League takes labor fight to federal court
Anticipating a possible antitrust lawsuit, the NHL took its labor fight against its players to federal court Friday, filing a class action lawsuit seeking to establish that its lockout of the players is legal. The NHL named 36 players as defendants, including the Lightning's B.J. Crombeen, a member of the union negotiating committee.
In a separate move, the league filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the union has bargained in bad faith. The union's executive board is seeking authorization to give up its collective bargaining rights, a step needed before filing an antitrust suit.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment on the league's actions, made after the sides held a bargaining teleconference.
Union lawyer Steve Fehr said in a statement, "The NHL appears to be arguing that players should be stopped from even considering their right to decide whether or not to be represented by a union."
He declined to comment on whether the union plans to pursue a disclaimer of interest, which is similar to decertification, a tactic the NFL and NBA unions used in their lockouts last year. Disclaiming interest instantly disbands a union and does not involve the Labor Relations Board.
Yankees' luxury tax bill: $18.9 million
The Yankees were hit with an $18.9 million luxury tax by Major League Baseball, the 10th straight year they will pay a penalty for their spending. They finished with a $222.5 million payroll for purposes of the tax, according to figures sent to teams Thursday and obtained by the Associated Press.
Philadelphia's payroll was second at $169.7 million, under the $178 million tax threshold, followed by Boston ($168.6M), the Angels ($160.1M), American League champion Detroit ($140.7M) and World Series champion San Francisco ($138.1M).
Around the league: Right-hander Anibal Sanchez agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract with the Tigers, reports said. … The Mets were close to completing a trade of National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, with the Blue Jays being the front-runner, reports said.
Swimming: Ryan Lochte broke his world record in the 200-meter individual medley at the short-course world championships in Istanbul, Turkey, wining his fourth gold of the event. The former Gator won in 1 minute, 49.63 seconds, bettering his mark of 1:50.08 set in 2010. St. Petersburg's Megan Romano was second in the 100 freestyle and was part of the bronze-winning U.S. 400 medley relay.
tennis: The U.S. Open is moving the women's final to Sunday and men's to Monday next year, adding a day of rest ahead of each title match for the first time. A decision about 2014 and beyond probably will come after the 2013 tournament, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said.
Alpine skiing: Switzerland's Lara Gut won her first World Cup downhill, and four-time overall Cup champ Lindsey Vonn's bid for a fifth straight victory in speed events ended with a crash in Val d'Isere, France.