Eric Lindros really likes dictating where he goes and what gets said about him.
He’s filed a
$3 million – make that $250,000 – lawsuit against former NHL referee Paul Stewart for what he claims were defamatory comments. The charges stem from an article published last summer in which Stewart talked about his relationship with Lindros – or lack thereof – both on and off the ice.
The start of the game [between the Flyers and Devils] at the Spectrum was delayed several minutes. I had to wait for the red light on the scorer’s table to indicate that the broadcast had returned from a commercial and it was OK to drop the opening faceoff.
During the delay, I made small talk with several of the Devils and Flyers on the ice. I said hello to Mark Recchi and talked to Bernie Nicholls. I then tried to greet the 19-year-old rookie Lindros.
“Hey, Eric. How are things going? How’s your dad?” I asked.
The response: “[Bleep] you. Just drop the [bleeping] puck already.”
That was on the ice. There was more, allegedly, going on behind the scenes between Stewart and Lindros. Stewart continues:
Before the game, I had brought a tube filled with posters to Flyers’ equipment manager Jim “Turk” Evers. The posters, which depicted Recchi and Lindros, were to be autographed and then donated to a charity auction. I had done a similar thing in other cities, such as a Cam Neely and Ray Bourque poster in Boston, and a Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr in Pittsburgh.
After the game, I want to Turk to collect the poster tube.
“Stewy, you’re not going to like this,” Evers said. “I don’t have them.”
“What do you mean you don’t have them?” I asked.
“Well, Rex signed the posters but when Eric found out they were for you, he tore every one of them up. I’m sorry about that.”
A statement was release by Lindros’s lawyer, Geoff Shaw, about the filing:
It was both intended and foreseeable to Stewart and the (Huffington Post) that the article would receive widespread public attention and readership. Lindros is a well-known public figure, particularly in Canada and the United States and other countries where ice hockey is popular.
(Lindros) has suffered aggravated damages as a consequence of the republications. The republications reported that ‘Eric Lindros was apparently an enormous (bleep)’ and that ‘Lindros angrily tearing up charity posters is a high point in athlete dickhead behaviour.’
The statement that Lindros refused to sign posters intended for a charity auction, and more shockingly, tore them up because they were solicited by Stewart is false and makes Lindros out to be unfriendly, hostile, rude, insulting, vindictive, cruel, uncharitable and generally a despicable person.
Lindros was originally looking for $3 million in damages. TSN reports that Shaw has filed an amended claim seeking just $250,000 in damages. He’s also looking for an injunction to prevent Stewart and the Huffington Post, where this article was published, from continuing to publish those statements.
“I don’t have anything to say,” Stewart said to TSN. “I don’t have a comment.”