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Hunt Renews Claim for Expansion Team

February 01, 1998|From Times Wire Services

Lamar Hunt is not giving up in his bid to get the NHL expansion team in Columbus, Ohio, after all.

A month after conceding ownership to a group led by John H. McConnell, Hunt has renewed his claim for the team.

Hunt filed a lawsuit Friday in New York that asks the New York Supreme Court to keep the league from awarding the team to the group led by the Worthington Industries founder. It also asks for damages of $50 million.

The Dallas sports entrepreneur had challenged ownership of McConnell's group, known as COLHOC, in a lawsuit filed in June in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. But he dropped all ownership claims Dec. 31 and his attorney, Anthony Celebrezze, said the only dispute that remained was over monetary damages.

Still pending before Judge John Bessey is COLHOC's request for an order declaring the group's right to own the team and protecting those rights in any other court.

The league awarded the team to COLHOC in June. The team, named the Blue Jackets, is to begin play in October 2000.

*

A U.S. federal judge is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against the NHL, former league president John Ziegler and NHL Players' Assn. founder Alan Eagleson.

The first pretrial conference is Monday. The suit was delayed because Eagleson faced--and was convicted of--criminal charges in the United States and Canada.

The lawsuit, filed by five former NHL players, including Brad Park, accuses the league of breaching its duty by letting Eagleson act unchecked in negotiating with the league and its players.

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