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Friday, November 17, 2006
 
Judge Denies Russian Team's Request for Injunction in Malkin Suit

Here's my monthly update on the Malkin lawsuit. According to USA Today reporter Kevin Allen, in rejecting Metallurg's request for an injunction to prevent Evgeni Malkin from continuing to play for the Pittsburgh Penguins, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska said that the Metallurg would not likely prevail on the merits because she believed that the NHL "would be able to demonstrate" that the league's transfer fee policy was collectively bargained with players, which makes it "immune" from antitrust scrutiny."

HUH??? This is the first time I have ever heard that the league and the union collectively bargained for a transfer fee policy. They can bargain all they want about something, but since when does the non-statutory labor exemption preclude alleged restraints on competition that primarily affect parties outside the collective bargaining relationship? [Oh well, I love reading decisions involving the interplay between antitrust law and sports.]

I am interested in reading whether Judge Preska felt that the Mettalurg is unlikely to prevail on the merits of its tortious interference claim. But in any event, I think denying the injunction is the right result for a completely different reason; that being that the Russian teams "are unlikely to be able to prove that they cannot be compensated by money damages." As the judge properly noted, "These cases are always about money, the only question is how much."

Thus, the Mettalurg will still have its day in court. They just can't stop Malkin from playing right now.





2 Comments:

Was this decision reported? I've been having difficulty finding it in the usual places.

Blogger Stephen -- 11/17/2006 10:03 AM  


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