The Winnipeg Jets and the National Hockey League are denying a report out of Boston that suggests Bruins’ owner Jeremy Jacobs reprimanded a Jets’ representative at a recent NHL Board of Governors meeting.
Comcast Sportsnet Northeast columnist Joe Haggerty, who writes the blog ‘Bruins Talk’ for the website, reported that a recent governors’ meeting a Jets’ representative – not Mark Chipman, it is pointed out – suggested a long lockout would hurt the franchise’s momentum and hurt the game.
The story said Jacobs ‘answered by reprimanding the Winnipeg representative as one of the "new kids on the block" and informed him that he would know when he was allowed to speak in the NHL board room.’
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, in an e-mail to The Free Press, said the story was a "100% complete and total fabrication."
Chipman issued the following statement Wednesday night:
"I was disappointed to learn today of a report which claimed an exchange took place between an Alternate Governor of the Winnipeg Jets and Jeremy Jacobs of the Boston Bruins at a recent NHL Board of Governors meeting. I was present throughout all BOG proceedings and can categorically state that no such exchange between Mr. Jacobs and either one of our Alternate Governors - Patrick Phillips or Kevin Cheveldayoff - ever took place. Any suggestion otherwise is completely false."
Haggerty told the Free Press Wednesday he stands by his reporting and the story.
This is the second denial by the league and an owner over a published report that indicated possible dissention in the NHL ranks. Earlier this month Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider issued a statement denying a Philadelphia Daily News story that said he had ‘soured’ on collective bargaining negotiations and was no longer a supporter of commissioner Gary Bettman.
--With files from Gary Lawless