TORONTO - A celebrity gossip website is claiming Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department after a woman was allegedly punched in the face at a Hollywood nightclub.
The Leafs were stopped over in L.A. from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10 during a long road trip. TMZ.com claims Komisarek was named in a police report filed by an unnamed woman, who said the 6-foot-4, 243-pound defenceman lifted her up in the air at the club. The woman demanded Komisarek put her down, but he refused and she slapped him in the face. Komisarek is said to have immediately put her down, but allegedly punched her, drawing blood.
When Komisarek departed the club, the matter was reported to police, who are supposedly trying to talk to him. Komisarek, who just turned 29, is the Leafs’ assistant captain and players association rep. He was not available for comment before Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals.
Media relations officer Gregory Baek of the LAPD was not immediately able to confirm which if any of the 21 police stations that could have handled the complaint are actively pursuing the matter.
“It’s too broad an area,” Baek said. “And there are about 3,000 night clubs in Los Angeles.”
It's unlikely anything will happen in the case until after the weekend.
Such matters are also forwarded to National Hockey League security.
“We are following up, (but) have nothing to report yet,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Toronto Sun via e-mail.
Toronto general manager Brian Burke said the club had no comment at present, but coach Ron Wilson and other Leafs quickly came to their teammate’s support after the TMZ report broke before the morning skate.
“These are rumours and innuendo on a website that we don’t know anything about,” coach Ron Wilson said. “This (kind of accusation) is pretty common in sports or for movie stars, so you just have to deal with it, live with it, or don’t bother reading any of that stuff.”
Wilson said he was sure the accusation would bother Komisarek “until everything gets cleared up. But that’s the age we live in.”
Defenceman Luke Schenn added: “Everyone can sit behind a computer and write information or make stuff up or whatever the case is. Mike is a good character guy and I think he has thick skin.”
The Leafs do not play in California for the rest of the season, but the Long Island-born bachelor will be making several trips to the U.S. up to April 6. It’s not clear if Komisarek would be required to answer any questions about the matter unless he is in the L.A. area.
True or not, the story is yet another strange episode for the Leafs when travelling in California. Since the NHL expanded to the West Coast, other Leafs have had run-ins with the law, have been robbed and have disappeared for short periods. On the ice, there has been everything from the 1975 playoff war between the Leafs and Kings, the Wayne Gretzky high stick on Doug Gilmour, a 0-0 game in San Jose with two Leaf goalies, up to Wilson getting fined last week for putting $600 US up for a win against the Sharks.