Jeremy Roenick NBC Firing Is BS I Was 'Sacrificial Lamb'

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SPEAKIN' MY MIND
TMZSports.com

Jeremy Roenick is opening up on his firing from NBC, the threesome joke that led to his axing and what the hockey legend plans to do moving forward.

Remember, JR was suspended in December after he joked about his desire to have a threesome with his wife and NBC coworker, Kathryn Tappen, while on Barstools' "Spittin Chiclets" podcast.

DECEMBER 2019
SPITTIN' CHICLETS
Barstool Sports

Roenick didn't work -- or talk for 2 months -- until NBC honchos terminated the longtime hockey analyst on Wednesday.

Now, Roenick's talking to TMZ Sports. Here's JR in his own words ...

ON THREESOME JOKE:

"I gotta be a little bit more aware of the culture that we’re in right now, the things you can say, whether it's public or whether it’s in a podcast that you’re very comfortable telling stories."

"Whether they’re your very good friends, like Kathryn [Tappen] is one of my best friends, I’m talking about my wife, I’m talking about trips that we went on. I got too comfortable talking about something that all of us were pretty comfortable talking about. And, I got caught in that. At times, in the culture today you gotta be more aware of your surroundings and people’s feelings, and yeah, I went too far in certain situations."

ON NBC FIRING:

"It’s important to know that at the time nobody thought it was bad what I was saying. Nobody took offense to it. Nobody was saying anything on social media. Five days went by. Nothing on 'Spittin’ Chiclets,' nothing on my social media, nothing anywhere, nothing."

"Nobody complained until my boss, Sam Flood at NBC, decided that [what I said] wasn’t right, and we all know NBC has made a lot of mistakes covering up things and letting people slide, and all that stuff. I think this was their opportunity to make a statement, have a sacrificial lamb."

MESSAGE TO NBC:

“Thank you for having me there for 10 years. I loved being on television, having that platform to come to the people and share my love for hockey and all that stuff, like I said yesterday. But, I didn’t like to be muzzled, I didn’t like to be controlled, and unfortunately, NBC tried to do that too much, especially Sam Flood, my boss, tried to control me too much. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t be the real me."

ON CURRENT RELATIONSHIP WITH KATHRYN TAPPEN:

"We’re very close, we’re best friends. She’s one of my best friends. She’s still one of my best friends and she’s one of my wife’s best friends."

ON HIS NEXT CAREER MOVE:

"I’ve already had 5 or 6 opportunities to go work someplace. This was in within 2 hours of getting fired yesterday. I think the NHL is deciding what they’re going to with their NHL contract. I hope they look really hard at a lot of entities. Not just NBC. I think having my own show where I can be me, where I can bring sports and hockey and not be as muzzled, be as opinionated as I possibly can. That’s definitely in the works. There are some really cool platforms out there that I’m looking at, or maybe I might start my own."

NHL's Ed Belfour Gets Slap On The Wrist ... In Drunk In Public Case

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THE ARREST

NHL legend Ed Belfour pled guilty to being a drunken mess during last month's incident at a Kentucky hotel ... but the ex-goalie got nothing more than a slap on the wrist as punishment.

As we previously reported, 54-year-old Belfour found himself in a world of trouble after hotel employees in Bowling Green, Ky. accused him of a being belligerent drunk on Jan. 28.

You can see in video we obtained of the incident ... when officers arrived on the scene, Belfour was clutching a curtain rod on the floor and kicking a spa door.

The Eagle also struggled to get to his feet and mumbled through his conversation with cops.

Belfour was eventually charged with criminal mischief and public intoxication for the incident ... but according to court records, obtained by the Courier-Journal, Belfour cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid a lengthy court battle.

The records show on Jan. 30, Belfour had his criminal mischief charge dismissed after he pled guilty to the public intoxication charge.

His punishment? The records reportedly show he has to pay $219 in fines and fees.

It's a pretty good deal for Belfour ... and it now explains why the guy was so happy when he was spotted with fellow NHL legends at a celeb sports dinner in Canada last week.

NHL's Jay Bouwmeester Revived With Defibrillator ... Blues GM Says

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1:52 PM PT -- Blues GM Doug Armstrong just revealed Bouwmeester needed to be revived with a defibrillator after his collapse Tuesday night.

EXTRAORDINARY RESPONSE
St. Louis Blues

"Jay became unresponsive," Armstrong said. "And the medical personnel used a defibrillator to revive him. Jay regained consciousness immediately and was transported directly to the UCI medical center."

Fortunately, the GM said Bouwmeester is doing MUCH better Wednesday ... adding, "things are looking very positive" for the defenseman.

Scary moment on the NHL ice Tuesday ... Blues star Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the team's bench mid-game -- and was rushed to the hospital with what officials are calling a "cardiac episode."

The 36-year-old had just finished a shift early in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks in Southern California ... when something went horribly wrong.

You can see in on-ice video of the incident ... Bouwmeester appeared to pass out on the St. Louis bench -- and his teammates immediately called for help.

Reporters on scene say the defenseman -- who's played in the NHL since he was 19 years old -- was stretchered to the locker room and rushed to the hospital shortly after.

Thankfully, in a statement released by the Blues late Tuesday night ... they say the 2019 Stanley Cup winner was "alert" and "conscious" after treatment.

"With 7:50 remaining in the first period of our game tonight, Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on our bench after completing his shift," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said.

"Thankfully, with the quick response of our medical trainers, Anaheim medical trainers and their team physicians, they were able to stabilize Jay. He was alert and moving all of his extremities as he was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center."

Armstrong added, "Currently, Jay is conscious and alert as he undergoes further testing by Anaheim's physicians. We will update Jay's condition on Wednesday morning."

The NHL decided to postpone the Blues-Ducks game, which was stopped immediately after Jay's collapse. A makeup date for the match has yet to be scheduled.

Originally Published -- 5:48 AM PT

NHL's Ed Belfour Drunk In Public Arrest Video ... 'I Was Out Of Control'

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THE ARREST

Ed Belfour appeared to be a sloppy mess during his drunk in public arrest last month ... with the NHL legend even admitting to cops, "I was out of control."

It's all in new police video obtained by TMZ Sports, which shows 3 officers confronting Belfour on the second floor of a Bowling Green, Ky. hotel at around 1 AM on Jan. 28 after they had been called to the scene to investigate a "drunk and disorderly subject."

You can see in the footage ... Belfour -- a goalie who won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 -- was laying on the ground clutching a curtain rod and kicking a spa door when the cops arrived.

They quickly tried to get Belfour to his feet ... but it's clear, 54-year-old Ed was having a tough time gaining his bearings.

The former NHL star crawled around on all fours ... mumbled incoherently and wrestled with officers as they tried to slap the cuffs on his wrists.

Eventually, Belfour was able to speak with the cops ... and he apologized over and over for his actions.

At one point, when an officer asked him what happened earlier in the night ... Belfour said, "I think probably what happened was I was out of control and someone called police."

The officer then said, "Why were you out of control? You been drinking tonight?"

Belfour responded by saying, "Right."

Ed was arrested and booked for criminal mischief and public intoxication. He took a grinning mug shot.

Belfour hasn't let the arrest affect him too badly ... "The Eagle" was spotted with fellow NHL legends speaking at the Saskatoon’s Kinsmen Celebrity Sports Dinner last week.

Multiple attempts to reach Belfour for comment have been unsuccessful.

Philadelphia Flyers' Gritty Mascot Cleared ... After Assault Probe

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The Philadelphia Flyers mascot did NOT assault a 13-year-old boy ... according to Philly police, who just announced Gritty has been cleared after a weeks-long probe.

As we previously reported, a man claims his young son was punched in the back by the mascot at Wells Fargo Arena during a Nov. 19 photo shoot fan event.

Chris Greenwell -- the father of the alleged victim -- says Gritty "took a running start" and "punched my son as hard as he could" after he alleges the kid "playfully patted" the mascot on the head.

Greenwell says his son suffered real injuries from the altercation ... and required a trip to the chiropractor for treatment.

But, cops say after they received a report of the alleged assault on Dec. 21 ... they found no evidence saying Gritty committed a crime.

"That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers' mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged," cops said Monday in a statement to TMZ Sports.

The Flyers -- who previously adamantly denied the accusations -- added in a statement, "We are pleased that the Philadelphia Police Department concluded there was no merit to the alleged claim."

The team added, "The police department's statement confirms our thorough internal investigation that found no evidence of the described actions ever having taken place."

Ed Belfour Arrested Allegedly Tried To Fight Hotel Worker ... Grinning Mug Shot

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NHL legend Ed Belfour -- who won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 -- was arrested after allegedly trying to fight a hotel bar manager Tuesday morning.

54-year-old Belfour -- one of the best goalies of all time -- was at the Kentucky Grand Hotel when someone alerted cops about a drunk and disorderly person.

According to the arrest citation, obtained by the Bowling Green Daily News, Belfour allegedly tried fighting the manager of the hotel's bar, smashed a glass window and pulled a curtain rod off the wall.

When cops arrived at the scene, Belfour was lying on the floor holding the curtain rod ... and had slurred speech, blood-shot eyes, and trouble keeping his balance ... according to the citation.

Belfour was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and public intoxication ... and booked at Warren County Regional Jail, where he posed -- smiling from ear to ear -- for his mug shot.

Eddie The Eagle is a hockey legend who played 18 seasons in the NHL with teams like the Stars, Blackhawks and Maple Leafs. He has the 4th-most wins in the league's history for a goalie.

Belfour seems to have problems while traveling -- he was reportedly arrested in 2000 and 2007 for similar incidents at hotels.

Philadelphia Flyers Team Denies Mascot Assaulted Child ... Cops Investigating

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The Philadelphia Flyers say they found NO evidence to prove team mascot Gritty assaulted a 13-year-old boy in Nov. ... but now cops are investigating.

The Philadelphia Police Dept. has confirmed they're looking into a claim that the person inside the official Gritty costume punched a kid in the back at Wells Fargo Arena (where the Flyers play) during a Nov. 19, 2019 photo shoot fan event.

Chris Greenwell -- the father of the alleged victim -- told the Philadelphia Inquirer his son had "playfully patted" Gritty on the head after taking a picture ... but Gritty responded with real violence.

Greenwell claims Gritty "took a running start" and “punched my son as hard as he could" ... injuring the child.

The boy went to a chiropractor for treatment where he was diagnosed with a back bruise, according to Greenwell.

Greenwell says he attempted to remedy the situation through communication with officials from Flyers ownership ... but after talks soured between the two sides, he went to cops.

A Flyers spokesperson has issued a statement saying, "We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim."

When reached by TMZ Sports on Wednesday ... Greenwell told us he's NOT considering a lawsuit against Gritty, adding, "I'm letting the police handle it."

As for the identity of the person inside the Gritty costume -- we asked cops for his name so we could reach out to him or her directly ... but so far, we haven't gotten an answer.

MLB's Ryan Zimmerman Plays Goalie For Caps ... Saves Alex Ovechkin Slap Shot!!!

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Here's something that'll make you feel REALLY unathletic ... Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman suited up in goal for the Capitals on Wednesday -- and saved an Alex Ovechkin slap shot!!!

Unclear why the Washington infielder decided to trade in the mitt for a set of goalie pads this week ... but he sure as hell impressed everyone watching at Caps practice.

Zimmerman got between the pipes and stopped one-timers from Ovi ... and later got in some shootout drills, where he didn't suck either!

But, the most impressive part? That came when Alex decided to fire a missile at Zimmerman from the point -- and he saved it with a flashy piece of leather!!!!

Zimm was pretty humble after the workout ... hilariously calling it all, "terrifying."

"What a great experience," he said. "Terrifying, but fun. Glad I did it, but I'll never do it again."

NEVER AGAIN...
Washington Capitals

Zimm says that now ... but the 35-year-old's baseball career IS winding down -- so never say never, Ryan!!!

Julianne Hough Long, Loving Hug with Brooks!!! What Divorce Rumors?

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HUGGIN' IT OUT
BACKGRID

Don't write off Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich's marriage just yet! If the couple's having marital issues, they sure as hell didn't show it during a very loving airport embrace.

Julianne picked up her hockey star husband Thursday morning at the Hollywood Burbank Airport Thursday, where they exchanged smiles and a loooooong hug before driving off together.

The PDA didn't include any kissing, but the reunion was romantic enough ... especially considering all the rumors about them separating. It is interesting, though ... while Julianne picked up Brooks, she still wasn't wearing her wedding ring -- part of what started the rumors. Brooks was wearing his.

Toronto Maple Leafs Take Subway In Full Pads!!! ... To Outdoor Practice

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AMONG THE FANS
Toronto Maple Leafs

Imagine riding the subway to work on a totally normal morning ... and sharing your commute with the entire Toronto Maple Leafs roster!!!

That's exactly what happened on Thursday ... when Auston Matthews and his boys headed to their annual outdoor practice by using public transit.

It's become a tradition for Toronto to give the fans a cool, up-close experience at Nathan Phillips Square in the 6 ... and give subway-goers a ride they'll never forget!!

Maple Leafs star Mitchell Marner -- who just signed a 6-year, $65.3 MILLION with Toronto this past offseason -- was even signing autographs while hanging with the normies.

Of course, the boys ended up getting to the ice for a full day of practice ... which includes a 3-on-3 tournament for all the fans to watch. Cool stuff.

The Maple Leafs have been hot since firing coach Mike Babcock (no relation to TMZ Sports' Michael J. Babcock) -- they're 7-1-2 in their last 10 games -- and it looks like the dudes are having a blast.

Todd Gurley Parties Hard At L.A. Kings Game ... Chugs Beers W/ Dodgers Stars!!!

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BEERS WITH THE BOYS
LA Kings

Did you know Todd Gurley could party like a frat star!??!

Neither did we ... until Wednesday night -- when the L.A. Rams running back chugged beers and bro'd down with Dodgers stars at the L.A. Kings game!!!

The video of Gurley throughout the night was more entertaining than the actual on-ice action ... 'cause the 25-year-old lived it up in on-the-glass seats for the Kings-Stars game at Staples Center.

Ya gotta watch the clip ... Gurley rages his face off, throws back some suds and even gets into a chug-off with Dodgers players Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty and Kody Hoese.

IT WAS AWESOME!!!

But the best part? Arena cameras broadcast almost all of it on the jumbotron!!!!

Of course, Gurley and the Dodgers could use the booze ... both squads had rough seasons, with the Rams missing the playoffs and the Dodgers exiting the postseason early.

As for if their antics helped the Kings ... not really, 'cause L.A. lost to Dallas 2-1.

But hey, we sure as hell enjoyed watching the party!!

Alex Ovechkin Hibachi-Flips Food Into Caps' Mouths ... To Celebrate Big Win

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ORDER UP

Best post-victory dinner EVER?!

Alex Ovechkin hit up a fancy Japanese Steakhouse in D.C. after the Capitals beat the Sharks on Sunday ... and the dude was feelin' so great -- he hopped behind the grill and fed his teammates!!!

The amazing scene was captured on video ... and we're all thankful for it -- because seeing Ovi flip bits of food to squadmates Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov was priceless!!

It's unclear why Ovechkin popped onto the hibachi ... but he showed his skills with a spatula are CLEARLY worse than his talent with a hockey stick.

Ovi took a few tries to get the food into everyone's mouths ... but still, good times were had by all!!!

It was almost as much fun as that time Tyrese invited Aziz Ansari, Andy Samberg and others to his personal hibachi restaurant in his backyard after the 2016 Critic's Choice Awards!

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Of course, everyone was in a good mood because it was a GREAT night for the Caps' superstar ... he celebrated his 10-year anniversary of becoming a captain AND he helped his team beat San Jose in overtime.

Also, Monday's an off-day for the Caps ... so you just KNOW the partying didn't stop there. 'Cause, c'mon, look at how Ovi has gotten down after big wins in the past!!

WASHINGTON BROMANCE
Washington Nationals

NHL's Nathan MacKinnon MVP Frontrunner Jokes ... 'No One Knows Who I Am!'

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STAYIN' HUMBLE
TMZSports.com

"Bro, I'm not famous enough for TMZ!"

Here's an interesting clip that sort of sums up the problem pro hockey is facing in the United States ...

We shot Colorado Avalanche stud Nathan MacKinnon in New York ... and he COULDN'T BELIEVE we knew who he was!!

24-year-old MacKinnon is as big of a superstar as it gets in hockey -- he was the #1 overall pick of the 2013 NHL Draft and he's currently leading the league in points per game.

He's gotta be the leading MVP candidate at the moment -- but when he walks down the street, most people have no idea!!!

For example, could you imagine if Lamar Jackson -- the NFL's likely MVP -- was walking around NYC? It would be a mob scene!

But, when our photog spotted him getting off the team bus, MacKinnon told us, "Nah, man, no one knows who I am."

So, let's help fix the problem ...

WATCH THESE HIGHLIGHTS ALREADY!! DUDE IS UNREAL AND DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION!

Jim Montgomery Fired Dallas Stars Coach I'm Going to Alcohol Rehab

Breaking News

NHL coach Jim Montgomery -- who was recently fired by the Dallas Stars -- says he's admitting himself into rehab after the "wake-up call" of losing his job.

50-year-old Montgomery got the ax in December over a mysterious incident that nobody seems to be talking about. But, whatever happened was so bad, the pro hockey team fired him with cause and voided the remaining 2.5 years on his contract.

Now, Montgomery is breaking his silence ... and while he's not explaining the actions that caused his termination, he claims he's had a break-through moment and realizes he needs help.

"Losing my job as head coach of the Dallas Stars last month was a wake-up call," Montgomery said ... "It was also the appropriate call."

"I let the team’s front office, staff and players down. More importantly, I let my wife and my family down."

"The team’s decision to end my role forced me to look into the mirror and decide whether I wanted to continue living a damaging lifestyle or get help. I decided to get help. I turned to professionals in the field of alcohol abuse for their guidance and counseling. It has been an overwhelming and a very humbling experience knowing that I am not alone."

He continued, "Today, with the unconditional support of my wife and family, and many close friends, I took another step forward by admitting myself into an inpatient residential program, where I intend to take the steps to be a better husband, father, friend, coach and mentor – one day at a time."

"It’s a process I am committed to. As I do this, I ask that my family’s privacy be respected. Thanks, Monty."

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill also commented -- saying, "We are supportive of this decision by Jim and we hope that by pursuing this help, he and his family will be stronger for it."

Jeremy Roenick NBC Suspends Analyst After Joke About 3-somes W/ Coworker

Breaking News

NBC has suspended Jeremy Roenick indefinitely without pay ... after the pro-turned-analyst went on a podcast and made sexual comments about his coworkers.

The 20-year vet -- who played for a number of NHL teams including the Blackhawks, Coyotes and Flyers -- appeared on the Barstool Sports "Spittin' Chiclets" podcast when he started talking about his colleagues Kathryn Tappen and Patrick Sharp.

At one point, Roenick discussed going on vacation with his wife and Tappen ... and revealed he joked with a hotel guest about their "situation," saying, “I play it off like we’re going to bed together every night, the three of us.”

Roenick explains that it would NEVER happen ... but added, "If it really came to fruition, that would really be good."

Later in the interview, Roenick praised the host as a coworker, saying she's "one of the most professional sports personalities I know."

As for Sharp, Roenick also gushed about his appearance ... saying he's "so beautiful" and "I'd have to think about it if he asked me ... I wouldn't say no right away."

NBC Sports released a statement on Monday, saying “Jeremy Roenick has been suspended indefinitely without pay for making inappropriate comments about his co-workers."

DECEMBER 2019
SPITTIN' CHICLETS
Barstool Sports

"We will have no further comment at this time.”

Roenick has been working for NBC Sports since 2010 ... but it's unclear when he'll make it back to the TV screens.

We reached out to Roenick for a comment ... so far, no word back.

NHL's Oskar Lindblom Diagnosed with Rare Cancer ... Out for Season

Breaking News

Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and will miss the rest of the season to focus on treatment, the team announced.

23-year-old Lindblom is a rising star in the NHL -- he already has 18 points in 30 games this season ... impressive for someone so young.

But, Friday the team announced Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma -- which is described by St. Jude's as "a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones (soft tissue)."

Only about 200 children and young adults are diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma each year in the United States.

The good news ... the cancer is treatable and people diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma have a good chance of beating it, according to WebMD.

The Flyers say Lindblom "will undergo further testing and evaluation next week and begin treatment immediately thereafter."

"He is not expected to return to play for the remainder of the season."

The team added, "The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available."

"Out of respect for Oskar and his family the team will have no further comment at this time and asks that Oskar be afforded a period of privacy so that he may focus his efforts on his treatment and a return to full health."

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