getting shut out on the man advantage, the visiting Sharks struck twice after St. Louis penalties in a 4-0 win Tuesday that tied the Western Conference final at one game apiece heading into Game 3 tonight in San Jose.
"It creates momentum for us," coach Peter DeBoer said.
Around the league: The Capitals' Brian MacLellan, the Stars' Jim Nill and the Penguins' Jim Rutherford are the finalists for the general manager of the year award, voted on by all 30 team general managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and broadcast media. The winner will be announced June 22.