The Pittsburgh Penguins figure to have a pretty busy offseason. They have to shore up their defense even though they're stuck with Paul Martin's hefty contract. On July 1, they can begin to negotiate new deals with Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal, whose current pacts expire after next season. And, like every other NHL team, they have to do their wheeling and dealing this summer with the uncertainty that surrounds the league's collective bargaining agreement, which expires in September.
Oh, and this: The Pens also have to fend off a federal lawsuit filed by a fan in California who signed up for their text-message alerts.
Fred Weiss is the only plaintiff named in the class-action suit. In it, he claims he suffered "actual harm" because he was "subjected to the aggravation that necessarily accompanies the invasion of privacy caused by unsolicited text message calls, but also because consumers have to pay their cell phone service providers for the receipt of such wireless calls." Weiss is bringing the suit under a federal law that prohibits unsolicited texts. He also accuses the Penguins of breach of contract. Weiss seeks "statutory damages" in addition to court costs and "reasonable attorneys' fees."
So were the Penguins blowing up Weiss's phone at all hours like some jilted lover? Were they interrupting his sleep with another reminder that Tuesday's game against the Flames would be a white-out? Was Weiss's concentration broken for the 13th time by another alert imploring him to watch that Road Trip segment on the team's website?
Eh, not really. The terms and conditions of the text program said the Pens would send no more than three messages per week for those who chose to subscribe. In his first week as a subscriber, Weiss claims the Pens sent him five texts. In the second week, Weiss says he got four.