Marshall Johnston wants $275,000 ... It would suit Senators just fine if they could work out a deal with former GM

BRUCE GARRIOCH, OTTAWA SUN

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

It was no holiday for the lawyers who travelled to the Big Apple with the Senators last week.

Sheldon Plener and Daryl Boyce, the lawyers for Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, were trying to help settle the case between former GM Marshall Johnston and club president Roy Mlakar.

League sources confirmed to the Sun that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held a mediation session at the league's headquarters Friday to try to arbitrate a settlement for the $275,000 lawsuit launched by Johnston on April 14, 2005.

No agreement was reached, but indications are this was to try to keep the case -- which also named former Senators VP of finance Mark Goudie -- from going to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa next month.

In his statement of claim, Johnston, now a pro scout for the Carolina Hurricanes, said he was shortchanged in a contract he signed with the Senators in 1999.

According to Johnston, he was supposed to receive the same compensation as former GM Rick Dudley when he signed a three-year, $1.2-million deal in June, 1999. Johnston said he learned after leaving in June, 2002 that Dudley had a three-year, $1.375-million deal. Mlakar has denied those claims.

It's believed the NHL wanted to keep this out of court to avoid a public battle.

Mlakar wouldn't comment yesterday because he considers this a "personal" matter."


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