Mike Milbury Steps Away from Role with NBC Sports for Remainder of NHL Playoffs

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

FILE - In this April 8, 2005, file photo, New York Islanders general manager Mike Milbury leaves after an NHL hockey general managers meeting at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich. A spokesman for former Boston Bruins player and coach Milbury said on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, that his client won't face criminal charges for a confrontation he had with a 12-year-old boy after a youth hockey game. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

NBC Sports analyst Mike Milbury will not call games for the remainder of the postseason after making an offensive remark about women during a recent broadcast.

"In light of the attention caused by my recent remark, I have decided to step away from my role at NBC Sports for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs," Milbury said, according to the Los Angeles Times' Helene Elliott. "I do not want my presence to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the greatest trophy in sports."

Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star first reported Milbury was spotted at Pearson Airport in Toronto, which is located outside the NHL bubble in Toronto. Arthur also reported that Milbury had been sent home by the network.

While discussing the positive aspects of the NHL bubble with broadcast partner Brian Boucher during the New York Islanders' win over the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series Thursday, Milbury said, "Not even any woman here to disrupt your concentration."

Per ESPN's Emily Kaplan, NBC Sports said Friday that Milbury's comment was disappointing and "insensitive." The NHL also released the following statement:

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

A statement from the National Hockey League. https://t.co/YCOTcoaK5l

Milbury later expressed regret for making the comment: "It was not my intention to disrespect anyone. I was trying to be irreverent and took it a step too far. It was a regrettable mistake that I take seriously."

Milbury was pulled from his assignment Friday.

The 68-year-old Milbury drew criticism for comments before Game 3 of the first-round playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes last week as well.

After Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask announced that he was leaving the bubble to be with his family amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Milbury said: "Nobody's simply opted to leave the bubble just because they didn't want to be here and they needed to be with their family. I would not have done it, the rest of the league's players have not done it."

The Brighton, Massachusetts, native has been an NHL analyst for NBC Sports since 2007, but he was previously a player, coach and general manager.

Milbury played defense for the Bruins from 1975 to 1987 and then served as their head coach in the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons.

He later coached the New York Islanders for parts of four seasons and served as the Isles' general manager for several years as well before stepping down in 2006.