The Associated Press says that “the NHL is threatening to kick the owners of the New York Rangers out of the league or force them to sell the team.” That’s certainly not burying the lead, but also an unlikely outcome. From Lynn Zinser of the Times:

The case stems from an anti-trust lawsuit the Garden filed last September, attempting to stop the N.H.L. from incorporating the Rangers™ Web site into a league-wide collective controlled by The team has suffered mostly setbacks in its case, with a judge in the Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals in March calling the team™s request for an injunction, œwithout merit.…

The conflict began when N.H.L. owners voted ” by a margin of 25-3 ” to transfer the digital rights of all 30 teams to the league. It is a model used by most professional leagues. The Rangers were among the dissenters, however, arguing that they should be able to operate their Web site for their own benefit.

The Garden started the case off with a bitter note when it filed suit on September 28, calling the N.H.L. an œillegal cartel and calling the digital merger a œblatant expropriation of team assets while arguing that the league is in violation of anti-trust laws. It also said the N.H.L. had done a poor job of marketing the league.

Well shoot, why not sue over the Versus contract then?

Garden management responded by defending its right to sue the league.

œEvery American citizen or business has a right to go to court and have its dispute heard by an impartial judge, said a statement released by Garden spokesman Barry Watkins.

Except according to our president, of course. And speaking of lawsuits, wouldn’t Anucha Browne-Sanders be a great hire by the NHL right now?