Hockey Co-Owner Sues TN Team for $250M

     NASHVILLE (CN) — One of the owners of the Nashville Predators hockey team claims in court that he kept the franchise in town and wasn’t repaid for his efforts.
     Commodore Trust and David Freeman claim they “saved professional hockey in Nashville” in 2007 by organizing investors and putting up $36 million in capital.
     The National Hockey League team was entertaining sale offers that year, including one from a would-be buyer that planned to move the franchise to Canada for the 2008-2009 season, according to a lawsuit Commodore and Freeman filed Thursday against Predators Holdings LLC and team co-owner Thomas Cigarran.
     “Freeman led the fight to spare Nashville hockey fans the sight of their team packing up and moving to Canada,” the complaint states. “Eight years later, certain of Holdings’ owners have conspired to repay his dedication to the team and community by claiming that Commodore owns less than one percent of Holdings, by refusing to treat it as an owner, and by repudiating Holdings’ commitment to compensate plaintiffs in return for tens of millions of dollars of loan guarantees that kept the Predators solvent and in Nashville.”
     Freeman says Cigarran “contributed only $4 million to the purchase of the Predators but later staged a coup to replace Freeman as chairman of Holdings.”
     “In doing so, and afterwards, Cigarran led Holdings to breach its fiduciary obligations and contractual commitments to Freeman and Commodore. These breaches have caused plaintiffs tens of millions of dollars in damages. This lawsuit seeks to have those damages paid,” the 38-page complaint states.
     Freeman seeks $250 million for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He is represented by Edward Yarbrough of Bone McAllester Norton in Nashville.
     The Predators said in a statement that Freeman’s complaint is a “”meritless and inappropriate court filing” and said the allegations “should be resolved by the NHL as mandated by the NHL Constitution, to which all owners, including Freeman, are bound.”

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