UPDATED, 5:48 pm: Two days before the 2021 NHL season started, NBC Sports and longtime hockey analyst Mike Milbury split. The news comes more than four months since he was suspended for “insensitive and insulting” remarks about women.
“We are grateful to Mike for all of his contributions to our coverage for the past 14 years,” NBC Sports said in a statement. “But he won’t be returning to our NHL announcement team. We wish him all the best. “
Milbury, a former NHL player and coach long known for his controversial comments, had no immediate comment on the sacking. He hasn’t tweeted for a week before his August 22nd suspension from NBC Sports.
Milbury is replaced by another fiery ex-coach, Mike Babcock, on NBC Sports’ hockey shows.
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The delayed and shortened 2021 season of the NHL begins on Wednesday with a triple header on NBC Sports from 11:30 a.m.
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PREVIOUS August 22nd: Former NHL player and coach Mike Milbury was sidelined for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs after posting comments on women on NBC Sports Network Thursday night.
Mike Milbury, who works as an analyst for the network, was on the air during the Washington Capitals-New York Islanders game and spoke to co-host Brian Boucher about the success of the NHL bubble during the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you think about it, it’s a great environment in terms of – if you love to play and be with your teammates for a long time, this is a perfect place,” said Boucher.
“Not even a woman here to disturb your concentration,” replied Milbury.
The comment was cut off and shared on social media by a woman named Alison. The footage has received 2.3 million views to date.
It’s 2020 and yet … 🤯 pic.twitter.com/d74TMlhkkP
– Alison (@AlisonL) August 21, 2020
On Saturday, NBC Sports PR released a statement from Milbury saying, “I’ve decided to retire from my role on NBC Sports for the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs.”
FROM MIKE MILBURY:
Given the attention my recent comment has generated, I have made the decision to step down from my role at NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I don’t want my presence to disturb the athletes who are trying to win the greatest trophy in the sport.
– NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) 22nd August 2020
In a statement too The Washington Post, NBC Sports said it was “disappointed with Mike’s insensitive comment”. According to the post, Milbury apologized for the comment.
The NHL posted a statement on Twitter calling Milbury’s comment “insensitive and offensive”.
A statement from the National Hockey League. pic.twitter.com/YCOTcoaK5l
– NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) August 21, 2020
Milbury has made numerous misleading comments about gender, sexuality and sexual assault in the past.