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'The law is clear'

NHL says Yashin's appeal 'does not have standing'

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Latest: Saturday September 02, 2000 12:43 PM

  Alexei Yashin Alexei Yashin is hoping a justice will declare him a restricted free agent. Jeff Gross/Allsport

OTTAWA (AP) -- Alexei Yashin's lawyer was in court Friday in an attempt to overturn an arbitrator's ruling that forces him to play another season for the Ottawa Senators.

The 26-year-old Russian star maintains he should be considered a free agent this season because his contract -- from which he walked away -- was due to expire after last season.

Yashin's lawyer, Fred Seller, argued Lawrence Holden's ruling in June prevents Yashin from playing anywhere other than in Ottawa, effectively turning the agreement into a personal service contract, "something which the arbitrator had no jurisdiction to do."

Ontario Justice Douglas Cunningham said he would deliver a decision by the end of the day Tuesday.

"The law is clear," NHL lawyer Chris Riggs said in court. "Mr. Yashin does not have standing to bring an appeal."

In June, Holden ruled Yashin must fulfill the remaining year of his contract for the $3.6 million he would have earned had he played last season.

Yashin wants the court to throw out Holden's decision and issue an order declaring him a restricted free agent, which would allow him to sign with another team. As a Group II free agent, the Senators would have the opportunity to match any offer.


 
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