Less than 24 hours after winning a contract arbitration with Stanley Cup MVP Claude Lemieux, the New Jersey Devils told the forward that he would be traded “in the best interests of the team.”
The somewhat stunning development came on a day the Devils signed their last major restricted free agent by giving goalie Martin Brodeur a three-year contract for a reported $5.3 million.
Lemieux, 30, angered general manager Lou Lamoriello in recent months by challenging a contract he signed in the off-season and then failing to report to camp because of the dispute.
Arbitrator George Nicolau ruled on Friday that the fax of the contract that Lemieux signed was valid.
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