David Freeman, best known for being the guy at the table when the Preds avoided a move to Hamilton, is suing the Nashville Predators and chairman Tom Cigarran for $250 million. Cigarran took over as chairman from Freeman in 2009.
From the Tennessean:
A longstanding dispute between owners of the Nashville Predators spilled into state court Thursday when co-owner David Freeman filed a $250 million lawsuit against the hockey franchise and Chairman Tom Cigarran for not informing him about financial statements and failing to honor loan guaranty fees he says are owed to him.
Freeman’s lawsuit takes particular aim at Cigarran, who is accused of dishonest business practices.
The Tennessean is seeking comment from the Predators and Cigarran.
The lawsuit calls into question the stability of the Predators ownership group. On the ice, the team has been a consistent playoff contender, while its finances have improved on the business side in the past six years.
Factoring in his lost ownership stake, guaranty fees and other damages, Freeman is seeking $250 million.
This is yet another moment when we look skyward and ask "Why can't this team just be normal?"
The article itself is worth read and some thought, but here's one last snippet that stood out:
Freeman also alleged in the lawsuit that Cigarran is the reason that former Predators CEO Jeff Cogen left the franchise last year. Freeman is represented in the lawsuit by Ed Yarbrough, the former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, and former federal prosecutor Alex Little.
Very interesting. Jeff Cogen does have ties to Tampa Bay and the Rays are an MLB team with a higher net worth than the Preds, so that's a bit of an upgrade on Cogen's part. Hopefully this is resolved quickly, and doesn't turn into another cloud over the franchise.
The team released the following statement this evening:
Nashville (June 23, 2016) – The Nashville Predators were disappointed to learn of David Freeman's meritless and inappropriate court filing in Davidson County Chancery Court. The club will use all appropriate means to vigorously defend its position. The club believes this issue should be resolved by the NHL as mandated by the NHL Constitution, to which all owners, including Freeman, are bound.
The franchise is healthier than ever and this frivolous suit has no impact or bearing on our organizational operations.
The organization does not plan to comment further on this matter at this time.