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 Tuesday, October 12
Krupp's dog-sled racing is at issue
Associated Press

 DETROIT -- Red Wings defenseman Uwe Krupp, suspended for failing to turn over his medical records, has filed a grievance against the club over the $12.3 million remaining on his contract.

Krupp was suspended without pay in August for failing to turn over medical records of back problems that kept him sidelined for much of last season.

Krupp, 34, whose injury has put his career in jeopardy, last month agreed to release the records but remains suspended because the Red Wings found out he may have gone dogsledding while recovering from a herniated disc injury.

At the same time, Krupp complained the persisting pain kept him from returning to the lineup.

NHL Players Association spokesman Devin Smith did not immediately say when Krupp filed the grievance.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland on Tuesday called the grievance expected, said the suspension was justified and suggested the player's future with the team remains clouded.

"I don't know what his medical ability to play hockey will be," Holland said. "I don't think anyone knows the answer. I don't know what his future with the Red Wings will be."

Krupp's attorney George Googasian accused the Wings of simply "trying to figure out a way out of the contract."

According to the standard NHL contract, a player cannot participate in any organized sport without written consent from his team. Holland said Krupp did not request or receive permission from the Red Wings to race sled dogs when he was injured.

Googasian said it was common knowledge in the Wings' organization that Krupp was racing sled dogs.

Krupp signed a four-year contract as a free agent in June 1998 for $16.4 million. Krupp scored three goals in 22 games last season before a herniated disc ended his season in December.

Krupp was listed as the driver in five races between Jan. 2 and Feb. 28, prompting the Red Wings to investigate whether such competitions violated terms of Krupp's contract or might have exacerbated his condition.

"He'd been doing it right along," Googasian said. The Wings "are suggesting this was a surprise to them, which it wasn't."

Grievances filed in the NHL generally are heard by an arbitrator. No hearing has been scheduled, according to a league spokesman.