The NHL’s class action complaint has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, whom the Associated Press profiled on Sunday.
The “relatively new” federal judge assumed his role in July 2011 after spending time as a Supreme Court clerk and becoming the chief of the major crimes unit in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan. He’s also a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Oh, but the AP points out something of way more importance: he’s a fan of the New York Yankees.
Engelmayer spent much of his time with the major crimes unit sniffing out fraud cases, while he’s already made a controversial decision as a federal judge:
In his most notable decision thus far, Engelmayer ruled a provocative ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages is protected speech under the First Amendment. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority initially refused to run the ad, saying it was “demeaning.”
(The New York Times has more on that decision.)
Sources such as the Los Angeles Times describe the U.S. District Court in New York as “often-friendly to sports leagues” and “pro-employer,” but much might come down to Engelmayer’s own assessment of the situation.
If you want to peek at his basic resume, the Federal Judicial Center has a bio of Engelmayer here.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.