NEW YORK - Anticipating a possible antitrust suit, the NHL has brought its labor fight against hockey players to federal court. The league filed a class action suit Friday in U.S. District Court in New York, seeking to establish that its now 90-day lockout is legal. In a separate move, the NHL filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the players' association has bargained in bad faith. The NHL said it believes the union's executive board is seeking authorization to give up its collective bargaining rights, a necessary step before players could file an antitrust lawsuit. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment on the league's actions Friday. The moves were made after the sides held a bargaining teleconference, following two days of talks that included federal mediators. Players' association special counsel Steve Fehr, meanwhile, declined to comment on the lawsuits or to confirm the union's plans regarding a so-called disclaimer of interest. But the union issued a statement Friday night to address the NHL's actions.
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