NEW YORK - The NHL is threatening to kick the owners of the New York Rangers out of the league as punishment for accusing league officials of violating antitrust laws.
The NHL filed court papers Wednesday that included a draft letter from commissioner Gary Bettman proposing discipline against Madison Square Garden, L.P., that could lead to suspension or termination of its ownership of the Rangers.
In its court filing, the NHL asked a judge to agree Madison Square Garden breached its contract by challenging league rules.
Madison Square Garden sued the NHL in September, saying it violated antitrust laws by monopolizing control of team promotions. A judge ruled in November that the league seemed within its rights to take control of the team's website.
Madison Square Garden, L.P., which is owned by Cablevision Systems Corp., owns the Rangers, the NBA's New York Knicks, the WNBA's New York Liberty and several venues, including Madison Square Garden - the home of the Rangers, Knicks and Liberty.
Messages left with Madison Square Garden officials were not immediately returned.