Former NHLer and hockey commentator Mike Milbury is facing charges after allegedly assaulting a 12-year-old during a peewee hockey game at Larz Anderson Park in Brookline, Mass., police said Friday.
Milbury has been accused of assault and battery on a child, threatening to commit a crime, and disorderly conduct, Brookline police said in a statement.
He is being taken off the air by NBC Sports/Versus while he deals with the charges.
The alleged assault occurred Dec. 9 at the Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink, where Milbury was acting as an assistant coach for the Boch Blazers, police said. His son plays for the team.
Milbury's son got into a tussle during a game and afterward the former Boston Bruin allegedly went on to the ice and "verbally berated and grabbed and shook" the alleged victim, the Boston Herald reported.
According to one eyewitness, Milbury -- who famously derided the "pansification" of hockey during a Hockey Night in Canada telecast in 2009 -- allegedly lifted the boy and shook him, yelling obscenities, before dropping him to the ice.
Milbury was confronted by the opponents' coach, at which point he and his son left the ice.
Attorney Daniel Rabinovitz said in a statement that his client claims he's innocent: "Mike Milbury denies any allegations that there was an assault of any kind. He simply intervened in an altercation between his son and an opposing player. No one was struck, no one was injured and no one was threatened."
Milbury has been removed indefinitely by both CBC Sports and NBC Sports while the allegations are being investigated. On CBC, he is a commentator with Hockey Night in Canada. He also is an analyst on the NHL Live studio show.
Milbury, who turns 59 on Jan. 17, played for the Bruins from 1976 to 1987 and later coached the Bruins and New York Islanders. He has worked in recent years as a hockey analyst in the U.S. and for CBC. Milbury joined Hockey Night in Canada in 2008.
Brookline police Capt. Thomas Keaveney said investigators have videotaped evidence.
"We do have evidence," Keaveney said, declining to elaborate. "It will be submitted at trial."
Keaveney told the Boston Globe that with four children of his own who have played sports, it didn't surprise him to hear about the alleged assault.
"I've seen a lot of irresponsible things done by adults and Mike Milbury is no different in my mind. Now, again, these are just allegations that he committed this," he said.
Milbury will answer the charges in Brookline District Court.
During his playing career, Milbury was known as a tough defenceman with a fiery edge.
In an incident at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 23, 1979, Milbury, along with Bruins teammates Terry O'Reilly and Peter McNab went into the stands in once of sports' most outrageous athlete-fan confrontations.
As the game ended, a scrum developed between the Rangers and Bruins and a fan reportedly reached over the glass and, with a rolled-up program, struck Boston's Stan Jonathan in the face. The fan then made off with Jonathan's stick.
O'Reilly pursued the fan into the stands and McNab and Milbury followed.
The latter duo pinned the fan to the seats, with Milbury pulling off one of his shoes and whacking him with it.
O'Reilly was given an eight-game suspension while Milbury and McNab each got six.