CALGARY -- Although one of their opponents Thursday night was the victim of death threats, members of the Calgary Flames feel relatively safe as high-profile public figures.
Columbus resident Peter Stenzel, 52, was arrested and charged with inducing panic for threatening physical harm against the team during the Blue Jackets' 5-0 win over the Flames, police in the Ohio city said yesterday.
Stenzel was arrested at his home wearing a Flames T-shirt.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the threats were aimed at rookie Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason. Sources told the Dispatch that Stenzel threatened to "shoot" and "bomb" Mason during the game.
"They got his number from caller ID, and it was given to special duty officers," a police spokesman told the newspaper.
"When they got to his residence, he was upset. He's a passionate hockey fan."
Mason made 33 saves for a franchise-record 10th shutout.
The NHL instructs players to report harassment incidents and has a security department to handle issues.
Flames centre Craig Conroy said that makes players feel secure -- but a death threat is serious.
"When you hear those stories, it's a little worrisome," Conroy said.
"Sometimes fans get a little excited and maybe get carried away. I'm glad they took it seriously and acted quickly.
"It is still just a game. We're doing our best, and so is he. Hearing that is a little scary."
Flames captain Jarome Iginla feels fortunate he hasn't experienced anything this scary, but said he understands people care about the outcome of games.
"You want fans to be passionate but that's obviously extremely overboard," Iginla said. "It's still a game and you don't want people to get too carried away. There's no place for that."