clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hockey briefs

HULL LAWSUIT: One of Canada's largest media chains has condemned professional hockey as having "a reputation as being a white domain with few or no minorities and repulsion towards gays and minorities."

So says a statement of defense by the Sun Media Corporation in a massive libel suit brought against it by hockey legend Bobby Hull.In a 12-page document filed with the Ontario Court, Sun Media lawyers maintain the news organization did not harm the former star's reputation when it reported pro-Hitler and racist comments alleged to have been made by Hull last summer to a reporter in Moscow. Rather, the Sun claims that Hull had a boisterous and controversial personal past that damaged his reputation.

Hull's lawyer, Timothy Danson, who originally sought $27 million in the suit, was incensed by the Sun's invoking of Hull's troubled marital history in the statement. He saw it as a pressure tactic to try and get Hull to drop his action or settle out of court.

Instead of withdrawing, the Hull camp has now boosted its claim for damages to $37 million, "and not less than 10 percent of the fair market value of the Sun Media Corporation in punitive damages."

Bernadette Mansur, vice president of corporate communications for the NHL, said that rather than repulsing minorities, the league actively tries to cultivate an audience and players in those areas.

ROBINSON REJOINS DEVILS: Saying the last few years with the Los Angeles Kings has soured him on head coaching, Larry Robinson rejoined the New Jersey Devils as an assistant coach on Wednesday.

Robinson was fired by the Kings last month, just days after the team missed the playoffs for the third time in his four years as coach.

Robinson, whose contract expired after this past season, had a 122-161-45 record in four seasons with the Kings. He declined to sign a three-year extension that was offered last September, saying he wasn't sure he wanted to continue coaching.

PENGUINS WANT NEW ARENA LEASE: The bankrupt Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for more than a new lease on life. They're also looking for a new arena lease.

One day after prospective team owner Mario Lemieux offered to buy out the Penguins' Civic Arena lease, the team asked U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday to void the arena agreement.

The lease with SMG, the management company that also runs Three Rivers Stadium, costs the Penguins an NHL-high $6 million a year to play in the league's oldest arena. The contract is viewed as one of the major impediments to keeping the bankrupt team in Pittsburgh.