Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hawks apologize for fan's beer-dousing antics

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THE Chicago Blackhawks were contrite about Wednesday's much-talked-about incident late in the NHL game at United Center when Jets defenceman Adam Pardy lost his helmet to a fan, and had another pour beer over his head when the glass became dislodged.

Video of the incident went viral on the Internet and on social media almost immediately.

Pardy said after the game he was unharmed other than having his uniform smelling of beer.

The Hawks made a statement Thursday: "We have spoken to those involved in the incident with an opposing player late in our home game last night at the United Center. The individuals were immediately ejected from the arena to preserve the safety of everyone in attendance, including other fans, players and officials. We have also been in communication with the Winnipeg Jets and the NHL to convey our organization's apologies."

The Jets confirmed the communication between the organizations, which included conversations at senior executive levels as well as hockey-department levels.

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Jets centre Jim Slater is going to be missing for some time to come.

The team announced Thursday Slater had travelled to Montreal and had surgery to repair a sports hernia. No other details were given.

Slater, who missed the second half of last season because of a hand injury, has been in eight of the Jets' first 17 games this season, with one assist to show for it.

He hasn't played since Oct. 20.

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The Jets released details for their annual Winnipeg Jets Skills Competition, to be held Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at MTS Centre. Proceeds will benefit the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund.

The event will see the Jets compete head-to-head in five events: fastest skater, accuracy shooting challenge, puck-control relay, breakaway relay and hardest shot. The glass will be removed from the sides of the rink to give fans an up-close look at the action. There will also be prize giveaways throughout the night for all fans in attendance.

Doors for the event will open at 5:30 p.m. and a limited pre-sale for season-ticket holders and wait-list members began Thursday and ends Friday at 10 p.m. Tickets, which are $15 for the lower bowl and $10 for the upper bowl, will go on sale to the general public on Saturday at 10 a.m. and are available through www.winnipegjets.com.

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There was much to forget about Wednesday's 4-1 road loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Jets took Thursday off to try to help them do that. The defeat dropped the Jets to 6-9-2 and left them in seventh and last place in the NHL's Central Division. The Jets are a poor 2-7-1 against their Central Division rivals.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2013 C2

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