The NHL Players Association said it hasn’t seen a lawsuit reportedly filed by the parents of late enforcer Derek Boogaard seeking $9.8 million from the union.
TMZ reported Friday night that Boogaard’s family is suing the union to collect the $4.8 million remaining on the contract for their son, who died last year, and an additional $5 million in punitive damages.
According to TMZ, the suit says the NHLPA failed to take proper steps to help them receive the money left on Boogaard’s deal with the New York Rangers when he died May 13, 2011, from a mixture of drugs and alcohol.
‘‘We are saddened to read reports that the parents of the late Derek Boogaard have filed a lawsuit against the NHLPA,’’ the union said in a statement sent to the Associated Press. ‘‘We have not been served with or seen a copy of the complaint, but we are confident that there is no meritorious claim that can be made against the NHLPA in regard to Derek’s tragic death.
‘‘It is not appropriate to comment further at this time.’’
Boogaard’s parents claim the 28-year-old player was addicted to prescription pills at the time of his death, TMZ said, partly because he had been prescribed ‘‘a multitude of narcotics and sleeping pills by both the team doctors, physicians, trainers, and dentists of the New York Rangers and the Minnesota Wild.’’
Because they believe the clubs are partly responsible for Boogaard’s death, his parents went to the NHLPA, which according to the report promised to help them file a grievance to get the Rangers to pay out what was left on the contract with the team.
According to the lawsuit, the NHLPA failed to file the grievance by the required deadline, leaving the Boogaards unable to collect the remainder of the money, TMZ reported.
Red Wings fined
The NHL fined the Detroit Red Wings for comments made by senior vice president Jim Devellano in an interview about the lockout.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement that the league and team agree Devellano’s comments were not appropriate, authorized, or permitted under NHL bylaws.
Devellano was quoted by the Island Sports News, saying his solution to end the lockout would be to have the players take 43 percent and the owners get 57 percent of hockey-related revenues. The players had been getting 57 percent.
The Hockey Hall of Famer also cautions NHL players going overseas not to get injured because the league has pulled medical benefits from the players and won’t pay them ‘‘one dime’’ until they’re cleared by league doctors.
Alberta fighting back
Lawyers for Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames players are trying to have the NHL lockout declared illegal under Alberta law.
The NHL has argued before the Alberta Labour Relations Board that a league spanning two countries cannot operate under different laws for each team.
The labor board deferred a decision to a later date.
About a half-dozen players attended the hearing, including Oilers forward Sam Gagner, goalie Devan Dubnyk, and veteran Ryan Smyth.