NHL’s lawsuit against players assigned to new judge

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NEW YORK — The NHL’s lawsuit against its players was assigned to a relatively new federal judge who is a longtime New York Yankees fan and a former federal prosecutor.

The sides didn’t talk on the 92nd day of a lockout that is threatening to wipe out an entire NHL season for the second time in nine years. NHL players started voting on whether to have their union give up collective bargaining rights, a “disclaimer of interest” that could be a precursor to an antitrust suit.

The league argued in a 43-page suit Friday in federal court in Manhattan that the union’s actions were a bargaining maneuver and asked that the lockout be declared legal. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who joined the bench in July 2011.

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