NEW YORK - Anticipating a possible antitrust suit, the NHL is bringing its labor fight against players to federal court.
The league announced Friday that it has filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court in New York, seeking to establish that its now 90-day lockout is legal.
In a separate move, the NHL filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the players' association has bargained in bad faith.
The NHL said it believes the union's executive board is seeking authorization to give up its collective bargaining rights, a necessary step before players could file an antitrust lawsuit.
The league's moves were made Friday after the sides held a bargaining conference call, following two days of talks that included federal mediators.
Players' association special counsel Steve Fehr declined to comment on the union's plans regarding a so-called disclaimer of interest.