When NBC Sports released its roster for NHL play-by-play announcers and analysts Monday, a notable name was missing.
Mike Milbury, a long-time analyst with the network who had become controversial over misogynistic and insensitive comments he made in the past, will not be returning for the 2020-21 season.
"We are grateful to Mike for all of his contributions to our coverage for 14 years, but he will not be returning to our NHL announce team," an NBC spokesperson said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY Sports. "We wish him well."
The new NHL season begins Wednesday with a tripleheader that will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.
The analysts NBC will feature this year on its NHL broadcasts include Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher, Pierre McGuire, AJ Mleczko, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Keith Jones and Anson Carter.
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Mike Milbury, a former NHL player, coach and general manager, had been a prominent fixture on NBC's hockey coverage. (Photo: Courtesy: NBC Sports)
Milbury stepped away from his duties for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs this August after he made a misogynistic joke about the bubble that had been created amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If you enjoy playing and enjoy being with your teammates for long periods of time, it's a perfect place," analyst Brian Boucher said during a first-round playoff game between the Islanders and the Capitals before Milbury interjected that there were "Not even any women here to disrupt … your concentration."
His remark was condemned by the NHL, which said Milbury's words were "insensitive and insulting" and that his comment does "not reflect the NHL's values and commitment to making our game more inclusive and welcoming to all."
Milbury later said of his decision to step down that he didn't want his presence "to interfere with the athletes as they try to win the greatest trophy in sports."
During the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Milbury minimized a domestic violence conviction that led to the banning of former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov from the NHL. During a broadcast, Milbury called it "an unfortunate incident" as the Russian team toppled the U.S. team.
"He left a huge void in the Los Angeles Kings' defense, otherwise may have gone on to win more than the championships they did already," Milbury said during a broadcast. "This guy was a special player, and an unfortunate incident left the Los Angeles Kings without a great defenseman."
Milbury was a defenseman for the Boston Bruins for 12 seasons (1975-87) — a career that saw him infamously go into the Madison Square Garden stands during a 1979 brawl and hit a man with his own shoe. He later became head coach of the Bruins, guiding them to the 1990 Stanley Cup Final and spent several more seasons coaching, including with the Islanders, where he also became general manager.
Contributing: Jace Evans
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