TAMPA, Fla. — The second the Lightning dressing room opened Thursday morning, Jack Edwards entered and made a beeline to the stall of Pat Maroon.
The veteran NESN broadcaster wished to apologize. Clear the air.
It was the primary time the 2 have been in the identical constructing since Edwards’ controversial comments about the winger’s weight in the course of the broadcast of a sport between the groups in November. The clip went viral, with Maroon taking the excessive highway, utilizing it as a platform to boost $60,000 for an area revenue that focuses on strengthening behavioral well being outcomes.
On Thursday, Edwards initially knelt to talk with the three-time Cup champion at his stall as he untied his skates. A ten-minute dialog adopted, with the pair each standing across the center of the room. Several different Lightning gamers watched, as did the assembled media. Maroon was animated at instances, however the two shook palms earlier than the Tampa Bay ahead exited.
Edwards informed The Athletic later that he tried to elucidate to Maroon the place he was coming from together with his feedback. He then wished to hearken to Maroon, who made it clear why he was upset after which informed Edwards he had “moved on.”
“It was not intended to be mean-spirited. I went to Pat and explained that,” Edwards stated. “He got his feelings off his chest, and I listened to all of it. I was not going to walk away. I let him go as long as he could. I wanted him to know I respected him as much as any NHL player for lasting as long as he has. Every single player who has played in the NHL is an unbelievable athlete, and I made that clear.”
It wasn’t as clear on Nov. 29, when Edwards and broadcast companion Andy Brickley appeared to be mocking the 34-year-old Maroon.
Pat Maroon, totally minding his personal enterprise
Jack Edwards: pic.twitter.com/TE27x02Xi2
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 30, 2022
Maroon and his teammates took the feedback as a transparent insult concerning Maroon’s weight, and an instance of physique shaming. By mid-afternoon the subsequent day, Maroon despatched out a tweet asserting a $2,000 donation in Edwards’ identify to Tampa Bay Thrives, which helps these coping with melancholy, anxiousness and substance abuse dysfunction. In all, $60,000 was raised.
Edwards launched an announcement on Dec. 2., just a few days after the published, to The Athletic’s Bruins reporter, Fluto Shinzawa, saying he’s “sensitive to the subject of body image” and “didn’t intend to offend anyone.” Edwards stated he despatched his contact info — his e mail and cellular phone quantity — to the Lightning public relations workers, encouraging them to cross it alongside to Maroon. He by no means heard from Maroon however completely understood.
Edwards recalled Thursday recommendation given to him many years in the past by late Boston broadcaster Clark Booth, who informed him, “You can say anything about these guys that you want, as long as you believe it to be true. And you owe it to yourself and to the player that the next time you have a chance to get it out with them, you go to their dressing room stall and let them speak their piece.”
So Edwards attended the Lightning morning skate, sitting a handful of rows behind the bench within the stands. And he provided context to Maroon for his feedback, saying he has immense respect for gamers who play the netfront, having seen the price of it with one other immovable object, Tim Kerr, after his taking part in days.
“With all due respect, and respect is due, Pat Maroon is a throwback player,” Edwards stated. “He isn’t going to win many footraces. But once he posts up in front of the goal, he’s an elephant to move and guys try everything. The reason he has been a member of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in a row and four finals in a row — the list is really tiny for guys that changed franchises — is because he is the immovable object, and a lot of that has to do with his immense stature.
“So over the course of 18 years, there’s been an ongoing joke about training camp weight and midseason weight, and it was in the continuing context of that where the joking around happened.”
Edwards added that he’s in sports activities leisure and “sometimes the humorous intent is taken the wrong way.”
Does he remorse saying it?
“I try not to regret things. I try to learn from them,” Edwards stated. “The latitude which I live in has sharply decreased because there’s corporate concerns about turning a certain segment of the audience off. … It’s too late for me to change my style, but …
“I didn’t make fun of people who are struggling with mental illness. I didn’t use the word ‘fat’ at any time. Intentional misreading of my intent ran rampant.”
Maroon wasn’t accessible for remark after his assembly with Edwards, however he made his emotions on Edwards’ feedback clear within the days after.
“You just don’t talk bad about someone like that for a minute straight for no reason,” Maroon said. “I get it — if we’re out on the ice and guys are chirping and guys are doing those things, that’s part of hockey. That’s part of it. But someone on national TV when (potentially) millions of listeners are watching or tuned in, and he just basically cut me down. Uncalled for, unnecessary. I don’t understand why he did that. But it is what it is. It’s over, it’s done. And we turned a negative into a positive.”
Edwards applauded and revered Maroon for taking the chance to assist folks by elevating cash for the native nonprofit. And he hopes that his chat with Maroon might assist with some closure on it.
“I’m 148 pounds dripping wet,” Edwards stated. “So it wasn’t a hockey fight. But in that vein, we got it out. We had an understanding and we move on.”
(Photo: Nick Turchiaro / USA Today)